Friday, 6 June 2014

HOLIDAY - A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY :: Movie Review


HOLIDAY - A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY, an action packed entertainer has released at the right time i.e. Summer holidays & succeeds upto a certain extent in providing you the right dose of filmy entertainment. Murgadoss' film (remake of the Tamil 'Thupakki') offers an intelligent plot, with blows, blasts and raw bone-cracking action (Greg Powell- of 'Skyfall' fame). It triggers a fear that anyone from your paanwala to pizza-delivery boy could be a 'closet' terrorist (Beware!). This one applauds the jawans who live in the jaws of death, and is a 'wake up' call for all the 'sleepers' that abound. Bravo! HOLIDAY  is not a typical Akshay Kumar film that tilts heavily towards humor or has an uninterrupted flow of gags. This one tackles a serious issue -- terrorism -- and how a lone soldier sets out to annihilate the sleeper cells that are out to create mayhem in Mumbai. Sure, a number of films focusing on terrorism have made it to the big screen, especially post 9/11, but Murugadoss marries the serious issue and good old romance [Akshay-Sonakshi] most effortlessly. Of course, much like the original source, HOLIDAY, veers towards the clash between a soldier and the terror forces, but the storyteller, who's eyeing the pan-India audience, makes sure he gives the masala movie lovers something more than that. Don’t miss Holiday for the sheer fun of watching a film that wins solely for its delicious brutish action. The narrative isn’t exactly a work of genius with the logical apertures frequently getting the better ​of you. But Murugadoss doesn’t let go off the breakneck speed that Holiday benefits from.

SCRIPT & SCREENPLAY                          ::               The script as well as screenplay for the movie has been penned down by A.Murugadoss himself who has done a good job. In a majority of entertainers, the screenplay takes a backseat, while the star power takes precedence. HOLIDAY - A SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY comes across as an exception because the smartly-packaged fare never loses focus from its core issue [the fight between an army man and terrorists], with the post-interval portions diversifying into race-against-time thriller mode. An army soldier Virat Bakshi is back home on a Holiday. While for most Holiday would be synonymous to taking respite from work, the script writers go all the way in establishing that army people don’t have the luxury of respite that civilians thrive on. Akshay Kumar’s elaborate speeches on the greatness of the Indian army borders on tedious and are perhaps amongst the film’s most slack moments. And yet, there is probably no reason to slam a otherwise ‘a could have been rubbish’ film Murugadoss made for you. Though the afterthought gives perspective and makes you realize the utter dumbness of the film, while watching it the filmmaker establishes the ongoings with such sincerity that you don’t quite get to sit back and seep the rantings of your logical brain. It is that much fun! As far as the story is concerned. Holiday begins with Captain Virat Bakshy (Akshay Kumar) coming back to Mumbai. On his advent, his parents take him to meet Saiba (Sonakshi Sinha), as a part of an arranged marriage proposal. While initially it doesn’t work out between them, with Virat assuming Saiba to be a shy and reticent person, he eventually gets to see a brighter, enthusiastic and feistier side of her. Meanwhile, Virat entangles himself in a case that involves a bomb blast. As the story advances, Virat tracks down the sleeper cells that have been plotting a bigger attack on Mumbai. Holiday traces the story of how Virat destroys the active sleeper cells and pushes them on to the comatose mode for a good while.

STARCAST                                                  ::                        Murugadoss abstains from casting over-familiar faces for pivotal characters, choosing actors who aren't known for featuring in Akshay starrers [except Sonakshi]. In Holiday, the scene-stealer is, without doubt, Akshay Kumar, who reinvents himself with this one. It's a power-packed portrayal, which the actor illustrates with complete understanding, without going overboard. It's a delight to see Akshay synced in a character this well, as if it was written for him. In the last scene where he kills the head of the sleeper cells, qualifies as adrenalin rush shot for any Akshay fan. Thumbs up to the cool man! This is Akshay's show unquestionably! Sonakshi Sinha is effervescent and contributes in making the proceedings lively whenever she appears on-screen although sadly its quite less. But, she has still made her presence felt, even though her role is quite short. Sumeet Raghavan,  who is best known for his role Sahil Sarabhai in the popular show Sarabhai VS Sarabhai is wonderful, absolutely in sync with his character of Akshay's best friend.  The lead terrorist in the film, Freddy Daruwala does his job well emitting the right emotion of spine chilling. The guy surely has promise and with a more prominent role, he can deliver better. Govinda, who has played a cameo in this movie manages to raise a few guffaws with his own inimitable style of acting. Zakir Hussain too effectively portrays his character.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                     ::              The soundtrack of this film has been composed by Pritam Chakraborty who has done an average job while composing this album. We have seen much better tracks belted out by Pritam Da in the recent past so the expectations from him especially in a Akshay film were definitely more than what he has delivered. The cinematographer of the movie is N. Nataraja Subramanian's whose camera gives the film good enough scale. Another duo, who deserve a special mention are Greg Powell & Anal Arasu, the action directors of this movie. The movie has been edited by Amitabh Shukla  who has kept the runtime to 172 minutes which is a kind of a hiccup especially with respect to some scenes that could have been avoided. But this is where director A.Murgadoss should be given the credit for making the film so absorbing in both its witty and silly moments that you don’t quite feel the pangs of its length. Murgadoss, definitely is a great task master who has proved that he knows his craft well by making a slick action-thriller that keeps you engrossed, enthralled and captivated all through.

CONCLUSION                                                               ::        Holiday is mostly a delectable film. With Akshay’s superfluous action sequences beguiling you to watch a film which isn’t even close to as brainy as it seems, I will still recommend you to watch it for the lump sum enjoyment it delivers via its slick action, thrill elements & some witty moments. 


ROHIT SHARMA.
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