Producer Neeraj Pandey’s Rustom is all set to hit theatres later this week. With a powerful trailer, intriguing real life story, megastar lead Akshay Kumar and Pandey’s outstanding biography (Director of A Wednesday, Special 26 and Baby), Rustom already has a head start over its competition – Ashutosh Gowrikar’s Mohenjo Daro releases this weekend too.
Rustom vs The 1959 K.S. Nanavati Case
The Nanavati case was India’s first ever media trial. An honest upright naval officer murders his womaniser best friend on the day his wife confesses having an affair with the best friend. The different ways India discussed this case was
– The courts judged it basis whether it was heat of the moment murder vs pre mediated one.
– The rich Parsi community backed media (Admiral Nanavati was a Parsi and well connected to the Gandhi-Nehru family) fronted by the news paper Blitz saw it as a middle class naval officer fall victim to a treacherous womaniser Sindhi who didn’t spare his best friend’s wife too. Blitz was selling at Rs 2/- per piece, eight times higher than its regular 0.25 paise price.
– The rich Sindhi backed defence counsel (led by Ram Jethmalani) saw it as cold blooded Parsi murderer getting away scott free to public sympathy.
The first judgement in 1960 from Greater Sessions Mumbai court was ‘not guilty’. However on retrial, couple of years later, the Supreme Court handed jail sentence. Nanavati spent three years in jail after which the victim’s sister, after much persuasion, agreed to forgive and let Nanavati be out of jail.
Rustom (2016) vs Achanak (1973)
The Nanavati vs State of Maharashtra story has appeared on celluloid before too. In 1963 (Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke) and later, more significantly, again in 1973 – Vinod Khanna starrer Achanak.
In Achanak, Khanna was given jail sentence, after which he escaped and became a fugitive. He had killed both his best friend and wife, but stayed away from the law to fulfill his late wife’s wish to immerse her mangalsutra into the Ganges. Just as he reaches Ganges, he is shot by the police, hospitalised and then given death sentence to much public sympathy.
It’s interesting to see if Rustom has the same ending as Achanak, which is a must see movie and would be a great preview to Rustom. Here is its YouTube link.
While the above will give the viewer enough reasons to book a show for Rustom, it must be said, Rustom is a Neeraj Pandey production, not his directed movie. Pandey’s biography as producer isn’t impressive at all (Royal Bengal Tiger, Total Siyaapa). The director of Rustom is Tinu Suresh Desai – whose only other work is an utterly terrible ‘1920 London’! So you are requested to hedge your bets on Akki ‘Khiladi’ Kumar and depth of plot, instead.