I belong to the increasing legion of fans who wait for a Nawazuddin Siddiqui movie with great anticipation. He is one performer, who, over the last few years has brought about a refreshing change in focus from gimmick-heavy, muscle-flexing form of acting to a more refined and honest show of acting prowess which is almost esoteric, considering the fast-food like movies we are constantly fed by Bollywood and also consumed without any qualms . Few months ago, Nawazuddin played a serial killer in Raman Raghav 2.0, giving a spine chilling performance, while here, he plays a “freak” of a different kind.
Check out our review of Raman Raghav 2.0 here.
Freaky Ali stars Nawazuddin as Ali who is an undergarment seller and an extortionist who has a gift of hitting the cricket ball anywhere he wants to. As luck would have it, he chances upon the game of Golf where his hitting abilities are noticed by Kishen Lal (Asif Basra) and he convinces Ali to give the game a try in order to mend his ways and become “golf ka Sachin”. With the help of Maqsood (Arbaaz Khan), Ali learns the game and within no time excels so much that the national champion Vikram Rathod (Jas Arora) feels threatened. The rest of the story mashes together many of the sequences from sports movies we have viewed earlier.
The one word which sums up the movie is the overwhelming use of clichés. Also, this movie is a classic example of something I like to call “the curse of the 2nd half”. Not that the first half is flawless, but it is enjoyable in parts mostly due to the antics of Ali and the supporting cast who feed off him. But the second half is such a let down and laden with clichés that the audience was literally cringing towards the end. I overheard somebody saying “for god’s sake, should have given him a cricket bat and Indians might just ignore the script”. From a totally unsportsmanlike champion Vikram who abuses Ali in full public view, to the stereotypical Bollywood mother whose “prayers are the best medicine”, to a clichéd Arbaaz Khan where he plays the same “initially a true sidekick, but then gets wayward eventually returning back to Team Lead Actor” which he had mastered in Dabangg.
Sohail Khan directs the movie which is a loose adaptation of the Adam Sandler starrer Happy Gilmore. Khan doesn’t even try to give the movie any soul. It is just Nawaz who keeps us waiting for something good, but alas, an actor can do only as much without the backbone of a compelling script and a director’s vision. The movie is supposed to be about Golf, but nowhere is the audience given any details about the sport apart from equating it to cricket, which is naive to say the least. Even during the climax, when stakes are high, the protagonist resorts to a cricketing shot to hit the winning hole. (I looked away!). Amy Jackson labours through her dialogues. A mannequin would have sufficed instead. Jass Arora is decent as the highly-insecure-for-a-five-time-national-champion. The angle of poor people succeeding in a rich man’s sport is unconvincing, although it had scope to be treated better. The only bright spot apart from Nawaz’s performance are the dialogues by Raaj Shaandilyaa. Bit of Amir-Gareeb banter from the 80s notwithstanding, Nawaz gets decent lines where he kicks some rich butts.
The movie is passable. Sohail Khan never had our confidence when it came to movie making, but we were hoping against hope that with the excellent acting calibre of Nawazuddin, he may be able to serve us something decent. Oh! Aren’t we royally disappointed. This Golf movie doesn’t even tee off.
gobblpoint: Here is our review of “Sully” by Clint Eastwood which released this Friday. Please go for this instead.
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