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Sooryavanshi

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Sooryavanshi
Sooryavanshi film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRohit Shetty
Screenplay byYunus Sajawal
Story byRohit Shetty
Dialogues byFarhad Samji
Vidhi Ghodgadnkar
Rohit Shetty
Sanchit Bedre
Produced byHiroo Yash Johar
Aruna Bhatia
Karan Johar
Apoorva Mehta
Rohit Shetty
StarringAkshay Kumar
Katrina Kaif
Jackie Shroff
CinematographyJomon T. John
Edited byBunty Nagi
Music byScore:
Amar Mohile
S. Thaman
Songs:
Tanishk Bagchi
Lijo George – DJ Chetas
JAM8
Production
companies
Distributed byReliance Entertainment
PVR Pictures
Release date
  • 5 November 2021 (2021-11-05)
Running time
145 minutes[1][2]
CountryIndia
LanguageHindi
Budget160 crore[3]
Box officeest. ₹294 crore[4]

Sooryavanshi is a 2021 Indian Hindi-language action film[5] written and directed by Rohit Shetty and produced by Hiroo Yash Johar, Karan Johar and Apoorva Mehta under Dharma Productions as well as Aruna Bhatia under Cape of Good Films, with Shetty producing the film under Rohit Shetty Picturez and Reliance Entertainment serving as distributor and co-producer. The fourth installment of Shetty's Cop Universe, it stars Akshay Kumar as ATS chief DCP Veer Sooryavanshi. Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh briefly reprise their Singham and Simmba roles from the Cop Universe while Katrina Kaif, Jackie Shroff, Jaaved Jaaferi, Vivan Bhatena, Niharica Raizada, Gulshan Grover, Abhimanyu Singh, Sikandar Kher, Nikitin Dheer and Kumud Mishra play pivotal roles.

Kumar's character was announced towards the end of Simmba that served as a character introduction of Sooryavanshi. Initially locked to release on 24 March 2020 and then 2021, it was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic in India. After several delays, it finally released theatrically on 5 November 2021 coinciding with Diwali. Sooryavanshi received mixed reviews from critics, but went on to became the highest grossing Hindi film of 2021 and 47th highest grossing Indian film of all time with a worldwide gross of ₹294 crore after COVID-19 pandemic.[6]

Plot[edit]

Following the 1993 Mumbai blasts, where Veer "Surya" Sooryavanshi loses his parents, Bilal Ahmed, who is the mastermind of the bomb blasts, seeks refuge with dreaded terrorist Omar Hafeez as they begin planning more such attacks. Omar's son Riyaz has formed a sleeper cell network consisting of 40 terrorists who pose as Indians, aiming to conduct more bombings after the 26/11 attacks. Away in Jaisalmer, Surya and his team nab Riyaz who was hiding his identity. Joint CP and Surya's senior officer Kabir Shroff, who was the only person able to fully solve the case, reveals that about a full ton of RDX was brought to India, of which 400 kgs were used during the 1993 bombings and the remnant 600 kgs are still buried somewhere in the country.

Surya, who is now the DCP and ATS chief plans to catch the sleeper cell's remaining members. He also tries to reconcile with his estranged wife Dr. Ria Gupta, with whom he parted ways due to a misunderstanding, but to no avail. Surya comes across an Islamic priest named Kadar Usmani, revealed to be a terrorist. Usmani meets Bilal, whose residence houses the wanted 600 kgs of RDX. They remove the buried RDX and prepare for the next bombings. Bilal reaches Mumbai with the help of taxi driver John Mascarenhas who left for Bangkok. Surya catches Bilal, who confesses that he undertook the bombings as an act of vengeance for his family being killed in communal riots and shoots himself to death. Later, John is apprehended in Bangkok post a long chase between him and Surya, who learns that the bombs were being made by another member of the sleeper cell.

Usmani and John are arrested; Surya plans to pretend to torture Usmani's daughters to make him confess. Usmani finally informs Riyaz will meet him in his aide Rafique's residence. It turns out a suicidal bomb was planted there to kill Usmani; his elder daughter Aamna helps in identifying Mukhtar, the bombmaker, who is hiding in Shivgadh. Surya sends Inspector Sangram "Simmba" Bhalerao to arrest him. Simmba tells Surya that 7 bombs are to be planted at 7 locations in Mumbai. Riyaz escapes, and it is revealed that the ATS's headquarters would also be bombed. Surya and his team enlist NSG's help to safely extradite the bombs via helicopters and the bombings get botched. However, Riyaz and his team use Ria as a suicide bomber to attack the ATS Headquarters keeping Surya, Simmba and other cops as hostages. Surya's friend DCP Bajirao Singham arrives and they defuse the bomb wrapped around Ria while killing all the terrorists. They capture Mukhtar and Riyaz, who taunt them that they've been in India as sleeper cells for many years, carrying several attacks in Mumbai, and that they cannot harm them. An enraged Singham, Simmba, and Surya shoot them to death, thus bringing peace in Mumbai.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Sooryavanshi was announced in December 2018 through post-credit scenes of Simmba.[18] The first look posters featuring Akshay Kumar were unveiled in March 2019. Unlike earlier entries in the series, Sooryavanshi is not based on any existing work, but is an original story.[19] The scripting of the film began in Goa in 2019.[20]

Filming[edit]

Miscellaneous work of the film commenced in February 2019 in Mumbai, where the film's teaser was shot. Shetty began filming early in the morning and were done in a couple of hours before leaving for Goa to complete the scripting stages.[21] Principal photography commenced in Mumbai on 6 May 2019[22][23] and was planned to be shot in Mumbai, Goa, Hyderabad and Thailand.[24] In June 2019, the recreated version of 'Tip Tip Barsa Paani' was shot in Mumbai, where choreographer Farah Khan had choreographed the song.[25][26] Another schedule was shot in Hyderabad, where it was a month long schedule and majority of action sequences were filmed.[27][28] The second schedule took place in Bangkok.[29] The shooting wrapped up on 30 November 2019 in Hyderabad. The film's last schedule wrapped in December 2019 in Mumbai.[30]

Casting[edit]

Akshay Kumar was finalized as the main lead and it was announced during end credits of Simmba, conceiving the idea for the "Cop Universe".[31] Shetty stated, "In Simmba, Ajay Devgn made a special appearance in his Bajirao Singham avatar, while Ranveer Singh too played a cop. Now in Sooryavanshi, both Ranveer and Ajay will be making an appearance and it will not be surprising if they reprise their respective roles from Simmba and Singham".[32] Jacqueline Fernandez was rumored to be the female lead opposite Kumar in the film,[33] however later in March 2019 it was confirmed that Katrina Kaif was finalised as the female lead.[34]

Music[edit]

Sooryavanshi
Soundtrack album by
Tanishk Bagchi, Lijo George – DJ Chetas, JAM8 and Usha Khanna
Released11 November 2021[35]
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Length18:30
LanguageHindi
LabelT-Series
Saregama
Official audio
Sooryavanshi – Full Album Jukebox on YouTube

Official video song
Sooryavanshi – Hum Hindustani Official Video Song on YouTube

The music of the film is composed by Tanishk Bagchi, Lijo George – DJ Chetas and JAM8 while lyrics are written by Rashmi Virag, Shabbir Ahmed, Anand Bakshi, Tanishk Bagchi and Prem Dhawan.[35] The song "Aila Re Aillaa" is a recreation of the eponymous song from the 2010 film Khatta Meetha.[36] The song "Najaa" is a remake of the 2017 Punjabi song of the same name, originally created by Pav Dharia.[37] The song "Tip Tip Barsa Pani" is a remake of the eponymous song from the film Mohra, originally composed by Viju Shah and features the vocals of original singers Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan.[38] The song "Hum Hindustani" was released on 22 March 2022 under Saregama; it was adapted from the eponymous song originally composed by Usha Khanna and written by Prem Dhawan.[39][40]

