Director: Sohail Khan
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Arbaaz Khan, Amy Jackson, Jas Arora
Tapping into the Olympic craze, Bollywood has made a conscious effort to release sports-centric films in 2016. So before Freaky Ali decided to weave its story around golf, films like Saala Khadoos and Sultan had used themes like boxing and wrestling and then there are MS Dhoni (Cricket) and Dangal (Wrestling), waiting in the wings.
Most good sports films follow a simple formula- a rank outsider underdog overcoming heavy odds to turn the tables on the favourite. The details about the central character’s life and that of his/her chosen sport are then used to spice up the narrative.
By this token, Freaky Ali had a good thing going. Ali (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is a rank nobody, an orphan raised in slums, a failed hawker-turned- petty gangster, who accidentally stumbles on to a golf course and ends up picking the difficult game as easily as a duckling takes to water. Fighting the class discrimination in this ‘rich man’s game’ he starts dominating the national professional circuit. Now his final battle is with the reigning champ (Jas Arora), an arrogant aristocrat who hates his guts- and his game!
Writer-director Sohail Khan with some sense and sensitivity could have a made an interesting film out of this storyline. Instead he muddles up the plot with silly subplots, sick one-liners and stereotyped over-the-top characters, none of which have any real need or reason to be in the film!
The overall flippant tone and crude treatment clip the wings of this film. Instead of dishing a rousing David versus Goliath sports saga, we are served a hotchpotch ‘comedy’ which decides midway that there is no need to be serious about telling such tales! It doesn’t even bother to introduce the audience to some basics of the intricate game.
The redoubtable Nawazuddin Siddiqui shines despite the nonsense going all around him. He is charming, effortless and funny; and is the only bright spot worth remembering when this Golf saga ends up with a triple bogey!