Rustom - Review

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick review:

No sizzling plot, just a simmering one let down even more by how the big reveal is revealed.



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Wogma Review

“What happened” might be one of the most consuming question in a thriller. Then maybe, “how and why”. But, all is lost when the narrator messes up the “how the audience finds out.” This is where Rustom loses out in a thriller that otherwise might just have worked out.

One of the biggest cop-outs is when the perpetrator tells how he did it to another character, rather than the story-teller showing us how it happened. Even the best of reveals comes across as too easy or too lame or both when that happens. Rustom not only does that, but also has two parallel threads running that don't connect completely in the end.

I love a well-done court-room drama, but Rustom doesn't quite make it engaging. There are loopholes and convenient coincidences. In its attempt to keep things light, it makes caricatures out of the prosecutor, the judge and the owner of a newspaper.

The main characters all have to wear one expression through the film. Akshay Kumar, the accused, is stern (garbed as restrained?). Ileana D'cruz, the accused's cheating wife is sorry. Arjan Bajwa, the supposed villain smirks and his sister, Esha Gupta, the supposed vamp, smirks more. That is more or less what they do.

They are all styled like they are in the 50s-60s. Whether or not it is authentic, it sure is refreshing. At times even distracting from the story. The story by itself works, the back and forth in time-line notwithstanding. But, it all comes crumbling down in the end.

It's a safe bet to say that a thriller that goes wrong with its climax is likely to fail as a thriller. If it were not for that, Rustom might just have worked, despite its disengaging performances.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: One murder. And a few slaps.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: The plot revolves around an extra marital affair. Nothing explicit shown.
  • Concept: A murder mystery plus court room drama
  • General Look and Feel: A setting of the 50s-60s that somewhat works.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2.5
  • Story: 2.5
  • Lead Actors: 2.5
  • Character Artists: 3
  • Dialogues: 2
  • Screenplay: 2
  • Music Director: 1
  • Lyrics: 2

Rustom - Movie Details

Rustom - Trailer

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Comments (33)

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ehinome okojie:

Wow Rustom is likely to trash Mohenjodaro.

ehinome okojie:

Rustom should teach the custom of film making to Mohenjo Daro crew.


Much better than Mohenjo Daro


When the trailer shows in CAPITAL BOLD LETTERS THT THE MOVIE IS ABOUT - THE CASE WHICH REMOVED THE JURY SYSTEM FROM INDIAN COURTS i supposed it want to show why and how Jury system has been removed. But the movie never touches that part of the story. Infact the movie didnt even touched half the story of the CASE on which it has been based. And we get a movie which almost felt like a comedy movie with a whole lot of jokes (which i agree were good and crowed pleasing and i myself was angry for the treatment the movie has been given but also couldn't stop myself from laughing on the jokes) with some serious talks and twist plot as a side story..
I could have enjoyed it more , if only the trailers had not made me fool and if only i had put my expectations in the right basket.


And yes it has been made on a really low budget as compared to equally average film but higher on cost MOHENJO-DARO DARO. But the fact is that at least Mohenjo Daro doesn't look cheap..


@Meeta: is it intentional that the movie details section above does not have the cast & crew details? Typically you mention the banner, the director, the lead actors, ... but I didn't find them for Rustom's review.


The bumper opening of Rustom and the dismal opening of MJD among the premium multiplexes of metropolitan cities have indeed made the point i'm been emphasizing over the last 1 year about Akshay's ever increasing popularity among the urban multiplex crowd, an audience that once outrightly rejected even the biggest of his hits like Welcome and Rowdy Rathore. This is thanks to him doing solid urban pleasing content films like Special 26, OMG, Baby and Airlift. Hrithik on the other hand has shot himself on the foot and his popularity has been steadily declining among both the urban as well as the mass audiences. Long absence from the silver screen coupled with signing films like Bang Bang & MJD has done him no favors. Its unfortunate to see an actor who was the undisputed box office numero uno exactly 10 years ago with the blockbuster performance of Krrish & Dhoom-2 now struggle to even get a double digit opening.
As things stand now, these are the popularity ratings among the urban and mass sectors :

Premium multiplex metropolitan audience (~25%) :
1. Aamir Khan
2. Shah Rukh Khan
3. Salman/Akshay/Hrithik
4. Ajay/Ranbir/Ranveer/Varun

Tier 2 multiplex crowd of semi metros (~25%) :

1. Salman
2. Aamir/Akshay
3. SRK/Hrithik/Ajay
4. Ranbir/Ranveer/Varun

Tier 3 multiplex crowd and single screen audiences (~50%) :

1. Salman
2. Aamir/Akshay
3. SRK/Hrithik/Ajay
4. Ranbir/Ranveer/Varun/Shahid

Shivaay would give us a better idea of Ajay's standing.


