Selfiee: Clash Between A Superstar And His Fan Keeps You Engrossed

Akshay & Emraan are a treat to watch!

Selfiee (Hindi)

  • Cast: Akshay Kumar, Emraan Hashmi, Diana Penty, and Nushrratt Bharuccha; Mrunal Thakur and Yo Yo Honey Singh (special appearances)
  • Writer-Director: Raj Mehta
  • Producers: Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta, Listin Stephen, Supriya Menon and Prithviraj Sukumaran
  • Music: Anu Malik, Tanishk Bagchi, and Yo Yo Honey Singh
  • Runtime: 2 hours 25 minutes

There is something magical about the bond that a fan shares with his\her favourite actor. Driving Licence, the 2021-released Malayalam film written by the late Sachy and directed by Lal Jr, was both entertaining and insightful on what happens if the fan takes on his favourite actor due to a misunderstanding.

It was also a brilliant take on the psyche of human nature. Akshay Kumar and Emraan Hashmi’s Selfiee is an official remake of the Malayalam movie.

Interestingly, both Driving Licence and Selfiee have a lot of similarities with Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan. But in Fan, SRK’s Gaurav becomes a psycho who harms himself and also his idol. The war between the superstar and the fan was stretched endlessly with extreme violence.

However, in both Driving Licence and Selfiee, the treatment of the directors is far more mature with an amicable resolution at the end.

The story

Selfiee narrates the story of superstar Vijay Kumar (Akshay Kumar) who visits Bhopal for a shoot.

The film’s climax needs certain permissions which can only be granted if he has a valid driving licence. But Vijay Kumar loses his license and the new licence is yet to arrive.

A local politician, Vimala Tiwari (Meghana Malik) promises to get the new licence in two days. At the RTO office, she meets up with RTO inspector Om Prakash Aggarwal (Emraan Hashmi) who along with his son is a huge fan of Vijay Kumar. Indeed, their biggest dream is to click a selfie with their favourite actor.

As Vijay Kumar visits the RTO office at 7 AM the next day, the news gets leaked to the media. The superstar, who is already on an emotional edge due to personal issues, believes that Om Prakash alerted the media and he berates the latter in front of his colleagues and son.

Soon the news of Vijay Kumar not having a driving licence snowballs into a national issue. To make things worse, Om Prakash’s son gets hurt after a stone-throwing incident.

The RTO inspector assumes that it was all orchestrated by his idol Vijay Kumar. This leads to a huge battle between the superstar and his fan.

The rest of the story tells how this battle affects Vijay Kumar and how eventually things get reconciled.

The highlights

Director Raj Mehta and additional writer Rishabh Sharma retain the core of the original. But, at the same time, they make certain changes that help Selifee in a major way, particularly in the first half.

There are many potshots that Akshay sportingly takes on himself. For example, there is a scene where Vijay Kumar’s wife, played by Diana Penty, makes fun of her husband’s masoode-wali smile.

Similarly, a doctor advises him to do more classy films. The cherry on the cake though is the bit where Akshay Kumar takes a self-jibe at the number of films and brand advertisements that he has to do every year.

Raj Mehta also slips in a meta-reference to Vijay Kumar being a producer’s actor.

What adds even more to the fun factor is the presence of Abhimanyu Singh who plays Vijay Kumar’s contemporary. His character starts off his career at the same time as Vijay Kumar but there is a big difference in their statures now.

It is fun to watch Abhimanyu Singh trying his hand at physical comedy, given his general image. He lets his hair down and simply has a blast playing the jealous rival.

The interactions between Akshay and the local politician are another major highlight of the film.

Meghana Malik stands out with her impeccable comic timing. Her hunger for fame is relatable, given the political circus that we see in everyday life.

Emraan & Akshay are eye candies

Emraan Hashmi as Om Prakash finally gets a solid part after a long time. His transformation from a super fan to a nemesis, among other things, has been well etched out by both the director and writer.

In the beginning, Emraan doesn’t seem comfortable but he gets better as the film progresses. He shines particularly in the emotional bits.

The best thing about Akshay’s Vijay Kumar is the vulnerability beneath the entire swagger.

The actor does a good job of displaying not just the flamboyance of a superstar but also an equally good job of conveying the humanness beneath the stardom. This is easily the actor’s best performance in years.

Of the two leading ladies, Diana Penty lends a certain elegance to her part of a supportive wife who is a friend first and a spouse later. Her scenes with Akshay are filled with warmth.

Other technical crafts

The trouble with Selfiee starts midway through the second half.

The superstar versus fan moments could have done with more meat. The portions of Vijay Kumar taking the driving test feel a bit stretched.

The movie also takes a jibe at the phenomena of media trials. There is also a reference to the #BoycottBollywood movement. These are interesting scenes but they also get repetitive beyond a point.

Among the technicians, cinematographer Rajeev Ravi deserves appreciation for capturing the larger-than-life lifestyle of Vijay Kumar.

The music composed by Anu Malik and Co is not great but goes with the flow of the film. A special mention must be made of the opening song “Kudiyee Ni Teri” though.

Mrunal Thakur springs a pleasant surprise with her glamorous and hot avatar.

Verdict

In a nutshell, this Selfiee is worth a ride, particularly if you have ever been a fan of any actor.

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