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HomeEntertainmentSarfira Movie Review |

Sarfira Movie Review |

Devesh Sharma

Sudha Kongara’s Sarfira is a remake of her Tamil film Soorarai Pottru (2020), starring Suriya, which itself was based on Captain GR Gopinath’s book Simply Fly: A Deccan Odyssey. The Tamil superstar is one of the producers of the film and has also graced it with a small cameo.

It’s an inspiring tale about a common man who dared to dream big. The film revolves around Veer Janardan Mhatre (Akshay Kumar), the son of a school teacher in a Maharashtrian village situated in the deep interiors, who decides to start a low-cost airline that can be aspirational for even the less privileged. But with his inspiration, Paresh Goswami (Paresh Rawal), a leader in the aviation industry, trying his best to ensure that this dream doesn’t take off, will Veer be able to reach for the sky without burning his wings?

Sarfira is an Akshay Kumar film all the way. After the debacle of Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, he sort of gets a chance to remind his fans that he’s a performer who can still sink his teeth into a role, given the chance. That he’s still the Akshay Kumar we’ve come to associate with films like Pad Man (2018), Mission Mangal (2020), Mission Raniganj (2023), where he played characters based on real-life heroes and had a ball doing so. It’s Akshay’s most emotional film in a while. So, be prepared to bring an extra handkerchief or a box of tissues, as some scenes are aimed straight to get your tear ducts flowing. Be it the dramatic scene where he begs for money from passengers in an airport to visit his ailing father or his breakdown in front of his mother (Seema Biswas) – who is terrific indeed – or his pronounced hesitation while asking for a loan from his wife, Rani (Radhika Madan), the actor brings home the point that he can handle emotional scenes as well as the stunts he’s famous for.

The Veer-Rani relationship is one of the film’s major plus points. They are both individuals who are crazy about their high-flying dreams. Rani’s dream of running a bakery might seem small compared to Veer’s at first glance, but director Sudha Kongara has underlined the fact that a woman’s dreams are as important as a man’s and that a woman doesn’t need to be married to be happy. She can choose to be an entrepreneur too. Rani keeps poking at the patriarchy at every given opportunity. She rejects Veer at first because she was rejected by 20 men before that and wanted to turn the tables. And she makes it clear from the start that her work is as important as her husband’s and he should respect that. Radhika Madan has acted confidently in front of Akshay and not once has let her awe for the superstar creep into her performance. She’s got the Marathi diction down pat, despite being a Delhi girl. She serves as the emotional core of the film and isn’t just there for the show.

Right from its beginning, the film shows us how the nexus between capitalists and bureaucrats has been instrumental in crushing anyone who wants to join the big league. And Paresh Rawal’s character is the personification of that nexus. Rawal plays the smooth-faced villain with characteristic panache. His character is someone who, ironically enough, hails from a humble background himself but doesn’t want another young dreamer to prosper. The actor essays his role with ruthless efficiency, and his deceitful ways make you root for the hero even more. Though after a point, the hurdles that the antagonist puts in front of the protagonist begin to feel repetitive. There seems to be no end to Veer’s woes, making the film seem a bit overlong.

While there’s a distinct chemistry between Akshay Kumar and Radhika Madan, the raw sensuality we saw crackling between Suriya and Aparna Balamurali in the original film is missing. But they’re different actors, and this is a different film. It also doesn’t touch upon the caste angle like the original. We noticed that Rani gets to run a sprawling bakery cum restaurant in the middle of Mumbai, and the couple also live in a colony – or is it supposed to be a slum – right next to the airport. They’re not exactly rich, so how are they able to afford all that? These are minor glitches and don’t eat into your viewing pleasure.

Air Deccan paved the way for low-cost airlines. The established players too benefitted from its philosophy. But GR Gopinath’s story has so much more to offer. We were hopeful that in the remake, Sudha Kongara might have taken the story forward, but that’s not the case.

Watch the film for its story depicting the rise of an underdog. And for the inspired acting displayed by Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, and the ensemble cast.

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