Good performances, but this Toofan lacks the punch

Good performances, but this Toofan lacks the punch

New Delhi, July 17, 2021

Stories of fallen sporting heroes reclaiming their honour and getting back into limelight through their grit and resilience has been a favourite genre of Bollywood.

In the past, Bollywood has come up with several films like Saina, Dhaakad and Sultaan, which narrated the stories of sporting heroes making a comeback to the sport through their sheer will after a lean patch or after remaining away from the sport for several years.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Toofan is a story of boxer Aziz Ali's rise to prominence after being away from the sport for several years.

Ajju Bhai (Farhan Akhtar) is an extortionist who works under a local gangster (Vijay Raaz) in Mumbai’s Dongri. After a meeting with Ananya (Mrunal Thakur), a doctor, Ajju is inspired to take up boxing. After convincing renowned boxing coach Nana Prabhu (Paresh Rawal), he begins training and soon emerges as a top boxer, Aziz Ali. The film shows the journey, sacrifices, and triumphs that come the way of Aziz Ali as he fulfils his passion.

The story of street fighter Ajju's rise to become a known face in the world of sports and his comeback after several years is a promising one which has the necessary ingredients for an exciting thriller.

However, the screenplay of the film is weak and fails to translate the story into an adrenaline pumping fare.

Toofaan lacks the thrill value that is a prerequisite for lending an element of interest in such a story.

There is no flow of adrenaline as you watch Ajju's rise from a street fighter to a name to reckon with in the field of boxing. Again, the story of Aziz Ali's comeback to the sport after several years fails to leave you excited.

While the boxing bouts of Aziz Ali with his opponents are a treat to watch, the proceedings fail to give you a sense of high.

In this sense, Mehra's Toofan fails to measure up to his last film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.

On the positive side, the film is a visual delight with scenes of various locations in Mumbai coming across as eye-filling.

Another highlight of the film are its performances. Farhan Akhtar gives another effective and dependable performance as Aziz Ali. He masters the boxing techniques well and his boxing bouts in the film are eminently watchable.

Thakur impresses with her natural performance as Ananya. Paresh Rawal and Hussain Dalal are quite effective as Aziz Ali's coach and friend, respectively.

The rest of the cast, including Supriya Pathak and Mohan Agashe and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (in a brief appearance) lend able support.

In short, Toofaan is a story of a sportsperson rising from obscurity to prominence that lacks the required punch and adrenaline flow.

My Rating: 2.5/5 - one for story, one for performances by Farhan Akhtar, Mrunal Thakur and Paresh Rawal and 0.5 for cinematography.


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