Nawazuddin Siddiqui finally has his single-screen-hero film, Sohail Khan's Freaky Ali. Here's our Freaky Ali movie review.
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Arbaaz Khan, Amy Jackson, Jas Arora, Seema Biswas
Direction: Sohail Khan
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the true underdog star, who has captured the imagination of the multiplex-goers, and has developed a cult following over the past few years, after playing a series of smooth-talking sadakchhap smart alecs. THEN, why not cast him as a smooth-talking sadakchhap smart alec protagonist in a masala potboiler? He doesn't even charge that much, but he can get the audience to clap and cheer. All we need is Salman Khan to say some nice things about him in the film's promotions.
That was probably how the film was pitched in the boardroom of Sohail Khan ProductionZ. Too bad, as is always with any film from the bhai stable, the film's makers did not give two hoots about the film's script, which is why Freaky Ali ended up being two hours of zzzZZZzzzz...
To cast Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead role of a film so out-and-out flashy and illogical (respectably called 'masala' in India) is a novel experiment. Hell, what do critics know, the coup might even work at the box office, but going by the stunned silence in the early morning first show, probably not.
Ali (Nawaz) is a goonda-mawaali who does bad things for a boss named Danger Bhai with his partner-in-crime Arbaaz Khan. He also sells underwear. He can also hit sixes off every ball. He can also put the ball in whichever hole he feels like with a golf club. Ali is that awesome. And just by being himself, i.e a Bollywood hero, he obviously gets Amy Jackson, whose only role in the film is to clap for Ali.
Nawaz, who is, frankly, at home playing similar characters in much grounded films with a different cinematic language, does everything possible to add juice to Ali, but Sohail Khan's Freaky Ali, in itself, is so empty within, that it needed a star of much bigger, grander, and freakier charisma to elevate such sub-par material to enjoyable goofiness.
In fact, Freaky Ali would have been perfect material for a young Govinda when he was delivering No.1s after No.1s in the '90s. He has played such characters before; where a street-smart bum suddenly becomes rich and famous, all because of his wit.
As for the rest, Freaky Ali has a strong supporting cast (Sohail Khan, Seema Biswas, Asif Basra), who do good enough to collect their paycheck. Amy Jackson perpetually looks like an air hostess and considering that her next film is Shankar's 2.0 opposite Rajinikanth, it is mindblowing to think how far she has come by doing absolutely NOTHING in mediocre films for six straight years. Jas Arora (that cute guy from Bally Sagoo's Gur Nal Ishq Mitha who turned into the unintendedly-funny villain in Sunny Leone's Ek Paheli Leela) is brilliant as the snobby, princely golf champion. He should appear in more films in good roles.