For all those fools and cynics hell bent on creating an illusion that this is end of Roshan, please remember that 1 film does not change a popularity status that's been accumulated for over a decade. Similar rubbish was being said in 2002-03 before Koi Mil Gaya and Lakshya released, the same was being said after Kites and Guzaarish before ZNMD, Agneepath and Krrish 3 turned it around and now the stories of the cynics continues after the MJD debacle. All HR needs is to do more films (3 every 2 years) and manage the cost and marketing of his movies better as per the extent of the target audience they cater to. He can take a cue out of Akshay's book in this regard. Over the last 2-3 years Akshay has mastered the art of doing medium budgeted, target audience specific films and promoting them to the fullest without going overboard with the costs. HR needs to do the same for now as he is no Salman or an Aamir who can deliver blockbuster with even 150 cr productions.


@Fan Not intentional. My mom feeds in the details, she is out on a vacation and I missed out on filling the details. Will do it in a couple of days.

Anuj :

Rustom is a silly courtroom drama filled with loopholes that's more funny than engaging. Its okay for a one time watch as a pure "masala entertainer". However, Tinu Suresh Desai as director can never match up to the suspense and edge of seat moment that a Neeraj Pandey directorial venture can provide. The climax is hasty and feels more like a "fill in the blanks" exercise.


@Meeta: no worries and no hurries.


I just happened to notice that the section was missing - and hence I remarked.

ehinome okojie:

Now that sex comedies are not working, Rustom has filled the gap for them.
May be Masti 4 will have the three characters ogling in the courtroom of Bhai's hit and run case.

Abhi Sharma:

Nice Movie....Keep it up akshay....

ehinome okojie:

Custom defeats Mohenro Jadoo in all ramnifications except Budget.

ehinome okojie:

Rustom is unlikely to cross Dilwale (clash loser) domestically and Akshay Kumar is jumping about. In fact the overseas collection of Bajirao Mastani. Rustom and Mohenjo Daro put together may even be less than that of Dilwale.


Hahaha...funny to see that the distribution disaster Dullwale still has takers.
RUSTOM ->urban entertainer->50% target audience->2300 screens->1.4 cr footfalls

DILWALE->mass entertainer->universal audience->3300 screens->1.6 cr footfalls.

Only a mathematics failure would not get this dynamics. Overseas is hyped humbug anyways as even the biggest of grossers like PK and 3 Idiots hardly record 1 cr footfalls from rest of the world. Its a known fact that the con artist has been a hige superstar among the overseas audience (which totally forms <5% of the total bollywood watching audience on this planet).


If at all Akshay's RUSTOM has an SRK equivalent in terms of target audience and genre, its gotta be the movie FAN. Now let's not get into a Rustim vs Fan comparison as it would be humiliating for the self proclaimed king to get owned by a second rung star who was a nobody during SRK's golden phase of the late 90's and early 2000's :P

ehinome okojie:

The Jungle Book vs Rustom
Bajirao Mastani vs Rustom
At least Fan did not collect 2 rupees like Joker.
If Rustom had clashed with TJB it would have been less than 95cr.

ehinome okojie:

India has a population of 125cr, so what is universal about 3.55cr footfalls of PK and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Very soon Hollywood films will take over India when the Khans are gone.

ehinome okojie:

The world does not revolve around any human. That star you are mocking is the richest Hindi film star of all time, has a successful marriage, is doing well socially, negatives smoking and drinking. Same with the actors of Rustom and Mohenjo Daro. You coming here to mock any of them will not get 0.1% of their wealth, fame, or relevance.

Anuj: now that u do not have any valid arguments to make you start typing nonsense about the so called "stars" and their wealth. No one is interested in these actors and the amount of wealth they possess and neither does anyone have an idea of whose the richest among them. Factually, they're all heavily overpaid and no one would deny that.

Regarding a 3.55 cr footfall being "universal", yes in a country of 1.25 cr population where the Hindi language is spoken and understood by 60% of the total number and where >50% of the population lives below poverty line, we cannot really expect anything >20% of the population to turn up and watch films in theaters in these times of expensive ticket prices and rampant online piracy. Include the number of people watching pirated films on torrent and the biggies would end up with over 10 cr viewership, just like the blockbusters of the 70's recorded 8-10 cr theatrical footfall during the days of single screen theaters and no internet.

And yeah, please keep your Jungle Book fantasy to yourself. TJB is a one off performer in India of "Titanic" proportions. A pea sized brain such as your's would not understand the concept of a "once in a generation" movie. As much as you slave around that worthless American jingoistic film factory called "Hollywood", it can never produce a movie which can record even 60% of the footfalls of the biggest Bollywood blockbuster of its times, forget overtake it! Even one in a generation films like Jungle Book have a footfall count of 1.8 cr which is about 50% lower than that of PK and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Now I know you're gonna give another stupid, nonsense response but spamming and harping gas is something that online trolls like yourself expertise in anyway!

ehinome okojie:

TJB makes half of PK collections in India but PK cannot make 1% of Star Wars: The Force Awakens collections in the United States.

ehinome okojie:

The Jungle Book has the best word of mouth since 3 Idiots.

ehinome okojie:

The Jungle Book finished SRK, what Bollywood failed to do.

