An attempt at a sleek action thriller didn’t go down well with the audience so Blue director Anthony D’Souza tries his hand the desi-way. His second release once again stars Akshay Kumar however, Boss is no stylish action thriller with foreign locales but rather is a tale of a home-grown hero.
It’s expected that when you walk into Boss you won’t be getting a dose of thought provoking cinema, but rather a 3-hour entertaining ride that should have laughs, cries, dances, punches and of course, a happy ending. This Anthony D’ Souza directorial tries its best to deliver exactly that. Boss is family drama at the heart of it all. The film is an adaptation of Vyshakh’s Malayalam film Pokkiri Raja that had originally starred Manmooty, Prithviraj and Shriya Saran. It’s the story of Surya (Akshay Kumar), a renowned don who was heartlessly kicked out of his family by his father Satyakant (Mithun Chakraborty) at a young age for having a violent streak. He was taken in by Big Boss (Danny Denzongpa) and raised to be ‘Boss’, a do-gooder don. The film takes place 15 years later when Satyakant, much to his dismay, has to seek his estranged son’s help to save his younger son Shiv (Shiv Pandit) from Ayushman’s (Ronit Roy) malicious plans. Shiv dared to fall in love with Ayushman’s sister and this didn’t go down well with the not-so-caring brother who’d already thought of an alliance for his sister that would benefit him most greatly. Surya aka Boss’s triumph over Ayushman and how he reunites with his family is what you’re in for with Boss.
The main reason why Boss works is the phenomenal ensemble D’Souza has managed to put together. And no I don’t mean the young faces, namely, Shiv Pandit and Aditi Rao Hydari who both sadly contribute very little to the film, but the senior actors who form part of the cast. Ronit Roy, Mithun Chakraborty, Danny Denzongpa and Johnny Lever are the entourage that Akshay Kumar arrives with and had it not been for such a full-proof supporting cast Boss would definitely have been a passable experience. Because let’s face it, there’s no point in a hero uttering smart one-liners if there’s no one to utter it to.
Akshay Kumar does a role that perhaps he can do in his sleep now. It’s nothing out of the ordinary to his multiple comedy/action roles. There’s plenty of one liners to get the crowd clapping, mouth gaping stunts, cool dance moves to Yo Yo Honey Singh’s words and of course some emotional scenes to ensure he’s a well rounded hero. He does tap into his emotional side every now and then very aptly. The dargah scene which is a semi-comic/semi-action/semi-emotional sequence deserves a special mention for this reason. No doubt an actor of his calibre will have no trouble handling all the emotions that a masala entertainer is meant to have. Shiv Pandit gets limited scope but does well in whatever little he was given. Unfortunately he looks a bit uncomfortable when lip-syncing so perhaps the song-and-dance routines are to be avoided for the Shaitan actor. Aditi Rao Hydari speaks all of two lines, if that, in the film. Hopefully the film works to put her on the map of prospective-heroines, as clearly there could have been no other reason why such a decent actress opted for this role. Ronit Roy is the real scene-stealer of the film. He’s absolutely wonderfully ruthless as Ayushman. One hopes this is the beginning to seeing much more of the actor on the big screen. Seasoned actors like Danny, Mithun & Johnny Lever can hardly do any wrong so it’s safe to say they do their individual portions with great conviction.
Whilst D’Souza does use Pokkiri Raja as a foundation of his script, there are major changes in the way each character is portrayed an given importance to. For example, Shiv is relegated to the back of the audience’s mind in D’Souza’s version of the film whereas in the original the same character (named Surya and played by Prithviraj) progressed as very much the parallel lead of the film. The comic streak that came with Vyshakh’s treatment of the character therefore is given to Akshay Kumar’s character who carries the movie, quite obviously, on his own shoulders. In addition sequence of events in the screenplay is definitely not the same as the Malayalam original.
No doubt D’Souza takes a step up with Boss. Whilst it may be just another masala entertainer marketed for the 100 Cr club, once you watch Boss you cannot deny that is definitely no disaster as the director’s first film was. The speedy screenplay is Boss’s biggest plus point because when you have a film in this usual formalistic pattern you truly can’t expect audiences to sit patiently knowing full well what is to follow. Akshay Kumar’s screen presence and performance make it a worthwhile watch, as does the heart touching family themes. The multi-composer soundtrack and background score are also both major plus points of the film as it ensures that there’s never a dull moment.
Boss is perhaps one of the better masaledaar entertainers of the year. There’s definitely a script behind it all and it is packed with oodles of entertainment value. Yes its not path breaking cinema however it never claimed to be. For what Boss promised, it definitely delivers.