I went into the theater to watch the latest Akshay Kumar movie Selfiee, and there were only 5 people with me watching this film. What made it a bit awkward was that the makers of the movie Selfiee had attached one footage at the beginning of the movie where Akshay Kumar thanked everyone for taking a ticket for Selfiee. Well, I would have definitely loved that Thank You in the form of a better film. Selfiee is the least nuanced and loud version of its original, Driving License.
Vijay Kumar is a famous movie star with a great track record. Om Prakash Aggarwal is an RTO in Bhopal who is also a big fan of Vijay. As part of the shoot of his current movie, Vijay was in Bhopal, and the crew wanted his driving license to shoot the climax fight of the movie. Since Vijay’s driving license was missing, it gave Om Prakash a chance to meet his idol. But things didn’t go how Aggarwal wanted them to. And it all ended up in a scenario where Aggarwal got humiliated by Kumar in front of his son. How that incident changes everything for the star and his fan is what we see in Selfiee.
Other than some minor yet contemporary tweaks from the original, Selfiee is pretty much a scene-by-scene remake of the original. The only thing is that they have tried to overdo everything by including loud humor and cheesy dialogue in many areas. The original, scripted by Sachy, was more about ego, and you somewhere feel bad for the RTO character. But the tonality of Selfiee is more towards making it a tale about a mass-euphoric rivalry.
In the original, when both of them talk about how self-respect made them do a lot of stuff, you somewhere look at them as humans with fragile egos. Here, because of the loud characterization, you won’t feel like rooting for them. Raj Mehta has this style of presenting movies in a lavish style. And to an extent, Selfiee benefits from that filmmaking grammar. But the quest for grandeur in every frame takes out the life from the story. Looking at the film’s very staged and evenly lit frames, it was a bit difficult to process that it was done by Rajeev Ravi. Well, it can be taken as a testament to his flexibility.
For Akshay Kumar, the movie is almost like playing himself on screen. From mentioning his 30-year-old movie career to talking about his gum-exposing smile, the film aspires to give him some public validation. Since he is playing a movie star facing a lot of public outrage, the performance looks all the more natural. The lines between Akshay Kumar and Vijay Kumar are very blurry. The challenging character here is played by Emraan Hashmi, and he wasn’t that consistent in being that grounded fanboy who was doing it all for self-respect. I went back to Driving License before writing this review. That climax car scene felt a lot more heartening, mostly because of the earnest performance of Suraj Venjaramood. Diana Penty, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Abhimanyu Singh, Mahesh Thakur, and Meghna Malik are the other names in the cast.
If you haven’t seen the original, I won’t discourage you from watching this movie as the story part is far better than many recent Akshay Kumar entertainers. But in comparison to the original, which itself wasn’t a perfect film, Akshay Kumar’s version is struggling to crack the emotional core. In the original, Suresh Krishna’s character is an actor who is going through a slump phase. But here, Suraj Diwan, played by the talented Abhimanyu Singh, is playing a failed Bollywood actor who is cracking a dried fruit with his butt hole for a gymnasium advertisement. The questions asked in the VVIP Learner’s Test differ from the original. So if you have plans to increase your textbook knowledge on driving, you can give this movie a shot.
In comparison to the original, which itself wasn’t a perfect film, Akshay Kumar’s version is struggling to crack the emotional core.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended