Akshay Kumar Poised to Bring Another Real Life Story on Screen with ‘Rustom’

“Rustom” will delve into the real life case that shut down the jury system in India.

Akshay Kumar continues his streak of delivering gut-wrenching, fast-paced movies. After “Special 26,” “Holiday,” “Baby,” “Airlift,” Kumar’s upcoming film “Rustom” will delve into the real life case that shut down the jury system in India.

Co-produced by Zee Studios, the film is set in 1959 Bombay. Kumar plays Naval Commander Rustom Pavri who marries Ileana D’Cruz’s character. His job keeps him away for too long and she ends up falling in love with Vikram (Arjun Bajwa, “Fashion”). When Rustom returns and finds out about his wife’s affair, he confronts Vikram and ends up shooting him.
At his trial, he pleads not guilty. The basis of the case is to figure out if it was a premeditated murder, which would cost him his life in prison or death, or a heat-of-the-moment situation, which would mean fewer years spent in jail. Since Rustom is a respected member of the Navy, the media and citizens paint him in the light of a true patriot, an honorable man. Vikram’s sister, played by Esha Gupta, wants justice for her brother’s untimely death.

The movie is inspired by the landmark case, K.M. Nanavati v. the State of Maharashtra. In the 1959 case, Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati, also a naval commander, was tried in court for the murder of his wife’s lover Prem Ahuja. Nanavati was declared not guilty by a jury under section 302 but the verdict was dismissed by the High Court and the case was retried.

The public did not condemn him and instead believed he was a wronged husband also betrayed by a close friend. He had known Ahuja for 15 years. The Parsi community rallied behind Nanavati and he also received backing from the Navy. The prosecution argued that the jury had been misled by the media reports, which was bias towards Nanavati. This led to the total abolishment of the jury system in India.

Clearly, “Rustom” is deeply influenced by this case. Based on the poker face of a man with no remorse that Kumar is bringing to the table, he has nailed the character. D’Cruz and Gupta have had their shares of ups and downs but, hopefully they brought their A game to the table for this film. Let’s hope the story doesn’t stray too far and try to appeal to the typical Bollywood audience by inducing cliches like item songs and such. The story has history, power, and relevance. It’s exactly what Bollywood needs right now.

“Rustom” is directed by Tinu Suresh Desai and will release on August 12, 2016.

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