Antim: The Final Truth

The fight for power and dominance falls out in writer and director Mahesh Manjrekar’s new action thriller titled “Antim: The Final Truth”. Starring Salman Khan and Aayush Sharma, this one of a kind action thriller is set to create a huge impact with its hair-raising storyline. With one-on-one face-offs, extortions, gang violence, shootings and murders, Antim is bound to create the darkest atmosphere of distress in the minds of its viewers.

The plot revolves around a poor farmer’s son who rises up to an influential position within an organized crime environment. He becomes unstoppable till the day he locks horns with a principled and fearless police officer who would go up to any extent to uphold justice and remove crime from his area of jurisdiction. “Antim” is a Hindi word which stands for “Last”. Read on till the end to become familiar with “The Final Truth”, that is which one of them will come out as the survivor in this “last fight” for power and dominance.

Salman Khan as police inspector Rajveer Singh in Antim: The Final Truth

The story opens with a narration on the life of the common poor Indian farmer. The common Indian farmer gets driven to poverty by being forced to sell his farmland and is made to work as a laborer in his own land. One such case was with Rahul Patil’s (Aayush Sharma) father Dattaram (Sachin Khedekar). In order to get his daughter married, he had to sell off his land and was living the life of a watchman on that very land which he once owned.

One day, his landlord Shinde (Uday Tikekar) beat him up brutally because of a minor fault which he had committed during his responsibilities as a watchman. The miserable plight of his father enraged Rahul and he challenged Shinde that he would get back his land very soon. Rahul shifted with his family to Pune where he worked alongside his father as porters in a vegetable market.

The story takes another dimension and we see police inspector Rajveer Singh (Salman Khan) having his lunch at home. He happens to come across a video clip on his mobile phone which showed a girl getting raped. He immediately left for the crime spot as he was familiar with its location. Upon reaching the spot he finds the locals of that area silenced by the fear of the gangster who had committed the rape. Rajveer shouted at the crowd that, “the girl who was raped could have been one of your mothers or sisters, won’t you people bring justice to her?” Hearing this, a man stepped up from the crowd and gave all details of the rapist to him. The rapist happened to be the son of a renowned politician in that area. Rajveer didn’t care about this at all. He went to that area, beat up all the goons, captured the rapist and dragged him in front of the crowd with his bare hands. Seeing the plight of the rapist who looked nothing more than a frightened mouse, the crowd finally gathered courage to participate in his prosecution at the court.

Aayush Sharma as Rahul Patil a.k.a. gangster Rahulya in Antim: The Final Truth

Now, the story moves to Rahul’s life. The days passed and Rahul and his father were doing well working as porters in the vegetable market. One day, Rahul witnessed an old man getting beaten up by local goons who were trying to extort money from him. He saved that old man by beating up those goons. Following this, he was arrested and ended up in jail. In jail he befriended a local gangster named Nanya (Upendra Limaye).

After coming out of jail, Rahul started committing crimes on behalf of Nanya. He accidently murdered the Mayor of the city and ended up in jail again. This time Nanya bailed him out by fabricating the murder of the Mayor as a suicide with the help of false testimonials from eyewitnesses. It was then Rahul became “Rahulya”, the dreaded gangster of the locality. “Rahulya” was somewhat like the “Robin Hood” of his area. He set on a mission to help poor vegetable vendors and started committing murders of influential people one after the other.

Nanya had other gang members as well. Two of the very prominent members of Nanya’s gang were Daya (Nikitin Dheer) and Pitya (Jisshu Sengupta). One day, both Daya and Pitya came to Rahulya and complained that they had failed to annex the land which is owned by Rahulya’s school teacher, who was also popularly known as “Masterji”. Rahulya had a personal score to settle with Masterji. So he annexes that land and shoots Masterji dead. This time again Nanya bails him out of jail by falsely allegating Masterji’s uncle as the murderer.

Rahulya got disowned by his family as he had turned into a cold-blooded murderer now. The days passed and Rahulya came to know the real story of his family’s miseries. It was in fact Nanya who had forcefully annexed his father’s land by threatening him at gunpoint. Nanya had even tried to sexually predate Rahulya’s mother and sister. Upon knowing this, Rahulya’s anger knew no bounds and when he got invited to Nanya’s birthday party, he murdered him in front of all the guests.

To Rahulya’s bad luck, one of the witnesses of Nanya’s murder was Rajveer Singh himself, as he too was a guest as the birthday bash. But taking Rahulya to jail was no easy task. So, just after the murder, there occurred a horrendous one-on-one fight between Rajveer and Rahulya in which he overpowered Rahulya and dragged him to jail.

