Rustom (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byTinu Suresh Desai
Written byVipul K Rawal
Based onK. M. Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra
Produced by
CinematographySantosh Thundiyil
Edited byShree Narayan Singh
Music bySongs:
Jeet Gannguli
Raghav Sachar
Ankit Tiwari
Background Score:
Surinder Sodhi
Distributed byPanorama Studios
Zee Studios International
Release date
  • 12 August 2016 (2016-08-12)
Budget50.28 crores[1]
Box officeest. 218.12 crore[2]

Rustom is a 2016 Indian Hindi crime thriller film directed by Tinu Suresh Desai and written by Vipul K Rawal. The film is jointly produced by Cape of Good Films, Zee Studios, KriArj Entertainment, Plan C Studios. It stars Akshay Kumar as Rustom Pavri - a naval officer, Ileana D'Cruz, Arjan Bajwa and Esha Gupta in lead roles. The film is loosely based on the K. M. Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra court case,[3][4] and narrates the story of naval officer Rustom, who shares a happy relationship with his wife Cynthia. Soon, he discovers her affair with Vikram, a close friend, and is accused of murdering him.

Made on a budget of 50 crore (US$6.3 million), the film began principal photography in February 2016,[5] and was theatrically released on 12 August 2016 in India. Rustom received generally positive reviews from the critics for acting performances and writing of the film.[6] It became a box office success grossing over 210 crore (US$26 million) worldwide at the box office,[7] was the fourth highest-grossing Hindi film of 2016 and fifth highest grossing Indian film of 2016.

At the 64th National Film Awards,[8] Kumar received the National Film Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the titular character.


Officer Rustom Pavri is happily married to Cynthia Pavri in 1959, 12 years after the independence from the British colonial government. Their marriage hits the rocks when he discovers that she is having an affair with his friend Vikram Makhija. After returning early from his ship's deployment, Rustom discovers Vikram's love letters in Cynthia's cupboard. While trying to find her, Rustom sees them together. He returns home and waits for Cynthia to return and then confronts her with the love letters, but walks away before Cynthia can explain. Rustom then gets himself a pistol from the naval ship's armory and makes a trunk call to Defence Secretary K. G. Bakshi at Defence HQ, New Delhi. Afterwards, he searches for Vikram, first in his office and then at his home. After Rustom enters Vikram's bedroom, the servant hears three gunshots and rushes to the room, to discover Vikram killed with three bullets on his chest and Rustom walking away with the pistol in his hand. Rustom immediately surrenders to the police and Senior Inspector Vincent Lobo starts the investigation.

Vikram's sister Preeti Makhija meets with the public prosecutor, Lakshman Khangani to get Rustom the toughest punishment possible. Rustom refuses anybody's help and decides to fight the case on his own and prefers police custody. Rustom's senior naval officer, Rear Admiral Prashant Kamath, sends two goons to his house to search for a set of documents, but they fail to find anything. Scared, Cynthia rushes to jail to inform Rustom, who finally meets and listens to Cynthia's story, about how she was lonely and upset when Rustom went away to London for many months. With the connivance of Preeti, Vikram took advantage of Cynthia's loneliness and she fell for him. However, on the day of Vikram's murder, Cynthia had already broken-up with him for the sake of her marriage. She was slapped by Vikram after she broke up with him and got injured and walked out of Vikram's house.

On Rustom's instructions, Cynthia blackmails Kamath for 5 crore in exchange for the vital documents he needed. In the court hearing, Rustom unexpectedly pleads not guilty in front of the Judge Patel, which leads to a 9-member jury trial. At the culmination of the trial, Rustom is found not guilty by the jury since he shot Vikram in self-defence. Meanwhile, it is found that Lobo was in Delhi and he had met Bakshi to obtain the recording of the trunk call that Rustom had made. When back in Bombay, the trunk call is played, convincing almost everyone that Rustom is guilty, and the court proceedings end for the jury to decide on their opinion.

On the eve of judgement day, Rustom tells Lobo the truth — he was posted in London in 1958 for several months inspecting an aircraft carrier that the Navy wants to purchase, but on inspection, it was found by Rustom that the carrier's hull was corroded, and it would have to be repaired and modified before the carrier could be transferred to India. Vikram was lobbying for the aircraft carrier to be bought by India, and he, along with Kamath, attempted to bribe him in order to convince him to say that the carrier is seaworthy. When Rustom attempted to notify Bakshi in London, Bakshi also attempted to bribe him and get the carrier to India. Vikram attempted to persuade him and Rustom then slapped him in disgust. Believing him to have showed the power of his uniform, Vikram had dated Cynthia to show Rustom his power of money and take revenge on him, but never really liked her for real. Rustom, angry at Vikram's revenge, took a pistol from the naval ship's armory, then called Bakshi telling him he wasn't going to spare Vikram and that he had papers exposing the carrier's unworthiness for the Navy. Rustom then went to Vikram's house and fatally shot him. Bakshi then sent Kamath to get the documents which Rustom said he had and on Lobo asking for the recording of the trunk call, gave him half of the recording to hide his corruption. Rustom puts it thus that he did not reveal anything about the aircraft carrier so that the Navy would not have to be tainted with a corrupt image. Rustom then reveals that he never actually had any documents relating to the proof that the carrier was damaged.

The next day, Rustom is declared not guilty by the judge and the jury. Rustom and Cynthia walk out of the court with their heads held up high. The film ends with the Rustom and Cynthia couple on vacation after getting all Bakshi's commission money that Rustom got from Bakshi (involved in the deal at high level) for cutting the tape half. Rustom learned the result of the purchase after reading in the local newspaper about the carrier arriving in India in a robust condition, just as he had wished.



