After watching 'Rowdy Rathore', it is crystal clear that sheer entertainment was definitely an endeavour of producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali for this Akshay Kumar starrer. Of course there is a segment of media which is hell bent of comparing 'Rowdy Rathore' with a 'Dabangg' or a 'Singham'. However let the fact be stated that 'masala' entertainment like this was never out of vogue, it was just sidelined at the advent of the 21st century.
So while films like 'Thandedaar' (Sanjay Dutt), 'Gopi Kishen' (Suniel Shetty) and 'Jai-Kishen' (Akshay Kumar), to name a few, followed a similar formula, there were countless films with actors like Jeetendra, Mithun Chakraborty and Anil Kapoor in lead that were cast in the same mould.
No wonder, the setting is similar as well in 'Rowdy Rathore' which follows the basic rules of action masala affairs to the T. There is a villain, his henchmen, a couple of muscle men, a corrupt system and then a hero in the middle of it all. Not to mention the staple diet of the era gone by which was centred on 'gaon waalo, jaao thakur ka anaaj loot lo'! In fact I do wonder that it wouldn't have been a bad idea to rechristen the film's title as 'Khiladi Rathore' because that would have truly justified the essence of both characters played by Akshay.
So while the happy-go-lucky-small-time-thief Akshay dominates the scene from start to finish, his cop counterpart 'Rathore' could well be tagged as an extended guest appearance. Yes, he is definitely integral to the film's plot but then one wants to go back to the 'rowdy' at play. This means right from the start where he gets into his 'haath ki safai' mood (truly laugh inducing) to his wooing of Patna-ki-gori Sonakshi to the entire second half where he lets himself lose on the villains (headed by Nasser), Akshay is fantastic.
The only place where you just want the film to get into a fast forward mode? The middle of the first half when the film tries to take an emotional journey. Yes, the bonding between the girl child and Akshay was important but then it is a little too stretched, what with the song 'Chandaniya' playing far too many times. Moreover a couple of other things that make the film a little too unbelievable are a well-to-do Sonakshi falling in love with a thief and then the entire plot setting behind 'rowdy' Akshay being the chosen one as a foster father. Also, Yashpal Sharma is unintentionally funny when he gets into the flashback mode.
Thankfully, Prabhudheva keeps the pace of the film fast enough to make you quickly move on to the next scene. There is hardly any time given to the audience to think about what really transpired since immediately there is an item sequence in the offering. Moreover Akshay's superbly convincing act, especially as the 'rowdy', is the mainstay of the film and he is especially tremendous in the first and last 30 minutes of the film. Ditto for Sonakshi who is loveable in the limited screen time that she gets, though she hardly has a scene or two in the second half.
Add to this Sajid-Wajid compositions that come at just the right time (except for 'Tera Ishq Bada Teekha') and with good enough pace (especially 'Dhadang Dhang', 'Pritam Pyaare') that only help in accentuating the narrative further. Not to mention the action sequences which are well choreographed and boast of sheer raw appeal with bone crunching and breaking skulls being the order of the day.
With a first half that had ample comic and naughty moments coupled with the second half which was as action packed (though with it's fun quotient intact) as it gets, this Prabhudheva film has it's eye on the masses without really worrying about the purists. There may not be any rowdy-ism at display here since even most of the action has an element of light-heartedness to it. However by aiming to give audience some non-stop entertainment, 'Rowdy Rathore' earns very good marks for itself.