Antim: The Final Truth (2021) Review!!

Synopsis – Rahulya is a penniless village boy with a dream of being Pune’s biggest don. Policeman Rajveer Singh watches this unassuming boy rise up the ranks & is frustrated as Rahulya manages to use his connections to slip out of police custody time and again. With Rajveer at his heels, Rahulya still manages to easily reach the top, but soon loses sight of why he ever wanted to ascend the ranks.

My Take – I think by now we all know what to expect from a Salman Khan starrer. Films which are specifically made to cater to his wide and dutifully loyal fan base who still expect the 55 year old actor to follow the template they adore him for.

From slow motion entries, to physics defining fight sequences, to powerful yet throwaway punch lines, and of course a pinch of romancing and dancing, Salman Khan‘s latest too contains all the known ingredients, however, in a surprising turn of events, he is not the one pulling weight, but instead takes a backseat and allows his one film-old brother-in-law Aayush Sharma to become the film’s center piece.

And even more surprising is the fact that despite being a typical entertainer straight out of the 90s, this remake of the 2018 Marathi film, Mulshi Pattern, has a lot more going for it that elevates it from being just another superficial film that Salman Khan chooses to attach himself to.

For starters, director Mahesh Manjrekar has a tight grip on the film that confronts sociopolitical issues like land grabbing and the plight of farmers who are forced to work as indentured laborers in their own land amidst the rise of the multinationals and power-hungry politicians.

Sure, with the focus more on the gangster side of the story, the film is quite reminiscent of director Manjrekar‘s very own Vaastav (1999), but amidst the over-the-top drama and loud action sequences, given the current sentiment in the country regarding the plight of farmers, the film manages to somewhat touch a chord.

The story follows Rahul (Aayush Sharma), a jobless son of a farmer who upon seeing the plight of his father (Sachin Khedekar) a former wrestler turned farmer, and many others being suppressed and deprived of their rightful ancestral land turns to the world of crime in a quest to uplift his and his family’s life after their farmland is usurped by a scrupulous landowner.

With the support of Pune’s most influential goon Nanya (Upendra Limaye) behind him, Rahul becomes known as Rahulya and quickly rises through the ranks, creating terror among the rich, only revealing his vulnerable side to Manda (Mahima Makwana) a headstrong tea stall owner.

Though he garners more enemies with time, Rahulya finds his biggest obstacle in Rajveer Singh (Salman Khan), an intelligent police officer who while fighting his own silent battle against the system, is determined to clean the streets of city irrespective of the bloodshed and means.

Sure, quality wise this one is no Vaastav, and at times also quite derivative of several gangster classics like Deewar (1975) and both Agneepath (1990 and 2012), but, despite its seen-before bravado, director Mahesh Manjrekar successfully keeps the interest going till right till the end. The cat-and-mouse game between Rahulya and Rajveer is played out well, with the latter offsetting the hard-hitting and grit of the film with his quintessential swag and subtle comic timing.

Be it Rahulya’s aggression, Rajveer’s virtues, the righteousness of Rahulya’s family or the ruthlessness of the antagonists, the action of the characters look real and well-shaped up. Though action and the dramatics are the mainstay, the romance between Manda and Rahulya also earns its notes of likeability. The film also gives a brutal message of how the wrongdoings and injustice towards one’s own family can vanish all the innocence and throw oneself into a shrewd and tumultuous path.

However the biggest success of the film comes in the form of Aayush Sharma. After making a passable debut with Loveyatri (2018), here, Aayush totally owns the role with his dark intensity shining through and his emotive visage reflecting the unabashed joy of power as well as the pangs of being separated from those he loves the most.

He triggers anger in you, makes you want to hate him, and then there are shades in Rahulya’s character that evoke empathy, too. But most importantly, he doesn’t hide behind Salman Khan‘s larger than life personality, but instead takes him head on with utmost confidence.

Debutante Mahima Makwana, also manages to stands out with a confidence performance despite being handed over an underwritten character. In a massive surprise, this film probably contains Salman Khan‘s most restrained performance in a decade. Despite playing a cop third time in a row (following Dabangg 3 and Radhe), he never goes his usual over the top, and generously offers up the screen for Aayush to shine through.

In supporting roles, Sachin Khedekar, Upendra Limaye, Nikitin Dheer, Jisshu Sengupta, Sayaji Shinde and Mahesh Manjrekar play their parts well. On the whole, ‘Antim: The Final Truth’ is an enjoyable cop vs gangster story which will surely impresses the masses.

Directed –

Starring – Salman Khan, Mahima Makwana, Aayush Sharma

Rated – PG15

Run Time – 138 minutes

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