But this time there was no Nanya to bail him out. So it took Rahulya several months to come out of jail. After murdering Nanya, Rahulya became the lead gangster and one of the most feared land mafias in Pune. Rajveer went to meet Rahulya’s family and warned them that very soon Rahulya is going to land himself into trouble if he doesn’t mend his ways.

Meanwhile, Rahulya had found a new friend in the form of a teenager named Siddharth (Prem Dharmadhikari) whom he used to call “Sidhu”. The second half of the film shows Rahulya engaging in more murders, extortions and land grabbing. Rahulya acquired large portions of land and became one of the richest landowners in his area. He finally settled his score with Shinde, who had acquired his father’s land, by murdering him brutally in broad daylight. When he gave this news to his father that the land which was once forfeited from them was now theirs, his father only despised him for his coercive methods. This made Rahulya realize his wrongdoings and he finally had a change of heart.

Now Rahulya, as a changed man, decided to join politics. The local politician came to know about this decision of Rahulya to become a politician. He feared losing his political position as Rahulya had the ability to give him a tough competition in his political career. So, he tipped the gangster-duo Pitya and Daya to murder Rahulya.

Now Rahulya’s life was in danger. The politician and the duo of Daya and Pitya ended up chasing him on Pune’s roads in an attempt to murder him. Rajveer was on the watch and he conducted an encounter in which the politician got killed. Rahulya was able to escape from the scene after which he quickly phoned Sidhu about the happenings. He and Sidhu reached the vegetable market where he once worked as a porter along with his father.

Meanwhile, Rahulya’s father Dattaram called and informed Rajveer of the happenings. After that Rajveer too reached the same market. Upon seeing Rajveer, Rahulya came out of his hiding and there was a confrontation between the two. However, that very moment Daya and Pitya also reached the same spot.  These two were the common enemies of both Rahulya and Rajveer so their attention diverted towards them.

After a bloody fight, Rajveer captured the notorious duo with Rahulya’s help. Following this, Rahulya surrendered himself to Rajveer. As Rajveer was arresting him, Sidhu took out a gun and shot Rahulya in the chest. It was finally revealed that Sidhu was none other than Masterji’s grandson who had vowed to avenge the death of his grandfather. As Rahulya lay dying, the duo of Daya and Pitya started laughing and mocking him. This angered Rajveer and he shot and killed the duo on the spot.

Rajveer attended Rahulya’s funeral ceremony. Before he left a thought occurred to him, “Rahulya owned 300 acres of land but needed only 6 feet for his burial”. This is perhaps “The Final Truth” of one’s destiny.

Antim: The Final Truth (2021) Trailer:

The Good:

Portrays The Real Life Situation Of Poor Farmers In India

I am usually inspired by those movies which depict real life circumstances. So did Antim. Though the fight sequences in this movie are extremely violent and look unreal, the film does depict one real life scenario, which is the plight of farmers in India. India is a land of corruption and Antim does signify this. Being an Indian I am ashamed to say this but this is an unquestionable truth. The land grabbing by mafia dons shown in Antim is a real scenario in India.

Most often poor farmers in India are forced to sell their land and work as laborers in their own lands. I must say, what could be more harassing than this? Such situations often lead many farmers to resort to crimes and this is very much eminent from the movie.

A Plot With An Unthinkable Twist!

Honestly, who could ever imagine that the little boy Sidhu was actually the grandson of Masterji whom Rahulya had killed? Sidhu had befriended Rahulya just to avenge the death of his grandfather. In fact, I was expecting that Rahulya would be killed by Rajveer in the end for his misdeeds but the story took an entirely different turn! I believe that Manjrekar has created this plot twist just to intensify the thrill at the ending.

For Action Lovers…You Will Get The Action You Asked For!

If you are an action lover, this movie is for you! The violence and fight sequences shown in Antim are unparalleled. I believe this is one of Bollywood’s most violent movies ever made. The film has a shirtless fight sequence of Salman Khan and Aayush Sharma. Salman Khan who is known to indulge in shirtless fights in almost all of his movies, really did rock the show along with Aayush Sharma, who in fact happens to be his real-life brother-in-law.

Salman himself is the producer of Antim. Antim is his home production and he has launched his brother-in-law as the lead antagonist in this film. Reports reveal that when the film was decided, Salman as Rajveer initially didn’t have much of a role to play in the movie other than arresting Rahulya. In fact, the Rajveer character was supposed to be just a supporting role. But as the plan proceeded, he ended up beefing up his role of the daredevil police officer by indulging in several one-on-one fight sequences with Rahulya. It’s really amazing that Salman and Aayush in spite of being relatives in real life, did appear on screen as arch-rivals ready to destroy each other!

