A Naval officer with high moral values finds his wife cheating on him with one of his friends, who holds the reputation of being a casanova. The heart-broken husband heads straight to the friend's house, pumps three bullets into his chest, and surrenders himself before the police.
The story appears to be very commonplace in Bollywood but what makes it interesting is the fact that it is a real-life incident involving KM Nanavati that took place in Mumbai (then Bombay) in the '50s. Akshay Kumar plays the character of the Naval Officer (Rustom Pavri) while Ileana D'Cruz is seen as his onscreen wife (Cynthia Pavri).
Akshay has always done an impressive job in portraying characters in uniforms and he is no exception in "Rustom." Director Tinu Suresh Desai has tried to recreate the real life incident on screen with a touch of suspense, entertainment, and romance. And he has more or less succeeded in his efforts.
One of the best aspects of "Rustom" is the style of narration. The movie gets to the point right in the maiden scene when Akshay's character returns home from his duty, and finds his abode sans his wife. The director knows it well that the Nanavati case is not an unknown affair and the audience will be more interested in watching the court drama unfold. Hence, the story of "Rustom" quickly enters the court room after, of course, showing a little of the emotional turmoil that Akshay's character suffers and the three famous bullet shots.
While the first half of the movie is gripping, certain portions of the second half of "Rustom" might shift your eyes to your watch. The narration gets somewhat sloppy at certain points but the director manages to accelerate the pace soon again.
After films like "Baby" and "Airlift," the audience had expected similar, if not more, action and thrill from Akshay in "Rustom." But the latest release does not have many enthralling moments to remember the film by. Also, there are some flaws in the movie that defy logic. One of the scenes shows an antagonist having strong evidence in his hand to put the protagonist behind bars but he merely waits for the police to reach him and collect the proof.
However, the film has a strong storyline and some pleasant surprises that will keep you glued to the seat. Also, the director has been smart enough to keep the characters' costumes and appearances true to the timeline, as the Nanavati case unfolded in 1959.
Akshay has played his part very convincingly. The actor is known for leading a disciplined life and that perhaps makes it easier for him to carry out such roles without much effort. Ileana does not have much to show as an actress in the film except shed tears, and look good. She has managed to do both well. Like the other members of the cast, Esha Gupta too seems to have lived in the skin of her character as the mean and arrogant sister of the murdered friend.
"Rustom" is good enough to be watched once but viewers who walk into the cinema theatre expecting a well-made movie in all departments may step out a tad disappointed.
Positives: Good performance, narration, direction
Negatives: Some silly flaws, slow at certain points