Reliance Entertainment, Hari Om Entertainment Company and Sunshine Pictures Pvt. Ltd.’s Holiday (UA) is the story about an armyman, Virat (Akshay Kumar), who comes home on a holiday but gets embroiled in a case of terrorism.
Virat Bakshi comes home in an army special train which is carrying thousands of other armymen too. His father (Premnath Gulati) has arranged for a meeting with a prospective bride’s family as he is in a hurry to get Virat married. Virat disapproves of the girl, Saiba (Sonakshi Sinha), but soon falls in love with her when he accidentally sees her on another occasion.
Even as his love story is just beginning to blossom, Virat gets sucked into a terrorism scandal which threatens to ruin India. A public transport bus is blown up by a terrorist (Nishank Amar) whom Virat manages to nab while he is escaping. The terrorist is handed over to the police who admit him to hospital from where he escapes.
Virat soon realises that the terrorist is a sleeper cell and is part of a large group of terrorists. Now, Virat wants to reach the mastermind terrorist (Far had). But before he can reach the mastermind, he must find out who secured the terrorist’s escape from the hospital, and must also stop a terrorist activity planned in the city of Bombay.
Virat seeks the help of his police sub-inspector-friend, Mukund (Sumeet Raghavan), and his armymen-friends and succeeds in thwarting the major terrorist plan. And then comes the day when Virat comes face-to-face with the mastermind.What happens thereafter?
A.R. Murugadoss has scripted the film which is a remake of his own Tamil blockbuster, Thuppakki. The film’s story is very engaging and the screenplay is very wholesome. There is plenty of drama, a good dash of comedy and light moments, plenty of action and thrills, some good music, a bit of romance, patriotic flavour, and even some heart-wrenching emotions. There are plenty of clapworthy scenes in the first half as well as the second half. In particular, the scene in which Virat and his armymen-friends bump off 12 sleeper cells, the scene in which Virat saves the girls belonging to families of some armymen, the scene in which Virat confronts the terrorist mastermind, all of them will draw huge rounds of applause from the audience. In fact, there are several clap-trap moments in each of the aforementioned sequences. The scenes in which Virat explains the need to rise above personal gains and do something for one’s country, even if that means sacrificing one’s life, are superb and evoke patriotic feelings in the viewer. The light moments between Virat and Saiba are very enjoyable and so are the light scenes between Virat and Mukund. The last (background) song, picturised on the armymen and their families on the railway platform, will move many in the audience to tears for the lyrics and the picturisation. Dialogues are excellent and touch the heart at many places. Perhaps, the only two minus points are that the drama appears too long and, therefore, a bit boring at times, and the planning and plotting on either side as also the execution of the plans, all look so simplistic. But compared to the plus points, these two minus points are not major.
Akshay Kumar does an excellent job as Virat. He is wonderful in the scenes of strategising and execution and very endearing in the light and romantic ones. He looks supremely handsome in this film and younger than in his recent films. Sonakshi Sinha is nice as Saiba and complements Akshay very well. It is delightful to see both of them dancing together. Farhad makes a promising debut as the terrorist mastermind. He looks good and acts ably. Sumeet Raghavan gives a truly natural performance in the role of sub-inspector Mukund. Zakir Hussain has a tiny role as the defence under-secretary and he does justice to it. Govinda leaves a mark in a special appearance and makes people laugh. Dipendra Sharma is effective as the second-in-line terroroist. Nishank Amar leaves a mark as the terrorist who blows up the public transport bus. Pradeep Chaudhary is nice as the advisor. Gauri Pandit and Premnath Gulati make their presence felt as Virat’s parents. Cherry Mardia and Apoorva Arora have their moments as Virat’s two sisters. Indira Krishnan (as Saiba’s mother) and Rajesh Khatri (as Saiba’s father) perform well. Aackruti Nagpal and Madhu Raj are nice in the roles of Saiba’s friends. Aashin A. Shah, Aaran Chaudhary, Sanwara Khemka, Gaurav Walia, Sandeep Sachdev, Jigar Gill, Siddhartha Amar, Yugesh Anil, Sonpreet Javanda, Monty Bagga, Lalit Kumar, Abhay Shukla, Chirag Sethi, Mohit Sharma, Lard S. Maan, Laksh Aswani and Bruce Jagtiani (all 17 as armymen) lend formidable support. Bunty (as the taxi driver), Sahedev Gireesh (as the traitor police officer), Sunita Shirole (as Saiba’s grandmother), Madhaparia (as Saiba’s friend getting married), Deepjyoti Das (as the Maharashtrian bridegroom), Sohrab (as the nun in the church), Randheer Rai (as Christian groom Joel), Rajiv Kachroo (as Joel’s brother, Noel), Zarksis (as Joel and Noel’s father), Mahima Bakshi, Pari Mirza, Khushboo Jain and Anisha Pahuja (all four as the kidnapped girls), Sandeep Pandey, Gopal Ashint, Brijesh Yadav, Naveen Chandra, Prayas Mann, Rohit Pandey, Harjeet Sidhu, Ovaish Rashid, Tripurari Yadav, Hardeep Singh and Imtiaz Mansuri (all 11 as terrorists) lend the desired support. Dog Rocky does his bit.
A.R. Murugadoss’ direction is extraordinary. He has intelligently woven all elements of a commercial entertainer into the drama and has adopted a narrative style which would appeal to people of all age-groups and classes. Pritam’s music is very good. The ‘Shairaana’ and ‘Tu hee toh hai’ songs are beautifully tuned. The ‘Blame the night’ song is also good and the ‘Ashq na ho’ song is nice. Lyrics (Irshad Kamil) deserve distinction marks, especially of the ‘Ashq na ho’ number. Song picturisations (by Ganesh Acharya, Bosco-Caesar, Shobi and Sridhar) are eye-filling. Prasad Sashte’s background music is mind-blowing. N. Nataraja Subramanian’s camerawork is remarkable. Greg Powell and Anl Arasu’s action and stunts are par excellence. Sukant Panigrahy’s production designing and Mayur Sharma’s sets are very appropriate to the film. Amitabh Shukla’s editing shows sparks of brilliance.
On the whole, Holiday is an excellent entertainer and will bring in huge crowds to the cinemas. It will keep the audience and the exhibitors very happy. As for the distributors, they will remain happy but less than the others because of the very high prices they have paid for the distribution rights. Incidentally, the film deserves tax-exemption.