Akshay Kumar’s Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty is a remake of Vijay's Tamil movie Thuppakki. In Tamil it made a big box office collection. Akshay is so fine as a rough and tough soldier role, but when he gets romancing and joshing, he slides. So does the film.
Akshay can still deliver a perfect roundhouse kick but he has been looking his age for a while now. He’s slim and fit and agile, and sports a sharp Army-style buzz cut, but he makes everything familiar. In Murugadoss’s earlier Hindi remake ‘Ghajini’, Aamir Khan’s eight packs did the talking, both on and off screen, and all that banded muscle was new for the Khan, and for us. Akshay doesn’t get to roll out enough fresh tricks here.
As the brainy-and-brawny villain, Daruwala has not even an iota of menace
Holiday begins with Captain Virat Bakshy coming back to Mumbai. On his advent, his parents take him to meet Saiba (Sonakshi Sinha), as a part of an arranged marriage proposal. While initially it doesn’t work out between them, with Virat assuming Saiba to be a shy and reticent person, he eventually gets to see a brighter, enthusiastic and feistier side of her.
Meanwhile, Virat entangles himself in a case that involves a bomb blast. As the story advances, Virat tracks down the sleeper cells that have been plotting a bigger attack on Mumbai.
Holiday traces the story of how Virat destroys the active sleeper cells and pushes them on to the comatose mode for a good while.
Akshay Kumar is still a proud over actor. And as much as I enjoy watching his films, it was hard to miss Kumar taking trips back to Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobaara which in my opinion was one of the worst roles of his career. But when it comes to the genuineness and the sincerity to which he accomplishes this role, Akshay gets full marks on it. It was after a long time that Akshay synced in a character this well, as if it was written for him. In the last scene where he kills the head of the sleeper cells, qualifies as adrenalin rush shot for any Akshay fan. Thumbs up to the cool man!
Sonakshi Sinha barely has a 15 minute role in the film. And as hard as I try to like her each time, I find it very difficult to achieve with the actress practically doing nothing in her films. Its high time she really needs to raise the bar of the roles she accepts.
Also, it must be mentioned that the audiences got a glimpse of Akshay’s It’s Entertainment and if that dog is anything like Holiday’s ’Rocky’ then we have a brilliant chemistry to await.
Sumeet Raghvan, who is best known for his role Sahil Sarabhai in the popular show Sarabhai VS Sarabhai, is reduced to a caricature that doesn’t define his diverse acting abilities. He was ordinary and played plain silly all along.
The lead terrorist in the film, Freddy Daruwala does his job well emitting the right emotion of spine chilling. The guy surely has promise and with a more prominent role, he can deliver better.
For film critics, the first thing to check out in the censor board certificate is a film’s runtime. Going by thatHoliday wasn’t even close to being a pleasant sight. At 2 hours 52 minutes, the film was relatively long. Give A.R Murugadoss the credit that it is so absorbing in both its witty and silly moments that you don’t quite feel the pangs of its length. It is a sleek film which is done in an old fashioned good vs evil way but Akshay fighting his nemesis is every bit satisfying.
I can’t help taking pot shots at the laughable climactic juncture where a supporting actor screeches, “Ek kaam kartey hai dono ko maar daltey hai” (about Akshay and Freddy). Sounding straight out of daily soaps, it didn’t quite fit in the trim narrative. At another juncture where 12 army officers are tracking down 12 sleeper cells in a very razor sharp sequence, at a nail biting minute they all echo ‘Arey yeh toh gun hai’ thrice over (on discovering a gun in their bags). Dialogues like this don’t show well on the sagacious thinking of the film.
Positives : The absorbing pace, the intelligent thinking of the proceedings, Akshay Kumar and mostly the gratuitous action sequences.
Negatives : Sonakshi Sinha and the film’s romantic angle, a half baked plot that comes with no back story and doesn’t invest enough in painting an elaborate picture of its characters. And mostly the overstretched, over-exaggerated and over the top sequences that probably helps in raising the fun quotient of the film doesn’t really smell of wit.
Box Office Analysis
Akshay Kumar’s Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty, when it comes to box office performance. However, the film didn’t take a great opening.
The movie took a slow start in the morning shows (almost 25-30%), however, the evening and night shows’ occupancy had shot up to 75% overall. But that didn’t really help the film’s total Day 1 collections it seems.
Holiday has managed to make a business of 12 crores nett, on Day 1 i.e. 1st Friday at the Domestic Box Office. The film performed best in Mumbai, Delhi-UP, Gujarat and Punjab. The single screens are collecting more moolah than multiplexes. Holiday being a complete mass entertainer is appealing mostly the urban crowd.
Holiday is mostly a delectable film. With Akshay’s superfluous action sequences beguiling you to watch a film which isn’t even close to as brainy as it seems. It isn’t a great film but surprisingly win some and not entirely forgettable.
Rating : 6.5/ 10