Antim, at its core, is a gangster drama that wants to show the rise and fall of a gangster. The idea is to make us feel for the character in the end because he was, in a way, a victim of the social hierarchy. But this Aayush Sharma starrer is a deafening masala that forgets its purpose and acts like an over-the-top Bollywood entertainer. And to make things worse, we have Salman Khan practically interrupting the movie with sequences that helps the film in zero ways.
Rahul and his family moved to Pune from their village after his father was forced to sell his land. Rahul was furious about this and wanted to gain the power to get this land back. His short-tempered nature gave him access to the world of the goons very quickly. But when his love for power exceeds a limit, his family disowns him. What we see in Antim is Rahul’s journey and what all he faces and learns in that.
Mahesh Manjrekar’s vision of this film doesn’t have space for the audience to think about the psyche of Rahul. At no point, the movie projects Rahul as the victim of circumstances. The level of violence and the frequency of killing happening in this movie are senseless. The well-built, bronzed, slimmer Dwayne Johnson attire of Aayush Sharma isn’t helping the content achieve any emotional depth. The visual aesthetic of the movie makes it look like a film co-directed by Sanjay Gupta and Prabhudeva. The conflict between the gangster son and the laborer father is explored on a very superficial level.
Aayush Sharma is definitely trying to fit into the loud format. He is always angry, and his physique is also appreciable. But the constant high pitch of the character is annoying after some time, and the writing offers him zero help in adding any sense of humaneness to that character. When he regains his father’s land and calls his father to declare his achievement, you feel like laughing at the character for lacking common sense. Salman Khan’s effort to look and sound different might look like a great effort as an actor as he has been playing himself on screen in the last few years. Mahima Makwana, as Manda, plays that typical “tough girl” character. I have no clue what made someone like Jisshu Sengupta accept a role like Pitya. Sachin Khedekar, as the ethics-driven father, was good.
As I already said, Mahesh Manjrekar doesn’t have any interest in making the audience understand Rahul. The film just hurries through the rise of Rahul. It was only because of the climax twist that I was able to get that this story is happening over a span of a few years. The Salman Khan portions are coming out of the blue like songs in Race 3. And one can easily realize that it was a forcefully added character. In a police station sequence, Rajveer Singh introduces himself using lines that are supposed to make the Punjabi proud. But those dialogues had no relevance at that point to give the Sikh’s Goosebumps. The cinematography uses these color-saturated frames for different locations.
Antim is a loud mess that forgot its soul in an attempt to create a hero-centric saga. The inclusion of Salman Khan may have helped the film financially to gain satellite rights and a good opening. But on a content level, he is a burden for the film. In a weird turn of events, we have the brother in laws fighting as a team in a synchronized fashion against the villains in the climax of Antim. Bollywood’s problematic police worshipping continues in this film as well. Antim was a bearable masala that became insufferable because of its superstar cameo.
The inclusion of Salman Khan may have helped the film financially to gain satellite rights and a good opening. But on a content level, he is a burden for the film.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended