Movie: Antim – the Final Truth
Antim – the Final Truth Cast: Aayush Sharma, Salman Khan, Sachin Khedekar, Mahima Makwana, Sayaji Shinde, Jisshu Sengupta, Nikitin Dheer, Upendra Limaye, Rohit Haldikar, Mahesh Manjrekar
Antim – the Final Truth Director: Mahesh Manjrekar
Where to Watch: In Theatres
Review by: Russel D’Silva

It’s not often that Salman Khan’s aura is somewhat overshadowed (can never ne completely overshadowed) in a movie, even when he graciously decides to play second fiddle to other actors, case in point being No Entry, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Hum Saath-Saath Hain and Jaan-E-Mann. Honestly, only times it remotely happened was with Shah Rukh Khan in Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam, Govinda in Partner, Aamir Khan in Andaz Apna Apna and Akshay Kumar in Mujhse Shaadi Karogi – all movies where his costars were brilliant actors. And it has happened again in Antim: The Final Truth, which is nothing short of a major statement of how good an actor Aayush Sharma is, his talent never getting to shine an ounce in his debut, Loveyatri, back in 2018. As for the movie…well, let’s just say, you can’t shine if you’re not backed by a decent enough script and good enough direction.

So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Antim: The Final Truth is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Antim: The Final Truth review…

What’s it about

Rahul/Rahulya (Aayush Sharma) gets embroiled with the land mafia and the vegetable market extortion racket in Pune, after he and his family are forced to shift from their village, when their lands are unfairly usurped. What begins as a crusade for fellow exploited farmers turns him into the very demons he used to loathe, putting him in the crosshairs of tough, righteous cop, Rajveer Singh (Salman Khan).

Watch the Antim trailer below:

What’s hot

I’ll admit that Antim is one of those rare movies, where I haven’t seen the original first (Marathi film Mulshi Pattern), which could so be one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed it so much. From the get go, Antim: The Final Truth’s screenplay keeps you hooked and doesn’t let up. Aayush Sharma is a complete revelation, channeling every ounce of the angry-young-man mould of yesteryear, and coming out trumps with everything from his dialogue delivery to body language and screen presence to expressions – he portrays his transition from a wayward youth out of his depth to a land mafia kingpin drunk on power to a man craving for his lost loved ones to nigh perfection.

The cat-and-mouse game between Salman Khan and him is also played out well, with the latter offsetting the hard-hitting and grit of the movie with his quintessential swag and subtle comic timing. When it comes to the action scenes though, he taps into his trademark macho persona, overpowering Aayush and everybody else on screen.

Mahesh Manjrekar can blow hot, blow cold – thankfully, we get the former version this time. His cameo is also good as are Sachin Khedekar and Sayaji Shinde’s supporting acts. Sure, his film is quite derivate of several gangster classics like Deewar, Vaastav, Agneepath, Dayavan and even a bit of Hollywood’s Scarface, and Brazil’s City of God, but you don’t mind it because of how well their best elements are all mixed together like a tasty curry, providing full-blown entertainment. Ravi Basrur’s terrific background score also elevates the narrative by several notches and the Bhai Ka Birthday song also rings well in the ears.

What’s not

While the derivative nature of the script is weaved as a good ode to aforementioned gangster classics, a bit more originality wouldn’t have hurt. Also, besides the Bhai Ka Birthday song, no other track clicks. Mahima Makwana also deserved more scope to perform, especially given how good she is in the few scenes she gets, particularly in a confrontational sequence in the vegetable market with Aayush. Jisshu Sengupta and Nikitin Dheer are also reduced to mere cardboard cliches of every gangster film that has come before.

Speaking of the vegetable market, from where Aayush’s journey as goon to ganglord begins…well, it’s taken over quite easily by him while his rise to top of the Pune crime world also doesn’t feel quite as earned as it ought to be. And though I haven’t seen Mulshi Pattern, from what I’ve heard, it’s in these scenes where the movie sets itself apart from Antim and falling in the derivative trap. And it’s down to Aayush Sharma’s incredible performance that the monotonous third act is salvaged. Similarly, it’s only because of Salman larger-than-life persona that a couple of plot points, which totally defy logic – especially one involving him and an MLA at a Ganpati celebration – pass under the radar.

BL Verdict

Despite a few scripting issues and its derivative nature, Antim the Final Truth is a very enjoyable gangster movie in the masala mould of classics like Deewar, Vaastav and Agneepath. And while it borrows heavily from them without quite reaching their standards, it does enough till the interval to keep you gripped and wildly entertained in equal measure, riding high on Aayush Sharma’s stunning transformation and showcase of his actual talent, plus Salman Khan’s swag like only he can. I’m going with 3.5 out of 5 stars (0.5 stars solely for Aayush).

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