There’s something annoyingly narcissistic about calling yourself a Boss man. What happened to good ol’ humility, a quality sorely lacking in the leading man in our films.
Anyhow, the idea is to be flamboyant and entertaining, and the character is both. (Boss is remake of Malayalam film Pokkiri Raja.)
This Boss (Akshay Kumar) wears rings that spell his title, lives in a mansion straight out of a fairytale, has colour co-ordinated chamchas who bend to turn into a chair for him, and he’s nursing an emotional wound. Cut to melodramatic flashback.
The father (Mithun Chakraborty) is a schoolmaster and we’re to believe he is a very nice man because he has a name like Satyakant. When Boss is little, he has a fight with a school bully. Satyakant, instead of hearing both sides, hits his own son. And then locks the two boys in a room to sort out differences.
The film tries to show us he’s principled and stern, but what we get is a quasi-comical, uptight guy who just needs to breathe. There’s a difference between upright and uptight, guys! Anyhow, circumstances create a wedge between father and son, and Boss moves away.
The adult Akshay’s intro scene has him somersault and all, with the super reading -‘Akshay Kumar ‘in’ and ‘as’ Boss. Just in case you got confused.
His father’s still sulking. The poor guy does a lot of filmi things—he emotionally touches the ground his father walks on, keeps his scarf (gamcha) with him like precious treasure, and looks at him like a fan-boy. But the father doesn’t melt.
Enter conflict in the name of Ayushman Thakur (Ronit Roy) a bad cop who’s in cahoots with the Home Minister who keeps complaining that “election sar par hai”.
A love triangle develops when the politician’s son falls for Ayushman’s sister (Aditi Rao Hydari) who loves Boss’s younger brother (Shiv Pandit).
The two sing a song and proceed to suck the soul out of the iconic – ‘Har Kisi Ko Nahin Milta, Yahan Pyaar…’
Meanwhile, Boss can’t fight unless he has background music, and stops beating up some goons till his bodyguards make some impromptu music. Then he says his signature line.
One understands what Akshay’s doing here. He’s doing a Salman. But Akshay does make the role his own. Whether it’s the swagger, the Haryanavi twang, the ‘I’m-a-good- guy-beneath-all-the-muscles’ demeanour. Plus it’s a role that really amuses you, although intermittently. He’s helped by loads of gimmicks of course— his sweat can make a plant grow, he holds a meeting on top of a truck and so on.
Then something happens to the film— it becomes boring. The father-son saga continues like a saas-bahu serial, with the same situations repeating themselves.
About the only interesting scene one can recollect is the ‘dargah’ scene that’s genuinely smart. Countered by the worst joke in the film – a truck named ‘Behen Ki Lorry’ gifted to Boss by his sister (for saving her from rape of course). Absolutely barf-inducing.
That’s typical of Sajid-Farhad’s writing—you can’t quite nail it.
Director Anthony D’Souza (Blue) makes sure music videos keep popping up in the form of songs. The puny Honey Singh makes an appearance in one, talking about a girl in “knickers”. Later, an alleged rape is introduced very casually as a plot point to get even with Boss and his brother.
Things hurtle towards the finale, which is bluntly put, nuts. The bad and good guy rip off shirts (their own), reveal their gym bodies, and fight till the predictable ending. Then something happens that had most of us crack up despite ourselves. That finale emotional moment is so unintentionally hilarious, it’s tragic.
Akshay Kumar is in form and despite his severe gelled look, shows off his comedic timing and that sincerity he manages to communicate through screen. Mithun tries hard to bring some semblance to his character. Ronit Roy is a fine actor, but doesn’t make this antagonist formidable enough to make a mark.
What you’ll get in the film is lots of Akshay Kumar and a few amusing moments. What you’ll have to endure for that is the entire film. Do the math.
Rating: One and a half stars