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Antim movie review: Aayush Sharma packs a punch while Salman Khan takes backseat in this massy entertainer

Given the current sentiment in the country where the plight of farmers has evoked extreme reactions, Antim: The Final Truth somewhat touches upon that chord and tries to makes a strong point. An official adaptation of the hit Marathi film Mulshi Pattern, this Mahesh Manjrekar directorial adds a whole lot of Bollywood masala to make it a wholesome entertainer but not without over-the-top drama and loud action sequences.

Set on the premise of age-old ordeal of farmers losing their land to mafias, Antim shows its repercussions when Rahul (Aayush Sharma), a jobless son of a farmer turns into one of the most dreaded gangsters who joins hands with land mafias of Pune to fight injustice after his father is ripped off his land. Will he manage to win back all that he lost in this journey or will he face the wrath of his own wrong doings? This narrative that keeps you on the edge for most of the time.

The first half of the film creates quite an engaging build-up, setting the right tone for characters. But I was taken aback with how the second half took a nosedive. The story gets predictable and starts to lose grip. In no time, everyone is seen killing each other, not adding anything much to the plot but definitely taking the raw action a notch higher. In between all this, a lavani item song by Waluscha D’Souza and a Ganpati song featuring Varun Dhawan are quite abruptly and forcefully wedged in.

What stands out in the film is Aayush Sharma’s transformation with a well sculpted body. After a passable debut with Loveyatri, Aayush has evidently worked hard to get into the skin of this ruthless and deadly goon anyone would resent with a passion. He triggers anger in you, makes you want to hate him, and then there are shades in Rahul’s character that evoke empathy, too. He doesn’t hide behind Salman’s shadow and instead takes him head on in the film with his body language and on-point expressions.

Antim is different from any other Salman Khan film and sees him in a restrained performance as Sikh cop, Rajveer Singh. Also, it’s quite unlike his Robinhood in Dabangg or Radhe in Wanted.Though Salman and Aayush are at loggerheads, it’s not the usual cat and mouse chase between a good cop and the bad guy. However, what’s common in Antim and all other action thrillers we see is heavyweight dialogues, bloody punches, gunshots and men covered in blood flying in the air like dust particles. In this department, Antim is no different.

Also read: Satyameva Jayate 2 movie review: John Abraham’s triple role is three headaches rolled up in one film

Also, there’s a big line-up of supporting actors including Upendra Limaye, Nikiten Dheer, Jisshu Sengupta, Sayaji Shinde, but at times, you feel they are there to only to add needless subplots and fights. Marathi actor Sachin Khedekar as Rahul’s father Sakharam is the best out of this lot. He delivers a convincing performance and brings in varied emotions while dealing with his son.

In this heavily male-dominated script, there’s also Mahima Makhwana as Manda, making her film debut. As Aayush’s love interest, she has hardly anything to bring to the table. Even their chemistry doesn’t add any sparks onscreen. Talking of female characters, there’s also Aayush’s mother and sister, who don’t get more than two lines to speak in a couple of scenes.

Overall, the film has what it takes to be a mass entertainer but had it been less preachy and stuck to the gangster drama plot without emotional tropes, it could have been more impactful. Watch it to enjoy Aayush and Salman both in new avatars.

Antim: The Final Truth
Director: Mahesh Manjrekar
Cast: Salman Khan, Aayush Sharma

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