REVIEW: ‘Boss’ – A Garish, Loud, Unintelligent Drivel

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The first 30 minutes of ‘Boss’, directed by Anthony D’Souza are the most torturous. But the film takes a mighty leap (and that’s not saying much given that the film still merits only two stars) when Akshay Kumar, or Boss as he is called, finally appears.

With his comic timing, his penchant for action, his one-liners and colourful jackets, he adds some life to this listless affair where all the other actors seem to be half asleep.

‘Boss’ is a remake of Malayalam film ‘Pokkiri Raja’. As a wronged and angry young man, Boss/Surya is adopted by Big Boss (Danny Denzongpa) and trained to run a transport business and become a contract killer in Haryana. You discover later that he has been disowned by his righteous father (Mithun Chakraborty) and separated from his younger brother Shiv (Shiv Pandit).

Things turn ironic when the corrupt and unscrupulous ACP Ayushman (Ronit Roy) gives Boss the contract to kill Shiv and Surya’s father also gives him a contract – to protect Shiv. The bone of contention is Ayushman’s sister Ankita (Aditi Rao Hydari) whose marriage has been arranged with the home minister’s son in return for Ayushman’s promotion. But she’s in love with Shiv.

This is one of those films where every action, event, twist must be spelt out in dialogue, leaving nothing to imagination nor requiring much creative application by the director. The puns in almost every line are now the staple of and identifiable as Farhad-Sajid at their predictable best.

At its core this is a good versus evil story – you root for the contract killer and thug; the man in uniform – the supposed upholder of the law – is the one you despise. The former jokes, makes light of the cruel treatment meted out to him by his father; the latter growls and delivers punches accessorized with Ray Bans. Roy is rather stereotyped now as the nasty, violent antagonist.

Beyond this dhishoom-dhishoom, there is the father and son story – a son craving his father’s acceptance, a father who represents all that is wrong with parenting when he time and again does not give his son the benefit of the doubt. There is a cringe-worthy ‘Pitah se hai naam tera’ song that plays every time Surya is hurt by his father or passes his father’s shadow.

While Kumar is merely seen flirting with Sonakshi Sinha in two ‘item’ songs, the only awkward love story is between Pandit and Hydari. Neither actor settles into this commercial template. Shakti Kapoor and Prabhudeva are among the cameos.

The real boss of the film is action director Anal Arasu, whose trademark stunt design has been previously been seen in ‘Dabangg 2’. But Arasu and Kumar are not enough to tolerate almost two and a half hours of this garish, loud, unintelligent drivel.

Rating: **