Akshay Kumar is here with his third film of 2016.
The trailer of Rustom, which features him alongside Esha Gupta and Ileana D'Cruz premiered early on Thursday morning
Inspired by the sensational real-life murder of Prem Ahuja in 1959 by commander KS Nanavati, the film has been directed by Tinu Suresh Desai and produced by Akshay's frequent collaborator Neeraj Pandey.
While the story in itself is worthy of a cinematic narrative, the treatment of Rustom looks like a massive period-movie cliche. For instance, Titles appearing in the form of newspaper headlines? Check.
The dialogue is deprived of subtleties and sounds obnoxiously heavy and jingoistic.
Whatever we can see of the film itself harks back to a dated Bollywood aesthetic, including done-and-dusted depictions of courtroom proceedings in which the only time the judge speaks is when he yells 'Order, order!'. Meanwhile, the film's look isn't convincing at all — the colours look too bright, the contrast is too high, and the make-up the actors are wearing is all-too-visible.
Hopefully, these elements will not overpower the film's overall story, which is pretty gripping. In the past, the Nanavati murder case became the basis for the Ashok Kumar-Leela Naidu-starrer Yeh Rastey Hain Pyar Ke (1963). More recently, Pooja Bhat announced plans of making a film on the case called Love Affair.
Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet (2015) also alluded to the notorious case as one of the film's characters -- Manish Chaudhary's Jimmy Mistry -- was based on the journalist Russi Karanjia, the fiery editor of Blitz. The tabloid played a very important role in swaying public opinion in favour of Nanavati, effectively overturning the entire case, as was documented in author Gyan Prakash's Mumbai Fables.
Rustom is set to open in theatres on August 12.