Okay, first of all, this is Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra‘s film who has the distinction to have directed some critically acclaimed Dilli-themed pictures like Rang De Basanti, Delhi-6, and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. So you expect him to deliver another masterpiece remembering how excellent those films were. Unfortunately, that is not the case this time. Something is wrong with Toofan. Not something, a lot of things.
The Rakeysh-Farhan magical combo from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag had too much at stake to surpass the hype of presenting another sports drama on the same line of sublime artistry. But perhaps Rakeysh overthought about the consequences and lost in execution.
One thing about Toofan being a sports drama is that in the first hour, you as a viewer ask yourself do you actually need to watch just another boxing story with stereotypical content. Why am I watching? The first half an hour makes you think how is it any different from any other boxing dramas you have watched. It is sooo sooo predictable.
And then the love angle, where you get the obviousness of the sub-plot connections for the next 30 minutes in rolling. The best friend of the leading character being the most best friend thing ever. The strictest coach rejecting the boxer in the beginning and getting impressed later enough to take him to the competition. The dialogues are less-inspiring.
The score is okayish and the tracks (besides ‘Ananya’ track) sound like some old unused tracks from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy‘s warehouse finally getting played. The reason I say this is because Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to Excel Entertainment is what A.R.Rahman is to Madras Talkies, mostly giving top-class music and tracks throughout their career.
Even Rakeysh’s direction lost grip on many scenes where he could have made an impact. He badly missed using Farhan and Paresh‘s talents to use in the tragedy scenes when Farhan sees the body at the platform and Paresh throws the ashes in the sea. They could have done wonders there. And Supriya Pathak is terribly wasted in such a short character.
After an hour when the coach realizes who Toofan loves is exactly when the film gets interesting. Out of 160 screen minutes, it is the middle part that is the heart of the film that has nothing to do with boxing. A Muslim boxer marrying a Hindu doctor and breaking stereotypes is something I wanted to see in the film and has been depicted so well. The rising conflicts of an interfaith marriage is a subject less challenged in writing.
Farhan’s body transformation and those exercises are also the best portions of the film. In acting, Farhan didn’t come up to the Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara levels. It was Paresh Rawal who played an excellent supporting role.
For the sake of the middle portion of the plotting, Toofan deserved better writing, a potential screenplay to run on the sensitive blades of the content which the film terribly missed.