Holiday: A soldier is never off-duty, Hindi Bollywood Film movie review, Johnson Thomas, Rating: * * 1/2

Holiday: A soldier is never off-duty(Hindi) Rating: *  *  ½  A.R. Murugadoss dons the mantle of Director for his second hindi film (after Ghajini) and his treatment retains the action hefts of his first mainstream work. Puerile sentiment focusing on the Indian army notwithstanding, this action romance is quite agile and racks up some stylized blows as a genre flick. Game show tricks, assured helming and Akshay’s fluidly executed maneuvers provide the requisite thrills. The romance is way off-key though and the constant bouts of illogic might get you down. Don’t expect any logic here and you wont be disappointed. This is the kind of film carefully designed to fit in as a popular entertainer. And it shows!

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Hindi film review
Johnson Thomas    
Stylised masala entertainer!

Film: Holiday: A soldier is never off-duty
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha
Director: A.R Murugadoss 
Rating: *  * ½
A.R Murugadoss makes his comeback to Hindi cinema as Director, several years after his maiden hit effort, the Aamir Khan Starrer , ‘Ghajini.’ This new film appears to be a straightforward plug for the Indian Army, presented in slick style and served with heavy doses of masala, action and romance.
The narrative gets right into the titular theme by having it’s lead character Capt.Virat Bakshi(Akshay Kumar) go on Holiday to Mumbai, his parental home. Straight-off from the station he is swept away by his folks to check-out a prospective bride, Saiba(Sonakshi) who appears too demure and traditional to suit his tastes. He has no compunction in saying no to her. Thereafter he is shown following his childhood friend, a police inspector around town, while the latter is on duty. One such duty happens to be providing security to an inter-collegiate sports meet where he bumps into  a transformed Saiba, a fierce amazon who competes in every sporting competition designed for man and wins handsomely. Of course our Virat has to fall for her silly. The romance gets right back on track and so does the action. While Virat and his friend are en route to a case they come across a bus with one of the passengers crying foul about his stolen wallet. The bus is stopped and while the passengers are frisked for the wallet, one escapes. The wallet is claimed to be found in another’s pocket. Why did that man run when he was obviously not the robber. Well, Virat does the chase and the bus explodes. Suddenly, it’s now become a terrorist attack and our soldier takes it on himself to ferret out the culprits, protocol be damned.
Thereafter it’s  a race against time as Akshay and his fellow army mates race against time in game show format to prevent another major disaster by nullifying the sleeper cells, and later on to capture the mastermind behind them.
The narrative is quite gimmicky in it’s attempt to cpture game show thrills and slick heavy-duty action. There’s also a surfeit of pro-army sermonizing as Virat goes to the extent of sacrificing his own sister in order to nab the kingpin. 
‘The soldier is never off duty’ is a tagline that is used time and again to depict the soldier as a super human who willingly sacrifices his all for the country. We’ve heard this before and seen better examples of it in grittier more believable films. This one has the hero changing into colorful casuals, dancing and romancing the heroine exploding into violence while putting civilians at risk, all for his own glory. And of course it’s passed off as a sacrifice well meant, for the country.
The plot is quite simply unbelievable, the narrative spiel, most often beyond belief. Logic takes a heavy beating here. The romance and song and dance are merely appendages that fritter away the excitement and enjoyment of a genre flick. The pacing is pretty good for most part unfortunately every time, the narrative makes a return to romance, it acts as a speed breaker to the overall enjoyment. In fact the romance is something the film could have well done without. It does not add any value to the enjoyment. The action for most part is quite spiffy and well executed- ably aided by Akshay Kumar’s well maintained physique and agility- but for the climactic fight-off where Virat is beaten and broken, yet is standing and fighting with all his limbs, eventually seeing off the villain in conventional bollywood style.  Music is passable, cinematography is colorful, editing is a bit slack and performances, a little too straight to be completely convincing. This is a film that could easily attract an audience starved for a big ticket exercise. And why not?


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