Toofan Review (No Spoilers): Really Makes Me Appreciate Sultan

Well, I watched it! And it was super frustrating! Very good bit-bad bit, good bit-bad bit, and on and on. I’m recommending it if you really like Farhan Akhtar (he is super charming), and if you are desperate for a romance (there’s a sweet one). But I am not recommending it as a movie as a whole because it is way WAY too confused.

I saw that some reviews were calling it “predictable”. Predictable is good! Predictable is fine! Especially with sports movies. The point isn’t the destination, it’s the journey. If anything, I think this movie should have been MORE predictable. It just meanders, the points got muddled up, I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be feeling. The love story worked, and Farhan worked, but then the film threw in all this other stuff that just didn’t work.

Farhan Akhtar Drops A New Poster From Toofan, Trailer Out On This Date -  Social News XYZ

Again, made me appreciate Sultan!!! This film should have been Sultan, really. The broad strokes of the plot are almost identical, but it makes different choices which are far far worse. Sultan isn’t perfect, but it had a point and a focus and knew what it was doing. This thing is just a disaster.

Maybe it is because Raykesh Omprakesh Mehra can’t do a straightforward movie? This is as straightforward as I have ever seen from him, no weird time leaps back and forth, no strange philosopher wandering around the edges, just a 6 year story that goes start to finish in chronological order. But it doesn’t feel in order, it feels more confused than if it were full of flashbacks. Maybe he should have leaned into his natural style and jumped back and forth in time so at least it would be thematically tied together? Instead of feeling all messy?

What’s frustrating is that there is so much good within the mess, primarily in the love story. Farhan and Mrunal have great chemistry, and a really unusual sort of love story. She gets to be a mature adult along with him, they get to make their own decisions and stick with them, they fight and make up like mature adult people not like poetic drama queens. Vijay Raaz is there and his few scenes are very VERY strong. Supriya Pathak, also great. But just not enough of her. Not enough of any of that good stuff.

I guess the problem with the film boils down to two things. First, Paresh Rawal. The film expects me to care about his character way more than I do (meaning, more than “0”). So every time it goes back to him I tended to lose interest, and it went back to him A LOT. Second, filming fight scenes. Boxing scenes are really really hard to film in a way that works. But when it does work, it is incredibly powerful. The Rocky movies, the Creed movies, the Ali biopic, they all had these spectacular set pieces that just Worked. And it makes people think it’s easy, think you can just film a fight and the audience will get it. But, nope! The fights here are well-filmed, as in, the camera moves around and they are properly lit and all of that. But whatever magic is necessary to make us feel something just isn’t there. A boxing movie has to make us feel the fights, make us care, make us see them as the culmination of something. We got that in Sultan, we got that in Dangal, but not here.

So, I am going a qualified recommendation. Nice love story, charming Farhan, a lot of stuff you won’t care about.

16 thoughts on “Toofan Review (No Spoilers): Really Makes Me Appreciate Sultan

  1. Ugh! I was worried about this. Obviously, I still plan to watch the movie, but thank you for keeping my expectations low. I was really hoping it was a predictable feel-good movie, but now I’m thinking they tried to do too much and muddled everything up.

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    • Yes. Also, there is a suffering older uppercaste Hindu Man. Feel his PAIN! Worry about him! Put him always FIRST!!!!

      On Wed, Jul 21, 2021 at 10:56 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

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      • UGH!!!! This is already annoying me, and I haven’t even seen the movie yet. But I have to watch it right? It’s a romantic sports movie and it has Farhan! That should be my perfect combination!

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  2. And Farhan was just too old! No way ANY boxing coach would take on a newbie that old, no matter how strong or motivated. And there was too much boxing in this boxing movie. I get that the film makers wanted to show off Farhan’s fabulous body but come on! Give us some backstory!
    Give us more about his relationship with Vijay Raaz, not some throwaway line stating that Vijay raised him.
    I was very disappointed in this movie The writers and director would have done well to review the Rocky franchise, Creed, or Raging Bull. And the 1956 film, Somebody Up There Likes Me, a Rocky Graziano biopic starring Paul Newman. It has a very similar story line. And it has Paul Newman.
    Final thought – as buff as Farhan was, never ONCE did I see him chasing a chicken.

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  3. I felt a little tempted when you said it has a nice love story but then I thought it won’t be as good as Mukabaaz so why bother

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    • That’s the name of the movie! I was watching this thinking “I feel like there was another boxer love story everyone was excited about, but I can’t remember what it was”

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      • Yes. And in Mukabaaz the casteist upper class guy is the villain and we are supposed to hate and fear him instead of treating him like a baby.

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  4. Sarpatta Parambarai on Amazon is so much better as a sports and a boxing film. Pa Ranjit directed it and stars Arya in the lead role. All other characters in the film are good though the women do not get very substantial roles. John Vijay who plays Daddy is really good. He acted in Vaa and Oram Po which are really good films by Pushkar-Gayathri (Vikram Vedha directors).

    Liked by 1 person

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