After ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ (2013), ‘Toofan’ (2021) is Farhan Akhtar’s second collaboration with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. The movie is based on an underdog boxer who aspires to be the greatest boxer of all times.
The story idea credit goes to Farhan himself which made us very excited to watch the movie because Farhan’s direction in ‘Don 2’ (2011) was an absolute blast. It also casts Mrunal Thakur as Dr. Ananya Prabhu, who is apparently Farhan’s love interest in the film and Paresh Rawal as Coach Narayan Prabhu who is Mrunal’s father and also Farhan’s boxing coach in the movie. Also, this is the first time Paresh Rawal and Farhan Akhtar worked together.
It basically starts with violence where Aziz Ali (Farhan Akhtar), who is playing the role of a gangster in the movie, is beating up few people inside a shop because they beat up someone of Aziz’s group. Aziz also has a side kick named Munna (Hussain Dalal) just like in the movie ‘Munna Bhai M.B.B.S’ (2003). After the fight is over, Aziz is badly hurt and goes to a public hospital and meets Dr. Ananya Prabhu (Mrunal Thakur) who treats Aziz, but as soon as Ananya realizes that Aziz is a goon, she tells him to go out and get himself treated in a private hospital. In the next scene, it is shown that even though Aziz is a goon but still he is a good person by heart. He goes to an orphanage and treats the kids with biryani and dance and tells them stories about his fights. Because Aziz is an orphan himself, he understands what it means to be them.
Aziz goes to a gym and that is where his first interaction with boxing takes place. Aziz is told by his gym trainer to help a boxer but due to his violent nature he ends up fighting with the boxer. The gym trainer shows Aziz some videos of ‘Muhammad Ali’, Aziz feels inspired and wants to be a boxer too. That is where his journey as a boxer actually starts. Aziz starts practicing hard for days and goes to fight an official boxing match and there goes his first encounter with Coach Narayan Prabhu a.k.a Nana (Paresh Rawal). Aziz fights with Nana’s student and fails miserably and hurts himself. He again goes to the same public hospital and tells Ananya how he tried to fight a boxing match and failed and that’s how he got injured. Aziz badmouths Nana to Ananya and they become friends.
The film has a really common script and really predictable storyline like any other sport movie and it doesn’t get much interesting anywhere. When we heard that Farhan came up with the story idea, we didn’t expect it to be this dull and this obvious. The magnification of violence in a sports movie was not really necessary.
Coach Nana is Islamophobic due to personal reasons and doesn’t want to train Aziz (who is a Muslim) for boxing. And apparently Coach Nana is the best boxing coach in Mumbai. But somehow Aziz convinces Nana to teach him by saying that, he will leave his gangster job and will only focus on boxing and they start their training. Within this training period, Ananya pushes Aziz to be a good boxer and they become really close. But even though they are close, Ananya doesn’t reveal that she is the daughter of the same coach who is training Aziz. After months of training, Aziz becomes a good boxer and gets ready for State Boxing Championship.
Aziz wins all the boxing fights one by one and is named ‘Toofan’ (storm) after his lightning moves and amazing stamina.
The movie itself stands out to be very mediocre. The audience deserved better after waiting for a long time for this film to come. Farhan coming up with such an obvious script is very shocking. People expected a lot after ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ and it didn’t stand out. The love interest in a sports movie was really unnecessary. Also, the movie was mostly copied from the Hollywood classic ‘Rocky’ (1976).
‘Toofan’ becomes really slow at some point and makes it boring to watch. Nonetheless, Farhan Akhtar deserves a lot of credit for working so hard in the role. His acting is A-class and does not disappoint. He took a nineteen-month training routine for this movie and it really showed. Mrunal Thakur also goes on with another amazing acting and obviously the veteran actor Paresh Rawal was extravagant. Even though, the film was overall strictly mediocre, the acting was fine altogether. The chemistry between Aziz and Mrunal was also well presented. Points goes to the climax scenes for which the movie had a bit of standout but the movie overall could have been a lot better.
‘Toofan’ being the second collaboration between Farhan Akhtar and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, the expectations were higher. Even though the actors did a fine job with their acting, the storyline could have been much better. Nevertheless, we would be waiting for another collaboration where it would not disappoint anymore.