Ram Setu review: Akshay Kumar’s adventure falls short of becoming epic due to bad CGI & shoddy pre-climax

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Film: Ram Setu

Director: Abhishek Sharma

Star cast: Akshay Kumar, Jacqueline Fernandez, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Satya Dev, Nasser

Bollywood Bubble ratings: 3/5 stars

ram setu

Ram Setu Movie Review:

Touching the concept of religion or faith in Indian cinema is always a risky move and it has been proven time and again. You never know whom you might end up hurting with your take on it but in today’s socio-political scenario, if your film aims to glorify Hindu culture, you know it is also a sure-shot formula for success, and it’s somewhere on those lines that Akshay Kumar-starrer Ram Setu lies. Telling the story of an archaeolcogist who is given the task of proving whether Ram Setu is man-made or exists naturally, the film poses the question of progress vs faith, and if they can co-exist, through an adventurous journey. The makers promised this adventure to be epic, but it falls short on it due to poor technical aspects, a poorly executed pre-climax and a climax that is too information-heavy and a little preachy.

 

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Ram Setu is indeed a unique attempt in telling an Indiana Jones style of an adventure story, emerging from Indian mythology, and the makers succeed in making sure to do that to a certain extent, but it’s the amateur or plain bad CGI that plays a spoilsport. Call it the Brahmastra effect or anything, Indian audience is now privy to good visual affects in our films, so just over a month later if a film comes that relies heavily on its CGI and they do a shoddy work, it will be complained about.

The film sees Akshay’s journey of becoming a believer from a non-believer, but all the time his beliefs are based on science, and barring a little part of his last monologue, director Abhishek Sharma has ensured that he doesn’t contradict that. The scenes where the natural beauty of the film’s shoot locations are explored, the visuals are breathtaking but as soon as the green screen comes, you can identify that from a mile away and cannot help but felt cringed out. However, credit where its due, the story is indeed intriguing and will make you want to embark on the adventure that Akshay and his team are upon, although at times you might feel like maintaining your distance.

 

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Story:

Dr Aryan Kulshrestha, played by Akshay, is a leading Indian archaeologist who is also an atheist, and because of it he is tasked with proving that Ram Setu is a naturally existing construction and not something man-made, so that the government can make a new shipping route on that path. To prove that, Dr Aryan embarks on an adventure in the middle of the sea with a team of experts from around the world, but it takes unexpected turns and leads him to explore some highly contested myths from our culture. Will he be able to prove his theory of Ram Setu or will his own beliefs change?

 

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Star Performance:

Akshay plays the part of the archaeologist quite effectively. There is a effortless restraint in his performance that I have noticed after a long time and it is quite nice to see. His look complements his character and he brings out the curiosity in his part really well as it is needed for someone going on such an epic adventure. Jacqueline plays his fellow expeditioner, an environmental scientist Dr Sandra Rebello, and she is a delight to see on screen. She plays her part well and never does it seem like she is just there to accompany Akshay as she has her own part in the journey. Nushrratt is convincing as Aryan’s wife Gayatri, however, I still am not able to understand the necessity of the part as such. And the way her character behaves in a pre-climax scene is just too cringey, but it’s no fault of the actor, instead, it is of how the character has been written. But after all that, it’s Satya who is the best thing on screen. He has an innate charm that will bring a smile to your face every time he comes on screen, just like it does for Jacqueline in the film. There is a special scene in the end concerning him that will just make you smile with joy, and its all because of his innocent and heartwarming portrayal.

 

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Direction/Screenplay:

While there are scenes that could have been cut and the film be made a little crisper, nowhere does it feel like a drag. Some sequences and characters don’t justify their presence in the film. The first part of Ram Setu is okay, but the second part lifts it up as the true adventure really begins in Sri Lanka, but the most irritating part comes right before the climax. There is a chopper scene in the pre-climax that sees a fight happening, and for a moment you forget if it is a Abhishek Sharma film or Priyadarshan’s. The BGM sounds comical, Nushrratt’s expressions seem funny, and the whole chaos of it coupled with really BAD CGI, just makes you want to shut your eyes. On the other hand, the expedition that Aryan, Sandra and AP embark upon in Sri Lanka, make for one of the most intriguing parts of the film and you don’t want it to end so soon. The end presents a lots of facts but after a certain point it becomes too information-heavy that while your mind is still trying to comprehend what all was said and told, the movie has moved far ahead. But the last scene will leave you with a smile. Without any spoilers, one of the most heartwarming scenes of the film. Abhishek’s work is a hit at most points but a miss at many too, and as the captain of the ship, he should have worked with the CGI team a little more, and in a better way as they spoil the fun of the adventure.

 

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Conclusion:

In conclusion of my Ram Setu review, I will say that the film excels on the story front but falters on the technical aspect. Satya is the biggest  highlight of the film and the depiction and insistence on mythology might see some divided opinions, but it isn’t also something that will sound too people-pleasing as well. In a one line review for Ram Setu, I will say that the film offers an adventure that is indeed intriguing yet falls short on being epic.

Watch the trailer of Ram Setu after the film’s review:

Also Read: Ram Setu trailer: Akshay Kumar sets on an epic adventure to protect India’s history