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WATCH: Toofaan trailer out! Farhan Akhtar will rouse a storm before the Tokyo Olympics

Releasing just before the Tokyo Olympics, Farhan Akhtar's second outing with Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra promises to pack a punch as Akhtar fights for respect and redemption in the boxing ring as Aziz Ali.

WATCH: Toofaan trailer out! Farhan Akhtar will rouse a storm before the Tokyo Olympics

Toofaan will be available for streaming from July 16, 2021 on Amazon Prime Video


Sohinee Basu

Updated: 30 Jun 2021 9:24 AM GMT

By now, the Farhan Akhtar and Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra combination is a familiar one in the arena of Bollywood sports dramas and Toofaan is their latest creation, as they step into the boxing ring, promising to pack a punch. After a National Award-winning outing with Bhaag Milkha Bhaag in 2013, Farhan Akhtar and Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra have timed their second pair-up quite strategically before the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Joining the likes of Omung Kumar's Mary Kom (2014), Anurag Kashyap's Mukkabaaz (2017) and Sudha Kongara Prasad's Saala Khadoos (2016), Omprakash Mehra's Toofaan also enters the same boxing ring.

Set to release on July 16 on Amazon Prime Video, a week before the Tokyo Olympics takes off from July 23, Toofaan, from the looks of its gripping trailer has drawn upon the tried-and-tested sports movie arc of an athlete's rise to glory, his subsequent fall and thereby, his journey of redemption. The storyline is simple to grasp and the trailer is quite explanatory and doesn't leave too much room for suspense or imagination.

From the tracks to the boxing rings of Toofaan

Farhan Akhtar in Toofaan, Image Source: Amazon Prime Video

Dealing with the story of street fighter, Ajju Bhai, from Dongri, in south-central Mumbai, Farhan Akhtar's character is shown as that hot-headed boxer ready to pick up a fight at the word 'Go!'. In want of more respect in life, Akhtar decides to invest in his passion for boxing and Mrunal Thakur, as his love interest in the film, is the 'cheerleader' figure while Paresh Rawal as coach Nana Prabhu dons the 'instigator' role.

Toofaan steps into the shoes of Ajju Bhai first - beating up people on the streets, bloody knuckles, broken noses, big face bruises, et al and then paces behind him - in the most-familiar sports movie mid-shot of following a player as he steps out as Aziz 'Toofaan' Ali, the boxer to taste success in the ring.

What follows is only too expected, we have seen it in Sultan (albeit that is a wrestling movie), and a multitude of other Bollywood sports dramas - but the next plot point is inevitably the 'twist in fate' ploy that puts a hold on the success graph of the player. In Toofaan, this twist comes in the form of a five-year ban and shows Aziz Ali's downward spiral and distancing from the ring - provoked by negative media fanfare and criticisms. The rest of the trailer hints at how Aziz Ali will soar again - possibly lift his career by 'stoop(ing) and build(ing) 'em up with worn-out tools', aided with the support of Thakur, Nana Prabhu and his own self-determination and belief.

Is it possible for Toofaan to stir up a storm as a sports movie?

Farhan Akhtar as boxer Aziz Ali in Toofaan, Image Source: Amazon Prime Video

Bollywood, of late, seems to be struggling in its own existential dilemma when it comes to making sports movies and Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra symbolises that confusion in his Toofaan. At two climactic points in what is otherwise a formulaic trailer, Mehra's heroine, Mrunal Thakur props up two fingers as a choice and asks Farhan Akhtar to choose who he wants to be. Bollywood, too, has all the ingredients to make a sports movie laid out in front of them and before starting any project, spends an obsessive amount of time in trying to decide what it wants to be - how much of a Rocky, how much of a Million Dollar Baby should it pull into the mix, Indianise it and package it whole around a similar template.

However, Farhan Akhtar's attempt at being 'Boxing ka Bachchan' and mouthing lines in the Mumbaikar accent, is quite impressive and the hard work that has gone behind it clearly shows. The actor-producer, who did an excellent job essaying the role of Milkha Singh previously, looks absolutely convincing as Aziz 'Toofaan' Ali from the trailer.

What's most remarkable is to see Farhan transform himself - from being in absolute fit shape, six-pack-abs, taut and toned muscles to growing a flabby stomach and losing the symmetry of shape (you are going to be instantly reminded of Salman Khan in Sultan and a certain God of Thunder, Thor at this instance). The film also stars Paresh Rawal, Supriya Pathak, Vijay Raaz, Darshan Kumaar, Mohan Agashe in key roles and has Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy as its musical director trio, to guarantee the 'sporty and motivational' beats in Toofaan.

"Toofaan is a true labour of love. No matter how physically strong one is, stepping into the shoes of a boxer is a whole new ball game. It took 8 to 9 months of rigorous training for me to get into the skin character and it made me realize how physically, mentally and emotionally demanding the sport actually is. I am thoroughly excited to see all our hard work on the screen and I am glad we are going to be able to take the movie to audiences across 240 countries and territories with Amazon Prime Video," Farhan Akhtar said in a promotional interview.

While Toofaan does bank a lot on formulaic elements, with a fit-and-fine Farhan Akhtar at the helm and inside the boxing ring, it is safe to say that the Toofaan storm is quite sure to rise as the build-up to it is promising. Especially with its arrival date just before the Tokyo Olympics, when the world will already be gripped by a sporting frenzy, impatient for the Games to begin, Toofaan will assuredly act as the perfect catalyst to get into the Olympic mood.

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