New Delhi | Jagran Entertainment Desk: Toofaan, directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra released on streaming platform Amazon Prime Video on July 16. Featuring Farhan Akhtar, Mrunal Thakur and Paresh Rawal in lead roles, this little over two and a half-hour long film breathe excellence while reflecting an inspiring brand of entertainment.

The scale of the film is more cinematic since it was never conceived for a direct On-The-Tap (OTT) release in the first place. This instantly makes you miss the pre-COVID-19 times of sitting in the third row of a theatre and letting the celluloid throw its punches of entertainment. As far as most OTT releases go, Toofaan is probably the first such direct-OTT release, that as a viewer you might wish to have watched in a theatre instead.

Centrally based around a character named Aziz Ali (played by Farhan Akhtar), this is a story of Ajju Bhai's journey to becoming Toofaan, a storm that knocks out the best of boxers through his indomitable spirit stemming out of the respect-laced-love that Aziz worships in Ananya (Mrunal Thakur).

During the film, you see Farhan excellently living the dualities of Ajju Bhai and boxer Aziz Ali as you witness Rakeysh Omprakash evolve into a storyteller who reflects the realism of current polarising times with as much excellence. Mrunal Thakur as Ananya Prabhu appears to have studied her character's distinct attributes with much shrewdness before having shot the first scene. Her performance, therefore, is as much scholarly as it is artistic.

The second half of the film is a bit long drawn and could have been judiciously edited. Yet the film doesn't have a moment where it hints upon an instant of audience-character disengagement. The scenes involving both Farhan and Mrunal display an excellent brand of filmmaking where Mrunal's on-screen presence refuses to be dwarfed by the strength of Farhan's character.

Sports dramas/biopics from not so long ago that have come out of Mumbai's entertainment world (‘Saand ki Aankh’, ‘Panga’, ‘Soorma’) share a defining similarity in which these films keep the unbelievable element to appear unbelievable. Toofaan stands out among the crowd of Indian sports dramas because, by the end of its little above two and a half hour screen time, the film manages to make unbelievable to appear believable.

Toofaan has been streaming on Amazon Prime Video since July 16, 2021.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma