In one scene of Boss, a melancholic and pained Mithun Chakraborty struggles with his crutch, looks pensively towards the camera and says, “Ghaav to wo bharte hai jo shareer pe lage ho. Ye ghaav to mere aatma pe laga hai.” (“Only physical wounds can heal. These wounds are upon my soul.”)
It’s a meta line because it perfectly encapsulates the effect that Boss has on the viewer. It hurts your soul.
Starring Akshay Kumar from Rowdy Rathore, Akshay Kumar from Khiladi 786 and Akshay Kumar from OUATIMD, Boss is one of the most shoddily-directed, pathetically-written and mind numbingly insipid expenditures of two and a half hours that you’ll have subjected yourself to this year. The film is a remake of the Malayalam movie Pokkiri Raja and seems to have been rushed into production the second Simbly South remakes like Rowdy Rathore scored box office platinum. It is shamelessly mediocre cinematic swill posing as masala entertainment.
Hired to create this masterpiece is Mr Anthony D’Souza, the filmmaker who gave us Blue along with the writer duo of Farhad-Sajid. I could end this review right here because that’s all you need to know about the lazy, unfunny awfulness of Boss, but since I love cinema, brace yourself for a meticulous and analytical plot synopsis.
Akshay Kumar upturns a red mirchi cart in slow motion, then Akshay Kumar swirls road dirt with his feet in slow motion, then Akshay Kumar does the jig at a couple of discotheques while trying to reunite with his estranged dad, and finally Akshay Kumar jumps screaming out of a pond in slow motion. There’s your plot. Dammit, I’m moaning about the lack of a plot while writing about an Akshay Kumar film titled Boss – look at my effrontery.
Kumar’s performance transcends campy and fun into Hellraiser’s fourth dimension of grotesque and horrific torture. It’s not that Kumar can’t do comedy – he was terrific in Hera Pheri. If only he’d return to doing well-written comedies instead of bile like this.
Bottom line: Boss expects you to laugh in the face of amazing stupidity. The jokes would struggle to make a guy attached to a nitrous oxide cylinder budge a facial muscle. The highlight of the film is a joke where Boss saves a woman and bestows his brotherly affection towards her by naming his truck ‘Behen ki lorry’. Seriously, I wonder how a human being would fund this sort of humour. Maybe the producers would pay me if I point and laugh uncontrollably at the first name of the film’s action director: Anal Arasu.
To keep up with the misogynist observational jokes of the film, I must say that Aditi Rao Hydari in Boss has done a really great job of showcasing her dripping wet, red bikini torso. Her character has no other purpose in the film. However the Grand Mufti of Atrociousness in Boss is the venerable Mithun, forced to play an utterly stupid character and bare his massive lack of dramatic chops in a series of ludicrous scenarios.
I can only assume that talented and likable actors like Ronit Roy, Danny Denzongpa, Sanjay Mishra and Mukesh Tiwari had a few mortgage loans pending so when the call came in for a big budget South remake starring ‘Akki’, they zoomed towards the auditions in an F1 car. There’s no judging anyone for putting bread on the table, but it is depressing to watch them wading through a wreck like Boss because of (presumably) the lack of options in India’s film industry.
(First published in Firstpost)