The confrontation

The essence of Salman Khan’s films are the heavyweight dialogues, bloody fights and men covered in blood flying through the air after receiving harsh blows. Same goes with Antim. This may sound funny, but you are sure to love the action! After watching Antim, I must give my credits to both Salman and Aayush for their unparalleled acting. And I must also say, had Salman not extended his role of Rajveer, Antim might not have been as impactful as it is now. We would then have got to watch only Aayush as Rahulya rampaging throughout the movie.

The Cinematography

Another thing that impressed me was Antim’s cinematography by Karan Rawat. His compelling camerawork did capture the flavor of the city and village life in the state of Maharashtra in India. The sweeping wide-angle shots were able to clearly depict the city of Pune’s unabated growth.

Antim was shot in Bollywood’s old-school drama style! I am a big fan of the 90s era Bollywood action dramas which featured action heroes like Sunny Deol, Suniel Shetty, Sanjay Dutt as well as Salman Khan.

As Bollywood started evolving, I initially felt that the industry has lost its dramatic filmmaking style. But Antim proved me wrong! That dramatic cinematic essence involving a robust storyline where the macho hero saves the day is still alive in this industry!

The Bad:

The Screenplay

Rahulya’s arrest

Even though Antim’s storyline was great, the screenplay by Manjrekar, Abhijit Deshpande and Siddharth Salvi appeared a bit distorted to me. The story seemed to jump from one incident to another too frequently which may confuse some of the audiences who are not used to watching Salman Khan’s films. The second half of the movie seemed to go off track as too much violence and unnecessary killings by Rahulya were shown which did nothing more than stretching the film’s run duration.

Also, I believe that the plot has some misconceptions which make it direly unrealistic. A police officer is shown constantly indulging in one-on-one fights with a mafia in order to arrest him. Aren’t there other cops to assist him in Rahulya’s arrest? But one thing I must tell you that this is a Salman Khan movie and Khan is well renowned for taking up most of the screen space with his dominating presence. Then where on Earth will there be any room for other cops on screen?

Salman Khan’s VFX-enhanced Physique!

To be honest, I am pretty much tired of watching Salman Khan’s VFX-enhanced physique in many of his recent movies. Khan, now 56, used to have a prized physique when he was younger. But here it seems he still wants to live up to that!

Not me, but several reports on the Bollywood industry say that Khan’s beefy shirtless looks with broad shoulders, bulging biceps and washboard abs in Antim are just a cinematographic illusion created through VFX technology. I believe those reports may be correct as if you happen to come across Khan in any press conference or reality show, you will find him looking like any average guy. Where did those Herculean muscles vanish?!

However, Aayush Sharma did genuinely beef up for his role as Rahulya. He has gained several pounds of lean muscle mass as compared to his character in his 2018 film “Loveyatri”.

The Verdict:

Mahima Makwana as Manda Vichare in Antim

“Antim: The Final Truth” is no new thing in the Indian film industry. This film is the remake of the Marathi language crime drama titled “Mulshi Pattern”. However, Antim is a much more intensified version.

Antim covers a good screen time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. I feel that too many unnecessary confrontations involving power-hungry politicians and gangsters like Daya and Pitya did play their part in extending the film’s run duration. The editing by Bunty Nagi could have been done better so as to remove certain unnecessary confrontations and confusing melodramatic incidents shown in the movie. Even the songs in Antim are not appealing enough and have consumed a considerable amount of screen time.

Aayush Sharma and Mahima Makwana in the track “Hone Laga” in Antim

Mahima Makwana made her acting debut in Antim with her role of Manda Vichare who is a tea seller as well as Rahulya’s love interest. Her short role lacked chemistry with Aayush’s character and didn’t have much significance in this largely male-dominated script. Director Mahesh Manjrekar too played a short role of Manda’s father Satyavan who appears reluctant to get his daughter married to a gangster like Rahulya.

However, in spite of certain shortcomings, Antim still remains a great choice for action and thriller lovers with its power-packed storyline. I must say, “Antim” does signify a person’s destiny. Even if he or she has achieved a lot of fame through wrongdoings, the destiny can just be one. It was simply his “destiny” which was “The Final Truth” that Rahulya met in the end.

 

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  • Acting - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 9/10
    9/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 7/10
    7/10
  • Setting/Theme - 8/10
    8/10
  • Watchability - 8/10
    8/10
  • Rewatchability - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
Overall
8/10
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About Subhadeep Kumar Ganguli

Meta film critic. Never make the same mistake twice. Make it three or four times just to be sure 😉

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