‘You always have a choice’ — this is what Toofan preaches to us amongst the many other things that it wishes to discuss. Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra & with Farhan Akhtar in the titular role, the film stars Mrunal Thakur, Paresh Rawal, Supriya Pathak and Mohan Agashe in pivotal roles. Toofan is a formula-driven sports film that includes several of the iconic tropes of the genre even while it tries not to.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra finds a competent and driven cast in the phenomenal Farhan Akhtar, who seamlessly transforms from Ajju Bhai to Aziz Ali, playing his dense character arc with a consistent conviction. Mrunal Thakur is refreshing as the chirpy and compelling girl-next-door while Paresh Rawal and Mohan Agashe are efficient and laudable in their roles too.
However, the film lacks the focus & lustre that a great sports drama should have like in films such as Chak de! India, Dangal or even his own earlier venture Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. With emotional melodrama and trouble in paradise tropes, the film deviates constantly from the boxing ring and isn’t able to fully showcase the vigour and strength that a boxing film must. In the hopes of making the film sensitive, Mehra falls into his own trap of becoming too tender, a trait not congruous with the genre that Toofan falls in.
Although the venture does have a silver lining in the message it attempts to preach to its audience which is religious harmony in the form of love and marriage, something quite imperative to discuss in today’s time. However, Toofan doesn’t explore the issue in-depth and creates a showpiece of the social message.
My favourite part of the film is how it explores the fact that there is always a choice while still acknowledging that while there’s always an option, sometimes the other option becomes invisible in the light of desperation and circumstances, plunging the film into defining right and wrong, and the obscurity of the same. At the same time, it also sheds light on taking responsibility for one’s life choices irrespective of the reason behind the choice, something that is rarely portrayed on our silver screens.
All in all, Toofan is an average, poorly written but admirably performed film that fails to be smart but manages to be entertaining for a one-time watch.
Even though Toofan lacks thunder, it is a fair attempt at a sentimental tale of victory that may implore you to shed a few tears of sympathy and sadness, even if it dwindles in invigorating it’s audience.