Track listing
No.TitleLyricsMusicSinger(s)Length
1."Aila Re Aillaa"Shabbir Ahmed, Nitin RaikwarTanishk Bagchi,PritamDaler Mehndi2:36
2."Mere Yaaraa"Rashmi ViragJAM8Arijit Singh, Neeti Mohan4:45
3."Najaa"Tanishk Bagchi, Pav Dharia, Manav Sangha, Don JaanTanishk Bagchi, Pav DhariaPav Dharia, Nikhita Gandhi3:11
4."Tip Tip"Anand Bakshi, Tanishk BagchiTanishk Bagchi, Viju ShahUdit Narayan, Alka Yagnik4:10
5."Sooryavanshi Theme"Lijo George – Dj ChetasLijo George1:48
6."Hum Hindustani"Prem DhawanUsha Khanna, Tanishk BagchiVarious Artists2:00
Total length:18:30

Release[edit]

Theatrical[edit]

Initially announced as an Eid 2020 release, the film was rescheduled to 27 March 2020.[41] Later, in February 2020, the makers decided to release it on 24 March 2020.[42] However, the COVID-19 pandemic in India caused it to be postponed.[43] In June 2020, Reliance Entertainment confirmed that Sooryavanshi will finally hit cinemas on Diwali, that is 13 November 2020, but due to theatre guidelines owing to the continuity of pandemic, the film was again put on hold as stated by the makers.[44][45] In October 2020, the release was postponed to a later date,[46] possibly between January and March 2021.[47] In February 2021, sources confirmed that makers of Sooryavanshi have fixed 2 April 2021 as its new release date but that again failed to get materialized, because of night curfew or partial lockdown impose in Maharashtra announced by its government.[48] After a delay of more than one year, it was declared on 14 March 2021 that the film will finally release theatrically on 30 April 2021.[49] As of April 2021, the release date of film had been postponed indefinitely due to rise in COVID-19 cases and lockdown in Maharashtra.[50][51] It was later released theatrically on 5 November 2021, coinciding with Diwali.[52]

Home media[edit]

The film's satellite and digital rights were purchased by Zee Cinema and Netflix respectively, the latter for 100 crore (US$13 million), and was premiered on 3 December 2021.[53]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 36% of 11 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 4.8/10.[54] Archika Khurana from The Times of India gave 3 stars out of 5 and wrote, "Rohit Shetty has tactfully expanded his Cop Universe over the years – keeping the audience engaged and die-hard fans of the genre on the edge. After the Singham series (headlined by Ajay Devgn) and then Simbaa (starring Ranveer Singh), now storms in, Sooryavanshi (Akshay Kumar), amidst much fanfare, drama, and blaring theatrics. Sooryavanshi's character was subtly announced towards the end of Simmba. The film has all the elements, attitude, style, showmanship and heavy-duty star power expected of a Rohit Shetty offering."[55]

Anuj Kumar from The Hindu equated the film with a pandemic. He opined that the film "planted seeds of suspicion against a particular community". However, he praised the action sequences and performances of the cast. He summed up the film as, "Deepawali cracker that lights up the sky but covers the soul with soot."[56] Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave 4.5 stars out of 5 on Twitter and called "Fantastic" made for mass action entertainment. Writing on the website Bollywood Hungama, he further stated that: "SOORYAVANSHI has it all: stars, scale, action and entertainment. Rohit Shetty presents a Blockbuster package this Diwali."[57][58] Umesh Punwani from Koimoi gave 2 stars out of 5 and stated, "Sooryavanshi boils down to be a badly done spoof of multiple Rohit Shetty (and other similar templates) movies."[59] Shubhra Gupta from The Indian Express gave 2 stars and called, "It is only when the trio of Akshay Kumar, Ranveer Singh and Ajay Devgn come together, the Rohit Shetty movie gives us what it promises, three for the price of one."[60] Nandini Ramnath of Scroll.in gave 2 out of 5 stars and said, "The gist of the 145-minute movie is contained in the extended climactic action sequence."[61]

