Critics’ Verdict: Nawazuddin Makes ‘Freaky Ali’ Well Worth It

Here’s what the critics think of Sohail Khan’s Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer ‘Freaky Ali’. 

3 min read
Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a scene from <i>Freaky Ali.</i>

Film: Freaky Ali
Director: Sohail Khan
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Arbaaz Khan, Amy Jackson, Jas Arora, Asif Basra

On the opening day of Sohail Khan’s directorial comeback Freaky Ali starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, here are excerpts from what film critics have to say about the film-

While it’s nice to see a different and less violent sport being showcased, the casting of an irritating range of characters, and terrible performances by Jackson, Arora and Dheer add to the feeling that you are walking 18 holes in the blazing sun with a heavy golf bag on your shoulder. Though it’s called Freaky Ali, Siddiqui’s Ali is the least freaky of all the characters and his performance is the only reason this film is not a complete washout.
Udita Jhunjhunwala (Firstpost)
We have seen him as a serial killer, we have seen him as a gangster, we have also seen Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a ghost! But in Freaky Ali, for the first time, we see him in a full-length pakka masala role. And guess what? Nawazuddin scores here as well! If Freaky Ali is watchable even for one time, it is only for this chameleon in guise of an actor. The film is lifted off from an Adam Sandler movie, Happy Gilmore, which is not exactly a great idea (however, the biggest WTF moment is Sohail Khan claiming the story as his own). Yet, it was one of the most enjoyable Sandler movies, and if Freaky Ali had focussed more on humour and the sport, it would have worked well with the audience. While we all love Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a performer, it’s high time that he chooses his projects more carefully, since this is the third film of his this year, after Te3N and Raman Raghav 2.0, that has let us down. Freaky Ali has a few moments of comic mirth that will make you crack a smile, but the film, overall, sputters and drags all the way to the final hole.
Sreeju Sudhakaran (
The film begins on an interesting note, bringing in the laughs at the initial stages. Director Sohail Khan doesn’t have much of a story to back his film. Yet, the irreverence in the humor (at times) livens up the screenplay in bits and pieces. The camaraderie between Ali and Maqsood has its fun moments. The one thing that holds the film together is Nawazuddin’s performance – he literally shoulders the entire show. The second half, which mainly focuses on Ali’s journey towards winning the championship, is what makes the film dull. The irreverence goes completely missing and the film is burdened with clichés of all kinds. Freaky Ali falls exactly into the trap it was trying so hard to avoid. Jas Arora is also incredibly irritating.
Sarita A Tanwar (DNA)
Some of the one-liners land with the same force as Ali’s shots, but the cocktail of wacky humour, sentimental blather and tributes to God, Mom and the Neighbourhood has just too many elements to digest. Nawazuddin Siddiqui lives it up as the hero, churning out punchlines and playing the romantic lead in a creaky fantasy about bridging the gulf between the working class and a rich person’s game.
Nandini Ramnath (Scroll)
Freaky Ali misses to be an ace (golf lingo). In the garb of comedy, this is a boring dramedy. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the only bright thing about this film. As Ali, his comic timing is spot on and he even manages to get his stance right in the golf scenes.Arbaaz Khan as Maqsood is average. There are scenes where he overdoes the ‘mawali’ act. Freaky Ali turns out to be a disappointing affair quite early on. Khan’s direction seems to be very hotch potch and there is little to focus on in any of the scenes.
Surabhi Redkar (
Despite the cliches and melodrama, we found Freaky Ali worth the time and money. From the ‘talented actor’ for the intelligentsia to the common man’s entertainer, Siddiqui is one star we love.
Shweta Kaushal (Hindustant Times)
I’ve been quite intrigued about Freaky Ali, ever since I saw the trailer and realised that the Khan family in their wisdom, had made a full film revolving around golf. Which made me question why the Khans, who are known for their crowd-pleaser masalafilms, would make a film which wouldn’t appeal to their mainstay audience.But it seems that one must not disregard Salim Khan’s genes, which have – contrary to popular belief – seemingly penetrated into Sohail Khan’s scriptwriting prowess. Freaky Ali has packed in everything that’s required to be a crowd-puller, according to me. But the film’s two stars are Nawazuddin and the game of golf. Watch it. It’s a fun watch. Just don’t go expecting to watch Tin Cup or even Happy Gilmore. And definitely don’t go expecting Do Bigha Zameen. It’s a Hindi film, masala aur golf maar ke. Take it for what it is.
Rajyasree Sen (Scoop Whoop)

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