Once upon a time, there was a rogue man who fell in love with a sundar aur susheel girl and then what happened? Well, I would have said watch Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Toofaan’ to know the rest but you don’t have to be paachvi pass se tez to guess the ending of this one. After delivering a smashing sports drama like ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, Farhan Akhtar and director Rakesh Om Prakash have teamed up again for yet another sports drama but this time, it makes me wonder when will Bollywood create something fresh? Toofaan that stars some of the best artists from the Indian film industry has almost every ingredient that you need to make a film a complete ‘paisa vasool’. But, sometimes strong punches, good acting and upbeat music isn’t enough to take the audience by storm.
The film starts with boxer Aziz Ali harking back to the time when he was merely a hoodlum working for Jaffar Bhai (Vijay Raaz). The flashback opens to a scene showcasing Aziz’z fighting skills concluding with a small head injury. And where most people experience a concussion after head injuries, our hero meets Dr. Ananya and experiences a change at heart. Jokes apart, the film at the very beginning establishes that sometimes love can not just make you quit a bad habit but can actually push you to see big dreams for yourself. Aziz then starts taking a proper coaching for boxing from India’s finest boxing coach, Nana Prabhu played by Paresh Rawal. While you make feel it is going to be a typical guru-chella success or a betrayal story, Toofaan’s makers have tried to bring up the burning issue of ‘love jihaad’ next. What is even more distasteful is Paresh Rawal’s annoying attitude of typecasting a community based on a bomb blast incident that took away his wife from him. His staunch belief will soon make you feel like you are on his Twitter feed and this film is not exactly a sports drama. While, this angle soon looses its importance in next few minutes, the oldest trick in book is played by actor Mohan Agashe when he tries to mend ways between Nana and his grandchild to make Ananya’s dream of seeing Aziz as a champion come true. Finally, the family man Aziz who gave up on this dream of becoming the champion decides to get back in shape and prepares for one last fight. However, by this time Nana realizes that his beliefs did nothing but burn his own house and chooses ‘boxing’ as a religion to save Aziz’s sinking ship.
As the film comes close to its climax you are left with mixed feelings about what the filmmakers wanted you to take away from this film. Whether it was Toofaan’s inspirational journey of becoming a champion or was it a social message on going back to loving everyone as they are regardless of what religion they are born into? In the times, when we hardly have any good content coming up to add a pinch of entertainment in our mundane lives, Toofaan lacks freshness, especially when we look at the storyline. And even though, this film has some smooth and impactful performances by Farhan Akhtar, Paresh Rawal, Mrunal Thakur, Mohan Agashe, Supriya Pathak, and Hussaid Dalal, the fact that Toofaan’s story is as old as Adam is what brings down the film in terms of likability. So, if you are someone who like sports dramas but at the same time have neutral feelings for inter caste marriages, then Toofaan is perfect fit for your weekend watch!