Pehlwaan Movie Review Rating: 1.5/5 Stars (One and half stars)
Star Cast: Sudeep Kichcha, Suniel Shetty, Sushant Singh, Aakanksha Singh, Kabir Duhan Singh
Director: S Krishna
What’s Good: The fact that I watched this before Dream Girl
What’s Bad: Despite investing crores in something if you’re not worried about the thing that’s a most important aspect of filmmaking, that’s worrying
Loo Break: If by loo break you mean ‘getting out of the cinema hall and never coming back to the audi where this movie is being played’, then yes!
Watch or Not?: WATCH IT (NO)W!
Sudeep Kichcha, also named as Kichcha in the film (oh so creative) is an orphan who is discovered by Sarkar (Suniel Shetty) on the roads. After watching him fighting, Sarkar decides to use him to fulfil his age-old dream of training a national level wrestling champion. In a parallel subplot, we see a poor man’s McGregor in Tony (Kabir Duhan Singh) who’s a narcissist and believes he’s the best boxer this country has. Years, later we see Kichcha is no more a boxer because… and the never-ending flashback starts. In short, Kichcha falls in love with a girl who is engaged, the girl’s father begs Sarkar to control him but love is love.
You can take out a boxer out of the ring, but you cannot take the ring (engagement) out of a boxer’s hand (trust me, the movie is worse than my jokes). Sarkar kicks Kichcha out, he lives a labourer’s life, gets called back one day. Everyone lives happily? Not so easy. We’ve another sub-plot which has a King (Sushant Singh) who’s also a wrestler and was defeated by Kichcha years ago. So, now Kichcha has to fight this wrestling king, poor man’s McGregor to earn some money for poor talented kids who can’t afford to fulfil their dreams (Yes, that’s another sub-plot).
Pehlwaan Movie Review: Script Analysis
Out of all the flaws this movie has, story tops everything. Everything is as scattered as my thoughts after watching this film. From adopting an orphan to make him a champion, to him falling in love to fighting with a king to defeating the best boxer of the country to helping underprivileged kids – this movie says a lot without the backing of a good narrative. Kichcha is shown as a Kushti wrestler, then he’s asked to box because anyway both the sports are just about the same. Like REALLY?
The emotions are forced and never really connects with you. I totally understand there’s an audience for this movie and they will thoroughly enjoy it. It’s just an example of how everything is not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m all in for a Wanted, Dabangg or Rowdy Rathore but if you want to display machoism, show it with some substance in it.
Pehlwaan Movie Review: Star Performance
Before the film started, I thought this would be a perfect launchpad for Sudeep Kichcha to gain some fans from the Hindi belt, but now that’s not happening. He’s bad in the film. He actually scores some brownie points when he’s not really acting. I’ve no idea what Suniel Shetty is doing in this film. I mean, yes the charisma is still intact but he literally wasn’t needed here.
The awkward dance song between both of them made me realize, how hard it is to maintain the expressions while delivering those massy steps (All hail Salman Khan!). Aakanksha Singh as Rukmini as nothing to add to the already lousy script apart from her charm. She’s a visual delight but gets no chance to display her acting chops. For some weird reason, it’s just Kabir Duhan Singh (McGregor) who’s acting as his role. He was required to deliver an over the top, loud performance and he did the same. Sushant Singh, who was my last hope from the film, was wasted too.
Pehlwaan Movie Review: Direction, Music
The only word that comes to my mind for director S. Krishna is overly-enthusiastic. A set up of million cameras just to shoot one scene backed with pacy editing, that shows how excited he was to shoot this film. Unfortunately, nothing lands perfectly, not even the punches in the boxing matches shown in the climax. He just scatters the already scattered narrative.
The music is still popping (read: pooping) out of my ear-drums trying to get out of there. I mean, I already expected that it’ll be loud but more than that, it was chaotic. None of the songs made any sense, and there were too many of them.
Pehlwaan Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, this is a worthless mashup of movies like Sultan, Dangal, Apne and every boxing movie ever created. I wish I could nitpick some good things. In the end, I just wish Sudeep gets good mileage in Salman Khan’s Dabangg 3.
One and a half stars!
Pehlwaan releases on 13th September, 2019.
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