Film Review: Toolsidas Junior (2022)

Toolsidas (Rajiv Kapoor) is a snooker player who, every year, loses the final of the Snooker Championship to Jimmy Tandon (Dilip Tahil). Humiliated by the losing streak, Toolsidas’s son Midi vows to learn snooker and defeat his father’s rival and settle the dust.

Toolsidas Junior is the director Mridul Mahendra‘s story. So if this story is true then he holds the liberty to dramatize his account if he wants to. It is an interesting story and from the cinematic point of view, a very predictable film. Besides, this story is unable to justify its importance due to extremely weak filmmaking that subdues plotholes and stretches the script needlessly.

Due to inexperience in film direction, the director fails to understand what scenes didn’t need to stretch and which scenes had the potential to expand. Just for an example, Midi’s coach arrives in the tournament’s final to watch him. The staff knows him and are surprised that he is none other than the former Snooker champion who trained him; and here the audience will realize that there was something about the coach the director failed to include – some character development. Our instincts will develop a theory here that perhaps they knew him personally or met in their primes. It would have been so better if the director had bothered to reflect on the coach’s character.

The first forty minutes of screen time gave me a regret-feel because the buildup in the plot was unimpressive and a needless comedy was very forced. The writing of this film was really below-par.

Sanjay Dutt as Midi’s coach Mohammad Salaam is the biggest plus of the film. After a long time, the audience will get excited to watch his performance. In his usual baba-style, it looks very inspiring when he tries to inject spirit in Midi that the game is not played for winning but for playing. The Midi kid Varun Buddhadev was quite an excellent selection and showed some glimpses of acting promises.

I just don’t understand one point. What took so long for Rajiv Kapoor to return to the film industry? He returned to the silver screen in more than thirty years. I am not saying that he was impressive but he fairly played his role and I feel he could have been in a lot of films doing some average or above-average supporting roles. Unfortunately, this was Rajiv’s final film as he died last year. Therefore, Toolsidas Junior is a posthumous release.

One thing I liked about the film is that I happened to watch a sports drama based on a very different sport. So India doesn’t stick to one sport and the filmmakers are eager to focus on different sports stories. Yes, I believe that the film deserved a better director to give justice to Mridul’s story.