The Rustom production filmed on location in Kent in April 2016 for the romantic montage where Rustom (Akshay Kumar) and Cynthia (Ileana D'Cruz) visit England including The Chequers Inn pub in Aylesford, Canterbury, Maidstone, Leeds Castle, Dover seafront and South Foreland Lighthouse. The Historic Dockyard Chatham also features for the naval port and ship scenes.[9]

Kumar and Twinkle Khanna were sent legal notices for auctioning the costume worn by Kumar to portray the role of a naval officer. They were accused of "playing with the sentiments" of the armed forces.[10]

Box office[edit]


The film was released alongside Mohenjo Daro on 2017 screens across India on 12 August 2016.[11] Rustom collected approximately ₹14.11 crore on its opening day.[11] The film collected ₹50 crore in its opening weekend and ₹90.9 crore in its first week in India.[12]


The film also performed well internationally, grossing approximately $3 million in its opening weekend.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 45% of 11 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.1/10.[14]



The film score was composed by Surinder Sodhi.


Soundtrack album by
Released30 June 2016
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelZee Music Company

The songs featured in Rustom were composed by Arko, Raghav Sachar, Ankit Tiwari, and Jeet Gannguli, with lyrics written by Manoj Muntashir.

The first song from the film's soundtrack album, "Tere Sang Yaara", sung by Atif Aslam and composed by Arko was released on 6 July 2016.[15] The second track of the film, titled "Rustom Vahi" was released on 13 July 2016. All lyrics are penned by Manoj Muntashir. The full music album was released on 14 July 2016.

On 29 October 2019, a new version of the song "Dhal Jaun Main" was released on the Zee Music Company's official YouTube Channel with Arijit Singh's vocals.[16]

All lyrics are written by Manoj Muntashir

Track listing
1."Tere Sang Yaara"ArkoAtif Aslam4:51
2."Rustom Vahi"Raghav SacharSukriti Kakar3:20
3."Tay Hai"Ankit TiwariAnkit Tiwari3:48
4."Dekha Hazaro Dafaa"Jeet GannguliArijit Singh, Palak Muchhal3:30
5."Dhal Jaun Main"Jeet GannguliJubin Nautiyal, Akanksha Sharma4:53
6."Jab Tum Hote Ho"Ankit TiwariShreya Ghoshal4:18
7."Rustom Vahi Theme"Raghav Sachar 1:23
8."Rustom Vahi – Marathi"Raghav SacharJasraj Joshi3:07
9."Rustom Vahi – Male"Raghav SacharJasraj Joshi3:10
10."Tere Bin Yaara (Reprise)"ArkoArko3:46

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result
2017 Screen Awards Best Actor Akshay Kumar Nominated
Best Promising Director Tinu Suresh Desai Won[17]
Stardust Awards Best Actor in a Negative Role Arjan Bajwa Nominated
Best Film of the Year Neeraj Pandey. Nominated
Best Actor of the Year – Male Akshay Kumar Nominated
Best Story Vipul K. Rawal Nominated
Best Costume Design Ameira Punvani Nominated
Zee Cine Awards Best Film Neeraj Pandey Nominated
64th National Film Awards Best Actor Akshay Kumar Won
Lux Golden Rose Awards Best Supporting Actress Esha Gupta Nominated
9th Mirchi Music Awards Upcoming Male Vocalist of The Year Arko Pravo Mukherjee – "Tere sang Yaara" Nominated
Upcoming Female Vocalist of The Year Aakanksha Sharma – "Dhal Jaun Main" Nominated
2018 Pyongyang International Film Festival[18] Informative and Special Screening Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rustom box office day 4 collection: Akshay Kumar film among highest opening weekend grossers of 2016". 15 August 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Box Office: Worldwide collections of Akshay Kumar's Rustom". Bollywood Hungama. 23 April 2023. Retrieved 23 April 2023.
  3. ^ "Akshay Kumar begins 'Rustom' with a strong ensemble cast"
  4. ^ "Ruuuuuuustom poster: Akshay Kumar playing 'honourable murderer' Nanavati?". 3 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Rustom: The real story that inspired the Akshay starrer film". 30 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Rustom Reviews by Critics". 12 August 2016.
  7. ^ Hungama, Bollywood (6 February 2016). "Akshay Kumar and Neeraj Pandey's Rustom goes on floor – Bollywood Hungama". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  8. ^ "First look of Akshay Kumar's 'Rustom' revealed". The Economic Times. IANS. 3 March 2016. Archived from the original on 9 July 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  9. ^ Kent Film Office (31 July 2016). "Kent Film Office Rustom Article".
  10. ^ "Akshay Kumar, Twinkle Khanna sent legal notice for auctioning 'Rustom' naval costume". The Hindu. Press Trust of India. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Rustom box office day 4 collection: Akshay Kumar film among highest opening weekend grossers of 2016". The Indian Express. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Rustom box office day 7 collection: Akshay Kumar film to cross Rs 100 crore this weekend". 19 August 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  13. ^ Koimoi (15 August 2016). "Rustom: Opening Weekend Overseas Box Office Collections". Koimoi. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  14. ^ "Rustom". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 13 December 2023. Edit this at Wikidata
  15. ^ "Tere Sang Yaara (Rustom) by Atif Aslam on iTunes". iTunes Store. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Dhal Jaun Main by Arijit Singh". YouTube. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  17. ^ "Star Screen Awards 2016 winners list: Pink wins big, Big B-Alia get best actor and actress award". India Today. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Pyongyang International Film Festival". Retrieved 2 August 2023.

External links[edit]