ehinome okojie:

The Jungle Book did not get up to the number of screens that PK, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and Sultan had faced competition from Ki and Ka as well as Fan, no holiday hype, no star actor, animation. and a 12 yr old. What did the Khans, Roshan, Kumar, and Devgn collect when they were 12yrs old? zero rupees.
TJB is the biggest blockbuster in India in this decade. As per business Aashiqui 2 and Chaar Sahibzade are bigger blockbusters than D3, CE, K3, PK, and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. This makes Aditya Roy Kapoor and Harman Baweja as the big gainers of Bollywood in this decade.

ehinome okojie:

Hollywood is a big Industry and it makes profits all over the world. At least it does not produce useless arguments about who is a star or not. The first day collection of their debutantes in big releases grosses more than Mohenjodaro and Fan worldwide figures in 8 hours.

ehinome okojie:

Hollywood produces stars every 2 weeks and Bollywood has produced only HR in this century.


I wonder what slave of [Comment partially deleted because it is in bad taste] capitalism and jingoism (most of which is depicted in their pseudo nationalistic Hollywood films with 90% of them involving the world coming to an end) is doing on an Indian cinema review forum anyway. TJB's performance in India is a one off and its a once in a generation movie (something akin to Titanic). And NO, TJB has NOT carried the best WOM this decade among a "pan India" audience. TJB's wom was at best at par with Baahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijaan that too only among the urban tier 1 and semi urban tier 2 cities. That too with 50% of its collections coming from the Hindi version. [Comment partially deleted because it is a personal attack] can wait all their lives, no Hollywood movie would ever get beyond 60% of the footfalls of a Hindi language blockbuster in India in the next 50 years at least. As for a global audience, comparing an English language feature film with a Hindi language one is a futile exercise as at least 15% of the world's population is well versed with English as either their 1st, 2nd or 3rd language. Add to that America's famous crooked economic might which throws up its ugly face in every field every now and then! But yes, unlike the European nations and the far east, India is one of those rare countries where Hollywood still trails behind the local film factories by a distance and I am sure that distance would be maintained for a long time to come (unfortunate for the slaves of the [Comment partially deleted because it is in bad taste]!)


Awaiting 6 more comments of yap yap yap yap from the troll :P


@Anuj discussion on any film is alright on this forum.

Ehinome Okojie:

People enter into occupations to make money and so the amount of money a star makes is relevant as well as that of a film to its producers, distributors etc. I still maintain that the Khans are benefitting from a failed Bollywood system of harnessing young talents. If Bollywood does not address its shortcomings it will be undermined by a few Hollywood films. I wont discuss whether a Hollywood film will match Bollywood collections, the question is what next after the Khans or do we expect to see Varun Dhawan's son saying I want to watch an Aamir Khan film FDFS in 9yrs time. Moreover TJB had nothing new to offer and it outgrossed many Hindi films this year. The South is also threatening the Hindi market, apart from Aamir Khan starrers doing well in The US, China, South Korea and Hongkong, and Dilwale's extraordinary run in Malaysia (perhaps using DDLJ's legacy) I have not seen Bollywood expand its territory within or outside India. I guess its time to rethink how to get more money into the system, there are good looking and talented young guys and ladies who can give the Khans, Kumar, Devgn and Roshan a run for their fame and money and if Bollywood fails to get it right. Tamil, Telugu, and English language films will get the better of the Hindi film industry.


"People enter into occupations to make money and so the amount of money a star makes is relevant as well as that of a film to its producers, distributors etc."~ the money made by an actor through brand endorsements or his acting fee has nothing to do with his popularity among the audiences. An actor's popularity is purely about the footfalls and viewership generated by his films over a long period of time. As in 2016, Akshay Kumar is Hindi cinema's most profitable and highest paid actor as well as Hindi cinema's highest taxpayer. Does that imply that he's more popular than any of the Khans', Amitabh Bachchan or even Hrithik without ever delivering a 150 cr nett domestic grosser? I don't think do, although I guess dumb fansboys might disagree :P


A nice film, that is more fiction than fact - even though going into it I was under the impression that it will be the other way round. Although not a problem to have a fictional story based on a real life incident.

Knowing the real life incident, and having seen the first Bollywood attempt on this story (Achanak by Gulzar starring Vinod Khanna), I was expecting Rustom to be an open and shut case. But I was surprised. The film had sufficient twists to keep the viewers engaged. Although probably not required to show Rustom as the greatest of all in a way that nobody is able to figure out what he did and why he did it - and then allowing Rustom to explain it calmly. The same (showinh Rustom unbeatable) could have been done differently and better if the director would have chosen to do so.

Songs are good - well balanced in the film.

Performances are a let down though. Ileana has to wear the guilty look throughout, and Akshay is in full decorated navy uniform all the time (well almost all).

Akshay pulls off yet another film on soldier / loyalty to armed services and country / patriotism. He has really mastered this genre. Maybe he will be known as the Mr. Bharat of the 2000s?

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