‘Toofaan’ marks the second collaboration between Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Farhan Akhtar after ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’. Toofan is the story of an underdog making it from rags to riches, let down due to its predictable trajectory.
Toofaan follows Ajju Bhai aka Aziz Ali (Farhan Akhtar), a local goon from the streets of Dongri who resorts to violence to get the job done. But Ajju’s encounter with Doctor Ananya (Mrunal Thakur) and a taste of dignity for the first time in boxing, sets him on a path to become boxer Aziz Ali.
Nana Prabhu (Paresh Rawal), a stubborn coach with his own prejudices trains Ali on discovering his potential, teaching him to treat the boxing ring as his own home.
As Ali’s laborious efforts pave the way for success in boxing championships, Prabhu gives him the name ‘Toofaan’ (the storm).
Ali goes on his journey and starts a new relationship with Ananya but ultimately loses his honour due to choice. When life gives him a second chance, Ali needs to step up and reclaim his lost honour.
Toofaan’s ensemble cast carries the weight of the film on their shoulders, especially Farhan Akhtar.
Akhtar’s physical transformation throughout the film is commendable, whether it be his ripped body or bulky physique. The training montage in itself is enough to attest to it. He portrays the character of Aziz with intensity, giving an authentic touch to it.
Mrunal Thakur in the role of Doctor Ananya is a pleasure to watch on screen with the sincerity with which she portrays her character.
Paresh Rawal’s performance stands out as a tough coach. He exhibits his stubbornness in the training scenes, while he handles the emotional scenes with sensitivity.
However, actors like Vijay Raaz, Hussain Dalal, and Darshan Kumar seem underutilised based on what they are capable of.
The movie attempts to bring in the element of bigotry and inter-faith marriage which affects the relationship of Aziz and Ananya. The way the couple struggles to find a home and live their lives against prejudices is one of the movie’s best parts.
The training montages are high on adrenaline and the action scenes have been choreographed well, making it look genuine.
The cinematography by Jay Orza (Gully Boy) is aesthetically pleasing and gives a visual appeal to the movie.
Toofan suffers mainly due to its formulaic filming, taking in elements from previous sports drama, which makes it too predictable. The plot beats remain the same without much room for exploration. This is a reason why the audience can’t get emotionally connected with the characters.
The movie introduces several conflicts throughout its run time. But it moves on so quickly on to the next one without allowing the audience to get invested within it, whether it be Ali going against Jafar Bhai’s will, or the bigotry with which Ali and Ananya deal with.
Though Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have done wonders in the past with their music, the music seems average in Toofaan. The title track is pulsating and energising, but except for that the placement of other songs seems forced and doesn’t add much to the movie.
With a duration of about 161 minutes, Toofaan feels extremely long and it could have done better with a shorter run time.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s filmography includes remarkable films like ‘Rang De Basanti’ and ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, which carry originality in their content. But Toofaan is an overcooked sports drama that doesn’t compare to its predecessors.
Watch Toofaan for Akhtar’s admirable performance, who is the soul and heart of the film.