Antim Movie Review Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 stars
Star Cast: Salman Khan, Aayush Sharma, Mahesh Manjrejkar, Sachin Khedekar, Mahima Makwana
Director: Mahesh Manjrekar
What’s Good: It’s not a bad copy of a great film & all thanks to Mahesh Manjrekar’s direction, Aayush Sharma’s efforts
What’s Bad: Like an unprepared yet sincere student, it only copies to get passing marks & not aim at scoring distinction
Loo Break: Take one only if you want to meet Salman fans outside who thought this would be more about bhai & less about his bhai-in-law!
Watch or Not?: The only scenario I’d recommend you to watch this is if you desperately want a theatre experience after the long break (If not, wait for ’83 or re/watch Mulshi Pattern)
Available On: Theatrical Release
Runtime: 150 Minutes
It starts with Inspector Rajveer Singh’s (Salman Khan) voiceover throwing light on how many farmers were forced to sell their land at cheap prices to people with influence and power. One such farmer is Sakharam Patil (Sachin Khedekar) who loses the job of working on his own farm which he sold to a rich businessman. This enrages the sense of revenge in Sakharam’s son Rahul (Aayush Sharma) who then joins Pune’s criminal gang led by Nanya Bhai (Upendra Limaye).
While making name for himself Rahul starts losing people close to him for the brute beast he was turning into. He then faces the smart police officer in Rajveer who tries to eliminate him by staying within the ‘unfair’ boundaries of the law. Rajveer plays with the ego of various criminal gangs to make them clash with each other. This strategy, though half-baked, helps him to clean the corrupt scum spread by treacherous villains like Rahul.
Antim Movie Review: Script Analysis
Mahesh Manjrekar tweaks Pravin Tarde’s OG script with the help of Abhijeet Deshpande, Siddharth Salvi but misses to lay a similar base for emotions & drama. Comparisons are bound to happen if you adopt a classic & that’s what hits Antim as a film the most. The OG story runs as a flashback of a heart-thumping chase sequence of the anti-hero, but Mahesh follows a simple linear route dampening the intrigue to some extent.
The white shade of Rahul’s character in Mulshi Pattern is highlighted brightly in the first 10 minutes when his character gives an emotional speech about how much he hates his father’s decisions and the way he asks permission from his friend before shifting to another city. Over there (Mulshi Pattern), Rahul & Vitthal’s (played by Upendra Limaye who plays the role of crime-lord Nanya in Antim) chemistry scores extra in drama with scenes like inspector always trying to button him up which is used as an emotional moment towards the end.
That one ends by mentioning how the film is a tight slap to all the farmers who sold their land dirt cheap, this one focuses more on things that hardly matter such as the love track between Rahul, Manda & hence fails to do the most important thing which the original did i.e. evoke empathy against the helpless farmers. Here, Mahesh Manjrekar skips many many such fine points which could easily have elevated the drama quotient.
Though Karan Rawat’s camerawork is a smooth ride even through the well-choreographed fight sequences, the dim colour theme gets too dull to blend in with the heavy dosage of action happening on-screen. Editor Bunty Nagi doesn’t get anything as challenging as Rameez Dalal, Mayur Hardas & Akshay Salve had for Mulshi Pattern due to its non-linear style of storytelling.
Antim Movie Review: Star Performance
Let’s face it, we all knew to do what Om Bhutkar did in the original would take a seasonal actor to match & this is just the second film of Aayush Sharma. So it was never about if Aayush could do better than Om, it was always about how good/worse can he be & he’s done a respectable job at being Rahul. Though the story limitation doesn’t allow him to grow as much as a character as Om did, Aayush gives an earnest performance with all the pressure. He doesn’t get as good dialogues as Om, which is one of the few reasons why he falls short in exploring the ‘lunatic’ shade of Rahul’s character.
Salman Khan is nowhere as impactful as the no-nonsense, law-abiding policeman as Upendra Limaye was in the original. This remains to be the most-tweaked character to stuff more ‘bhai-ness’ to it, hence taking away from an already interesting arc built before. Mahesh Manjrejkar mirrors his performance from the Marathi version & he’s as usual flawless at it.
Sachin Khedekar replaces Mohan Joshi facing the similar burnt of script-tweaking issues. Performance-wise he balances drama as well as Joshi but because it’s weak compared to the before, he doesn’t get as much affection. Mahima Makwana gets to display more of Manda than the original & she makes sure to make the most of it. Though the extension of her track doesn’t add much value to the overall script, her presence is surely magnetic & she should only shine from here.
Upendra Limaye as Nanya Bhai never aims to match the magic created by Pravin Tarde, he plays the very important character in his own style and manages to achieve the desired impact brutally yet beautifully. Jisshu Sengupta & Nikitin Dheer as leaders of the rival gangs are just about okay without getting much to explore.
Antim Movie Review: Direction, Music
From frame one, Mahesh Manjrekar proves why he just doesn’t want Antim to be a copy-paste of Mulshi Pattern. That decision goes in both ways for the film, it hammers the most beautiful moments of the film whilst trying to be slightly different from what fans have already seen. Despite the flaws, Mahesh’s style of handling the subject keeps Antim at a bay being unable to move too much but enough to not bore you to death.
Ravi Basrur’s (KGF: Chapter 1) background score keeps an accurate balance between retaining what’s already worked and adding new pieces. For the songs, I’ll be at my calmest best and say they suck big time! Bhai Ka Birthday is as close to Ararara as close Masakali 2.0 was to Masakali. There’s no song replacement for Mulshi Pattern’s best song ‘Abhala’ which was a major reason why the original’s second half struck the right chord. The love song by Jubin Nautiyal & item song makes no sense.
Antim Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, I won’t be comfortable suggesting this to anyone in a world where Mulshi Pattern exists. Even as a standalone project, this would stand alone instead of running & roaring as its Marathi counterpart.
Two and a half stars!
Antim Movie Trailer
Antim: The Final Truth releases on 26th November, 2021.
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