RUSTOM Movie Review: A competently crafted suspense story & courtroom drama


It’s a well crafted, characterized, and performed film that keeps you engaged until the end. Even cameo performances by actors are enjoyable. It’s a deadly combo of period-realism, romance, courtroom drama about a crime of passion, whodunit, and a thriller. It also has some genuinely funny moments.

Loosely based on Nanavati Case of 1959, it conveniently uses many elements of the original story to add touches of realism to a fictional and juiced up Bollywood tale.

The film is set in the Bombay of late fifties and early sixties. Indian Navy Officer Commander Rustom Pavri (Akshay Kumar) returns from a truncated voyage to find his wife Cynthia Pavri (Ileana D'Cruz) missing from home. His maidservant informs him that Cynthia has not returned home since the previous night. Rustom discovers love letters written to Cynthia by Vikram Makhija (Arjan Bajwa), a family friend, a rich car and arms dealer and a well-known debauch. Rustom goes to Vikram’s house and sees Cynthia there. He is upset. Cynthia returns home. Rustom stays calm. Next day he goes to his ship, gets a pistol duly issued in his name from the ship’s armory, visits Vikram’s office and after not finding him there, goes to his house and kills him and later surrenders to the police with the murder weapon. The case is committed to the court for a jury trial. Rustom defends himself and pleads ‘Not Guilty’. During the trial we get to know the background story of the key characters and various plots and sub-plots. One of them is also about corruption in arms deal.

The period has been as authentically recreated as possible within the limitations of the budget. The production designer deserves kudos. The film is shot well too. The smartly developed screenplay successfully juggles various elements and plot lines to keep the story riveting and engaging till the end. The dialogues are well written as well. The actors have performed to the best of their abilities. It’s a competent job done. It’s not a classic yet it entertains in a pulp fiction kind of way.

Is it an exceptional film? No.

Rajesh Kumar Singh

Directed by: Tinu Suresh Desai, Produced by: Neeraj Pandey, Aruna Bhatia, Nittin Keni, Akash Chawla, Virender Arora, Ishwar Kapoor, Shital Bhatia
Written by: Vipul K. Rawal, Based on: K. M. Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra,Starring: Akshay Kumar, Ileana D'Cruz, Arjan Bajwa, Esha Gupta, Music by: Ankit Tiwari, Jeet Ganguly, Raghav Sachar, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Cinematography: Santosh Thundiyil, Production company: Zee Studio, KriArj Entertainment
Cape Of Good Films, Plan C Studios, Distributed by: Zee Studios