Hot soldier, bad romance
I remember this ‘debate’ I had with a friend who I often drag with me to movie reviews. It was about Gunday, yes the Ranveer Singh - Arjun Kapoor starrer that I loved and she hated. If I recall the argument right, she called the movie boring and an insult to everything Bollywood and 1970s. I remember telling her that with a movie poster like that one cannot expect to walk in and witness immaculate sense unfolding in every scene. Bollywood, more often than not, is a no-brainer. And that is precisely why it is so much fun. And adding to that list is another movie - Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty (let’s just call it Holiday).
However, calling Holiday a no-brainer does not mean that I did not enjoy it. I quite did. I like Akshay Kumar, I think he has impeccable comic timing, he romances with perfect efficiency and he is a dream in action scenes. There is ample of the last two in Holiday and therefore, mathematically speaking - Holiday is a ‘fun’ movie.
Directed and written by AR Murugadoss, Holiday is the Bollywood remake of Tamil film Thupakki. Thupakki was a superhit down south, I am not too sure about Holiday’s dream run though.
Captain Virat Bakshi (Kumar) must take on terrorist master mind (played by Freddy Daruwala) and his sleeper cells that plan to get Mumbai down on her knees. And this must be done when Virat gets time from romancing Sahiba (Sonakshi Sinha) - pathetic business if you ask me logically. And that is the whole story.
There is no beating Virat, get that very straight. He is the Bollywood superhero who is always a step ahead of the villains. Accept it and survive the movie with that single thought in mind. While the original Tamil movie had Vidyut Jamwal playing the bad guy, this movie has Freddy who isn’t one bit menacing or a delight to watch in action scenes. Murgadoss could have used Jamwal again, I for one, would have been ecstatic.
But then again, giving the movie the credit that it deserves, Holiday is Akshay’s game. Sonakshi is there only for ornamentation in the song-dance sequences and that isn’t exactly a lot of fun. The action is, the impossible that Virat achieves is fun, and the absurdity of the plot is also fun. I am just going to shrug and say, ‘That’s Bollywood!’ in the very tone I say ‘C’est la Vie!’ and let you swallow that pill.
Frankly, the main problem I had with Holiday was the romance that Murgadoss piles on us. I love my superheroes and one of the main reasons as to why Hollywood superhero or supercop/supersoldier films work is because they have learned how to keep the mushy nonsense minimal. A sex scene here and there and Hollywood is done. But Bollywood!? No sir! We must have them dance all over the planet. Why can’t this supersoldier just be the hot hero and stand proud doing the impossible? Go for this one if you adore Akshay and are willing to forgive him for any blunder, and you need to survive three hours of it.