Certificate: U/A

Director: Robbie Grewal

Starring: John Abraham, Mouni Roy, Jackie Shroff, Sikander Kher

Written by: Robbie Grewal

ROMEO AKBAR WALTER is the story of a patriot who is risking his life to spy on his enemy country. The story is based in the year 1971, our protagonist is Romeo Ali (John Abraham) who works in India in a bank. He stays with his overprotective mother Waheeda (Alka Amin). Romeo’s father was martyred while serving the country. Romeo too has a passion to work for India but is unable to because of his mother. But one day, he comes across Shrikant Rao (Jackie Shroff), head of RAW, and offers Romeo an opportunity to serve his country by joining RAW and spying on Pakistan on their soil. Romeo agrees to join them and before leaving for training and his trip to Pakistan, he lies to his mother that he has been promoted and is being sent for training. In Pakistan, he manages to win the trust of an arms dealer Isaq Afridi (Anil George), who is very close to  General Zorawar (Purnendu Bhattacharya). While spying on them, Romeo comes across a vital information. The Pakistani forces are planning an air strike in Badlipur area of the then East Pakistan. This part of Pakistan is getting rebellious and wants independence. The rebels meanwhile are being trained by Indian forces and a lot of them are stationed at Badlipur, where the Pakistanis plan to drop bombs. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

The premise of the story is quite interesting but the plot weakens as the film progresses. The film also drags a tad bit and could have been shortened. There are quite a few loopholes in the script as well and they are visible on the screen. A few things are spoonfed to the audiences while some leave them bewildered.

Technically, the film is decent. Cinematography by Tapan Basu is decent. Editing by Nilesh Girdhar is okay and the film is a bit too long and he could have cut out a few unnecessary scenes. The VFX is okay.  The production design is good and gives a proper retro feel. The costume designing is good too. The story is interesting but the script is weak and could have been better. The music is not of the chartbuster variety and a few songs seem like they’ve been forcefully added in the film and none of them work in the film.

The performances are what lift the film up. John Abraham is brilliant. He has given his best in the film and it shows out. Mouni Roy is great as well. Jackie Shroff is good as you would expect. Sikandar Kher looks intimidating and plays his part bang-on. The rest of the cast offer good support.

Director Robbie Grewal had a good idea based on a very interesting premise but he fails to execute it like he would have hoped. He’s done a good research for the film but it seemed of no use. While the narrative is great, he fails to make an engaging film.

2.5

At the box-office

The film has taken an average start but with a good word of mouth, the film should achieve something substantial eventually.

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