Aren't we open to see bold films that deal into the gray areas of the relationships? Aren't we believing that Indian movies had come out of the stereotype comfort zones by discussing the infidelity and its aftermath in detail? By the time we thought that Bollywood movies are progressive, "Rustom" pushes the calendar back to few decades.
Rustom is about the Navy Commander Rustom Pavri, who finds one day that his wife Cynthia was cheating on him with his friend Vikram Makhija. Rustom confronts Vikram and results in killing him. The jury system acquits Rustom from the charge of murdering Vikram considering his patriotism. The story sounds really interesting while writing the synopis. Considering that this is a landmark case that altered the judiciary system in India, this plot would have been made more appealing but the movie is far from the expectation.
Cynthia didn't stray but was seduced by Vikram to take revenge on Rustom's actions by taking advantage of her loneliness. When Cynthia realises that she is continuing a mistake, Vikram shows his true colour and raises his hands against her. Rustom killed Vikram not because of the slained affair with his wife but to save the nation. There is no place for grey in this story. All & everyone are in black and white. Hero is a noble and brave soul, heroine is a dasmel in distress who can't go wrong when in senses and the 'other man' is always scheming and plotting. The basic premise of this story is the passion crime which was conveniently made to give way to patriotism.
The scream of artificiality is heard from every frame of the movie.. right from the set properties that resemble like soap opera to the cosmetic plastic expressions of the lead actors. The computer generated imagery creates a sense of the background projection of vintage Bombay while the lead actors were performing in front of that. Wronged Illeana D'Cruz and bereaved Esha Gupta are very particular about the lip shades being prim & proper. North Indian media was raving about Akshay Kumar's performance but all I could sense was that a stiff bodylanguage and staid expression are passed off as great performance.
The supporting cast too lets down the movie in a big time with the Anang Desai as Judge leads the buffoonery pack followed by Sachin Khedekar as Public Prosecutor. The comic relief is provided by Usha Nadkarni as Jamnabai as the elderly maid. The notable cameos were played by Kumud Mishra, playing the opportunist Billimoria, a Parsi newspaper rag owner and Pawan Malhotra as Lobo, the police investigating officer (best known for playing Hari in the old Doorsharshan soap, “Nukkad”).
Cinematography by Santhosh C Thundiyil gives the drama feeling whereas the music by Jeet Ganguly and team has something nice but contemporary to hear.
To sum it up, it would have been a better movie if the movie concentrated on the internal conflicts within a marital relationship rather than covering it up with a patriotic facade.