Romeo Akbar Walter Review & Rating
Romeo Akbar Walter Review: Thankfully No Jingoism But If Only The Script Is...
One more spy thriller and one more film based on the 1971 India Pakistan war triggered by India’s helping hand for the Bangladesh independence. We have seen several movies exploit the subject including the excellent The Ghazi Attack, brilliantly orchestrated Raazi, and even commercial masala flicks like Mehabooba (a Tollywood film).
What separates Romeo Akbar Walter from all these films? Nothing exactly except the promise that the psyche of a spy as a human being explored. John Abraham who is on a string of hits in the previous few years is the star of the show who plays a RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) agent who has to put his life and relations in the firing line in order to extract the secrets of the enemy from the other side of the border. Let’s see if any of this makes for an intriguing watch with Romeo Akbar Walter review.
Romeo's Akbar and Walter (story)
The guy's name is Rehmatullah Ali and he has a well-chiseled physique. Aptly he is the Romeo. Works as a bank clerk (to be more precise) who’s leading a peaceful life until the tensions between India and Pakistan escalate you know why. The RAW chief, Srikanth Rai who is always trying to one-up his rivals wants to bring the biggest scoop. He has an eye for discovering the right candidates for the most difficult job in the world. Spy.
He stumbles upon Romeo and immediately lists his services. Why Romeo is interested in serving as a RAW agent is anyone’s guess and bring a master of disguise as Srikanth Rai comments upon, he turns Akbar and crosses the border. Sending spies into the land of enemies is one thing and supporting them in the thick and thin of life is another thing. Any wrong move, the cover gets blown and the man has to be on his own.
How Romeo/Akbar’s life turned out to be, post his entry into Pakistan, what happened to his family and how his familial relationships played a part in his choices? Does he remain with the country or sold out his country to save his donkey? The answers to these questions were promised in this film.
But unfortunately, right from the recruiting of hero the time the end titles roll, there are no satisfactory moments. The only positive about this film is: there’s no overt jingoism. Despite the release date coincides with General Elections season.
John Abraham is underutilized
John Abraham is indifferent in his portrayal of the multilayered character of Romeo/Akbar/Walter. No. This is not a spoiler. He displayed the best of his acting capabilities during the initial scenes on the other side of the border and charms in the opening portions of the film (before the recruitment). This is certainly not his best role. It could have been had the script is taken care of. But he passed without damaging his reputation. Mouni Roy is good in her screen presence and histrionics.
Jackie Shroff’s Srikanth Rai is shown in grey shades ( who in their right mind think of Jackie in a film as pure good anyway). He’s enchanting as the man with high ability to find agents. Srikanth Rai has high tastes in life and Jackie nailed with his expressions in the related scenes. Sikander Kher as Colonel Khan (what a creative name from the writers) is the pick of the rest. Raghubir Yadav is used as a stress reliever in the film as hero’s colleague.
Lackadaisical writing and direction
he movie is high on detail but poor in execution. The cinematic liberties taken are unpardonable in this case and the characters are not properly etched. Most of the situations are right out of templates and there is no improvisation on the part of the writers to make the dramatic tension heighten as the movie progresses. The direction is lackadaisical. The screenplay which could have been layered exploring the psychological ramifications of the choices made and the anatomy of thoughts is just superficial.
The music and cinematography are top-notch as expected from such a big production. The score especially works its best to elevate the emotions which are in truth missing from the script for some reason. The cinematography is first rate. The lighting schemes used for various scenes are in perfect sync with the genre. The frames are chaotic at beautiful. The editing is good despite pretty average raw material from the director. The production design is terrific and the production values are rich.
Romeo Akbar Walter, the title itself has a lot of potential and this writer wished someone takes this sometime down the line and do justice to it with a film worthy of its vibes. Till then, RAW is a one-time watchable fare. Just go to the theatres with the plain thought of spending a couple of hours without damaging your grey matter. You may enjoy a few well-executed moments. Else, this film falls in the popular category of could-have-been-better movies.
- John Abraham's sincere efforts
- Basic story setup has a lot of potential
- Not-so-good execution
- Script could have been better worked out
Pycker Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Reviewed by: GitacharYa
Romeo Akbar Walter Critic Reviews
Romeo Akbar Walter User Reviews
The espionage thriller Romeo Akbar Walter has been in the news for its subject matter, i.e. about the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and advertised as based on real-life incidents. And with John Abraham in top form having scored back to back hits in the form of Parmanu and Satyameva Jayate!, the expectations are obviously high. As the premiere shows and press shows come to an end, the movie is hailed as one of the best espionage thrillers which have dealt with the subject in an objective manner rather than turning too patriotic.
The movie is giving goosebumps. John Abraham is a perfect fit for the role of a high-end spy. He has delivered one of his best performances. Writer-director Robbie Grewal has made a gem of a film. Jackie Shroff and Raghubir Yadav are excellent in their roles. RAW is a fabulous testament to the patriotism of India’s unsung heroes portrayed by the hero. This movie is a truly authentic spy drama coming from Bollywood. An intelligent thriller that keeps the audience engaged and guessing, it has a very good second half with the last 30 minutes as the highlight.
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