Monika Rawal Kukreja of Hindustan Times said, "Sooryavanshi isn't driven by a great script neither does it have any extraordinary suspense that could bring nail-biting moments. Yet, it keeps you on the edge for the sheer joy of watching that over-the-top action."[62] Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV gave the film 2.5 stars rating and wrote, "Akshay's gait is stunt in itself: a cross between a model in the middle of catwalk and a superhero about to take flight. Just like Simmba had provided a glimpse of what was to come in the next instalment, Sooryavanshi indicates what the future might hold for the Rohit Shetty cop universe."[63]

Himesh Mankad of Pinkvilla gave the film a rating of 3 stars out of 5 and wrote, "Sooryavanshi has its share of flaws, but also has enough going in its favor to entertain the audience on the big screen. It's a vehicle driven by Akshay Kumar, who gets support from Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh in the finale, resulting in a Diwali Dhamaka. It's unlike any Rohit Shetty film to date, rather, among his aesthetically sound directorial, which just deserved a little better writing and editing."[64] Pradeep Menon from Firstpost gave the film 3 out of 5 stars rating and wrote, "Sooryavanshi doubles and triples down on its Hindu-Muslim unity message every instance it gets. It is not always done with nuance or understanding of complex religious dynamics, but the intentions are clear. This is a filmmaker reacting to the times he is living in. Keeping all of that aside, Sooryavanshi is a competent action film that sticks to lane, and delivers at least as much over-the-top entertainment as it promises."[65] Joginder Tuteja from Rediff.com gave the film 4.5 stars out of 5 and stated, "Sooryavanshi isn't the kind of masala entertainment that many film-makers have tried to force feed the audience. It is pure big screen entertainment, something that truly works right through its near two and a half hour duration. It's remarkable to notice how there is no dull moment in this two-and-a-half hour film, showing yet again that a long movie can work if made with conviction and loads of exciting sequences, just like Manmohan Desai used to do in his films with one highlight every 10 minutes."[66] Deccan Herald gave a rating of 2.5/5 and said, "The best part of Sooryavanshi is when Simmba Bhalerao (Ranveer Singh) and Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn) join Veer Sooryavanshi (Akshay Kumar) in a high-octane clash against terrorists. The final 15-20 minutes is fun as the trio revels in slick action and whacky comedy."[67]

Among international critics, Devika Girish of The New York Times criticized the film for uncritical jingoism and said "'Sooryavanshi' is weighed down by such endless, didactic soapboxing, while the rest of this erratic film devotes itself to juvenile jokes [...] and sultry songs that offer the film's female lead, Katrina Kaif, her only meaningful screen time."[68]

According to Indian publication The Quint, Sooryavanshi "criminalises normal Muslim behaviour" and associates "things that a large number of Indian Muslims feel, say or do in their daily life" with terrorists.[69][70] Washington Post columnist Rana Ayyub said that the movie stoked "Islamophobic tropes" and compared the film to propaganda films from Nazi Germany.[71]

Box office[edit]

Sooryavanshi earned 26.29 crore (US$3.3 million) at the domestic box office on its opening day. On the second day, the film collected 23.85 crore (US$3.0 million). On the third day, the film collected 26.94 crore (US$3.4 million), taking total weekend domestic collection to 77.08 crore (US$9.7 million).[4]

As of 20 December 2021, the film grossed 233.33 crore (US$29 million) in India and 61.58 crore (US$7.7 million) overseas, for a worldwide gross collection of 294.91 crore (US$37 million).[4] It emerged as the highest-grossing Hindi films of the year by surpassing 83 (2021).[72]

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