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'Holiday' : Movie Review

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Govinda, Sumeet Raghavan, Farhad Daruwala, Gireesh Sahedev, Zakir Hussain

Direction: A.R. Murugadoss

Rating : **1/2

In this age of Indian cinema where serving the recycled stuff has turned into a sort of duress for our Bollywooder, now I guess even viewers should accustom themselves to the habit of seeing the remake of southern mammoth blockbusters. This time it's the southern monster hit `Thupakki` which has incarnated as Bollywood's big screen charmer "Holiday - A Soldier Is Never Off Duty". With `Holiday`, Khiladi Kumar Akshay has once again returned in his much loved 'action hero avatar', where he has teamed up with ace cinematician AR Murugadoss of `Ghajini` fame, who incidentally had been the director of `Thupakki` too. 

In 2012 when action thriller `Thupakki` starring Vijay, Kajal Aggarwal and Vidyut Jamwal made it to Kollywood, it not only received rave reviews from the critics lobby, but also emerged as one of the biggest BO grosser of the Southern cinema. And probably it's this success of original which enthused, AR Murgadoss to come up with the Hindi remake of the same.

One can't deny the fact that over the years cine themes based on war against terror and story-line having its roots embedded in the armed forces have always emerged rewarding cine genre for our Bollywooders. And it looks like now the genre has grabbed the fascination of AR Murgadoss too, who after dishing out Bollywood's first mega blockbuster `Ghajini` this time has returned with an altogether different kind of cine offering, where he has tried to step into the territory which so far belonged to the cine merchants like Anurag Kashyap, Apporva Lakhia and RGV. At its opening the movie featuring Akshay, Sonakshi,Farhad Daruwala fetched a footfall of 37 percent at the multiplexes.

Anyhow let's apprise you with the premise. Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty primarily narrates the story of an on-leave army officer or to be more precise a DIA (Defence Intelligence Agency) officer, Virat (Akshay Kumar) who returns to his hometown, Mumbai for his holidays. With an intention of getting him hooked, Virat's parents take him to see Sahiba (Sonakshi Sinha), whom Virat rejects because of her being too 'Naazuk' kinds. But soon after Virat realizes that actually Sahiba is not the one who belongs to that ilk of tender beauties, and falls head over heal for her. 

With frames rolling ahead Virat has a rendezvous with unexpected, when he come across a bomb blast and get to know about the involvement of insidious sleeper cells in the heinous crime. And being a patriot from the core of his heart Virat decides to unearth the nexus and annihilate those operating it. So what follows next does Virat succeeds in his mission? To know watch this action packed cine delight starring Akshay, Sonakshi and Farhad Daruvala.

Well as far as story-line of `Holiday` is concerned then there is no denying the fact that even while cooking the remake AR Murugadoss has tried to keep it quite proximate to the original, but yeah in order to gratify the entertainment needS of relatively wider constellation of viewers, he has added ample volume of masala in it. And probably that is the idea which has gone wrong for this ace cinematician.

Although with a diverse range of entertaining additives like thrill, romance, action and humor in parts, just like `Thupakki`, Holiday too has a somewhat brainy plot which mildly succeeds in keeping viewer's attention glued to the big screen.

But at the same time there is no denying the fact that all these components configured in this cine enterprise lack that vigor which could have made it an exceptional cine flick. After seeing the movie one can easily infer that while conceptualizing and executing the production proceedings pertaining to `Holiday` Murugadoss wanted to make it a nail-biting thriller, but unfortunately by incorporating redundant elements like love,drama and comedy, this ace cine literati ends up creating a subliminal cine offering which thoroughly lacks that thrill coefficient which it should have in it.

And I don't have any qualms in saying that it's that inferior collating of various cine components which makes, `Holiday` look like a poorly executed farce, managed by a bunch novice oblivious about their aim. 

As far as screenplay of `Holiday` is concerned then there are just words for it, i.e. "HORRIBLE AFFAIR". Be it the first half or the post interval portion in both the segments screenplay looks thoroughly divorced from the story-line and flows at a pace at which even a lame snail can conveniently outmaneuver it. It won't be wrong to say that it's this lackadaisically penned screenplay which wrings out the engrossing quotient out of this AR Murugadoss cine offering which otherwise could have been a thrilling cine experience for the viewers. In fact it won't be wrong to say that before writing the screenplay of this half-baked self proclaimed crime thriller its screenplay writer should have borrowed some wisdom from Neeraj Pandey ( the man who penned the screenplay of crime thriller The Wednesday) to come up with a screenplay which could have done justice to the script of `Holiday`.

Be it the amalgamation romanticism, humor or even the thrill every thing is done so haphazardly and half halfheartedly in `Holiday` that this almost 3 hour long cine cantata starts looking like an endless plight by the time it reaches the mid-way. Even those (Amitabh Shukla) who were assigned with the task of editing `Holiday` seemed to be unenlightened about there job and left every redundant detail unscathed in the end product, subsequently making it a mediocre cine chunk full of insipidity. And there is no denying the fact that cut down to less than half its run-time, "Holiday" could perhaps have been a bearable cine affair. 

Pritam's music would have been a praiseworthy in the past, but in `Holiday` it's nothing more than a passable affair and looks like an unsolicited module fitted in, just for heck of it. 

As far as performances are concerned then undoubtedly its Akshay who emerges as show-stealer. As usual the man seemed to be in top form and be it about performing those jaw dropping stunts, staple dance moves or delivering dialogues full of patriotism, everything he performs with such a fineness that you completely forget about the presence of others on the screen. Although Sonakshi doesn't have much to do except shaking her legs during those obtruded dance numbers, but in-spite of that she manages to do justice with her character.

In the absence of desired amount of acting prowess required debutant baddie Farhad Daruwala (who played the character of master mind of sleeper cells) looks completely ignorant about the traits of his character, and fails in leaving any impact. Rest of the supporting cast comprising of Sumeet Raghavan, Zakir Hussain, Gireesh Sahedev is strictly OK. Govinda in a cameo is wonderful. 

To sum up, in the absence of those on edge-of-the-seat moments and blending of some redundant cine additives `Holiday` fails in leaving any long lasting impact. And frankly speaking had AR Murugadoss deployed an iota of intelligence in re-inventing the script and penning down a more gripping screenplay then probably end product would have been more thrilling and entertaining. But inspite of that keeping in view the honest and praiseworthy performance of Akshay, I am going ahead with two and a half star for this self proclaimed crime thriller which is neither zingy, nor gratifying.


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