A turbaned Salman Khan comes up with a very environmentally-aware line in Antim: The Final Truth - “Iss duniya mein kuch nahi tikta sivay plastic ke (Nothing lasts in this world except plastic)”. One would expect a chuckle in response, but it was received with a kind of seriousness we never thought the line merits. “Haan toh hoon main plastic (Yes, I am plastic)“, comes the retort. “Haan toh tu hai kachra”, goes another response. I’m paraphrasing here, but that’s the import.
In short, Salman, as the cop, must find ways to rid the city and the entire Hindustan of the junk in the form of anti-social elements that inhabit it. Only here he is decidedly reserved, cautious as to not steal the thunder from brother-in-law Aayush Sharma. Nothing Chulbul here. Apart from the slo-mo, elaborate entry that Salman must always have, the rest of the cast is careful to not step on Aayush's toes.
Nobody is breaking the law here, but this also doesn’t amount to any kind of artistry. Aayush, who had a rather lukewarm debut with Loveyatri, is desperate to show us all the tricks up his sleeve. Therefore he is carefully bronzed and meticulously chiseled . Aayush’s Rahulia has a rugged appearance to remind us of his hardscrabble life.
The plight of farmers is highlighted to set a bit of context. How they are cheated and made to sell their own land and end up working for the rich landowners, who victimise them further. Money is little and problems aplenty. Disillusioned, many are forced to migrate to cities and find menial jobs. Without money or education, daredevilry and brawn helps Rahulia become a local gangster/bhai.
Said to be an adaptation of Marathi film Mulshi Pattern, Antim has portions that feel like a hat tip to Deewar and Vaastav.
Impoverished lives, forced to take up the gun and then the remorse that always accompanies such acts - the plot is similar.
Director Mahesh Manjrekar dials up the hysteria and background score here. Aayush’s anti-hero angst versus Salman’s vigilantism follows a predictable template. For those expecting a typical Salman fare, it’s reasonable to adjust one's expectations because even in character Salman simply exists to help Aayush find a footing.
Aayush has definitely worked hard, but the effort shows, and that takes away the sheen a little. The fight sequences, bare-chested action, muscle flexing with clenched jaws make Aayush look more like an earnest student who has completed all assignments on time than a living, breathing character who forges a bond with us and makes us feel invested in his struggle.
Actors like Sachin Khedekar, Upendra Limaye, Jisshu Sengupta, Chhaya Kadam and Mahima Makwana follow directions and add authenticity, but their brief is simple - let all the focus be on Aayush Sharma. The result is that even though dialogues and entire scenes are drenched in melodrama, we still remain unmoved till the end. Antim: The Final Truth is less of a film that wants to tell a story and more a business proposal to hoist Aayush Sharma as an action hero.
Our Rating: 2 Quints out of 5