Sarfira’ will hit theatres on July 12

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The thing with remakes is that it’s easy to call the bad ones out. Fortunately for Akshay Kumar’s ‘Sarfira’, the Hindi remake is directed by Sudha Kongara, who also directed the original Tamil film – ‘Soorarai Pottru’. Starring south superstar Suriya in the lead role, the Tamil film had a lot going for it. So how does one top the original or even come close to it? Well, the answer lies in the attention to detail and how well you interpret the film in a totally different setting. Sarfira’ is based on the true story of GR Gopinath who pioneered the first low-cost airline in India. Hailing from a small village, he decided to dream big and overcame many obstacles on the path before making his dreams come true.

In ‘Sarfira’, Akshay Kumar plays Vir Mhatre, an ex-army officer who has faced rejection at the hands of his superiors but has never given up. His ambition of providing affordable air travel to millions of Indians is a dream that finds several thorns in its path to success. The biggest one being air tycoon Paresh Goswami (Paresh Rawal), who makes sure every step that Vir takes is setback immediately. But Vir is not alone in this fight. He has his feisty wife Rani (Radhika Madan) by his side and an entire village to support his endeavour. But does he achieve what he’s set out to do and will Paresh kill his spirit and clip his wings? ‘Sarfira’ answers not just these questions but reflects much more. Sudha Kongara’s writing and her staging of scenes are the major highlights of the film. From the very first scene of a plane declaring ‘Mayday’ to deep diving into the psyche of Vir and his never-die attitude, the film has several high points. Kongara also takes Akshay Kumar back to the basics. The actor has made a solid comeback in a performance that is so rooted. His emotional scene when he breaks down in front of his mother, played by the brilliant Seema Biswas, is a reminder of how an actor should surrender to his director to be able to deliver an honest performance. Akshay’s portrayal of Vir Mhatre shows strife and struggle that often makes for engaging cinema. Despite his superstar status, he becomes the common man and shines in several scenes that allow him to emote and perform. Radhika Madan is absolutely brilliant in a performance that makes you wonder why filmmakers aren’t giving her such diverse roles. Her initial scenes with Akshay where they get to know each other are a highlight in the film. Paresh Rawal’s character is evil and his jugalbandi with Akshay will remind you of their timing and cinematic chemistry over the years. On the flip side, the editing of ‘Sarfira’ is a bit lazy. The film could have easily been cut by 20 minutes and the songs are an avoidable distraction, providing no relief. However, Suriya’s cameo towards the end makes up for the fatigue that starts to set in due to the long length. ‘Sarfir’ is a return to form for Akshay Kumar and definitely worth a watch for the real-life drama it portrays

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