Salman Khan & Sohail Khan Productionz’s Freaky Ali (UA) is the story of Ali (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who becomes a golf champion by chance.
Ali is trying hard to make ends meet. An orphan, the Muslim guy has been raised by a noble-hearted Hindu lady, Sulbha (Seema Biswas). Ali sells undergarments but he is unsuccessful. From undergarments to the underworld… he soon joins Maqsood (Arbaaz Khan) who works as a collection agent for underworld don Danger Bhai (Nikitin Dheer). One day, Ali and Maqsood go to Singhania (Micky Makhija) to collect protection money. Seeing Singhania play golf quite poorly, Ali taunts him and is then forced to accept Singhania’s challenge to play golf. By sheer luck, he plays the sport very well. Kishanlal (Asif Basra), known to Ali, sees this and coaxes Ali to train in the sport as he sees great potential in the man.
Kishanlal begins training Ali in golf and the man picks up the game in no time. He wins several tournaments but is finally pitted against reigning champion Vikram Rathod (Jas Arora), who is arrogant and vain. Assuming that Ali would never win the game, Danger Bhai’s elder brother (Jackie Shroff) bets tons of money on winning horse Vikram Rathod. Just so that Ali doesn’t steal the limelight from right under Vikram’s nose, Vikram injures Ali’s left arm so badly that it appears, Ali would not be able to participate in the final tournament. What happens thereafter?
Sohail Khan’s story is a routine story of an underdog who rises in life. There is absolutely no freshness or novelty in the story except for the sport of golf. But since golf is not a very popular mass sport, the appeal of the story is very limited. The screenplay, written by Sohail Khan and Raj Shaandilyaa, is clichéd and predictable. Although the drama is about an underdog and it also has a track of friendship (Ali and Maqsood), another track of coach and student (Kishanlal and Ali), a third track of orphan and a foster-mother (Ali and Sulbha) and a fourth track of different religious beliefs (Ali is a Muslim, mother Sulbha and coach Kishanlal are Hindus), the emotional quotient in the film is almost nil. This is the screenplay’s biggest failing. There is also an under-developed track of romance between Ali and Megha (Amy Jackson) which is about as exciting as under-cooked food. Although some comic scenes are funny, they have not been rounded off well. The first half is at least a bit interesting but the film becomes a tedious watch post-interval. Too much time is devoted to the sport of golf and that becomes boring because there isn’t much variety on display. The angle of Danger Bhai is far from funny. The track of Danger Bhai’s elder brother is also very weak. Why, even the conflict between Ali and Vikram Rathod is half-baked. Raj Shaandilyaa’s dialogues are very funny at places but clichéd at other places.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui lives the role of Ali and is fantastic. It is a delight to watch him give cent per cent to the character but one feels sorry that the script (with holes more than the holes shown in the golf course) lets him down so badly. Arbaaz Khan is okay as Maqsood. Amy Jackson gets very little scope. She is so-so. Asif Basra is earnest as Kishanlal. Seema Biswas does fairly well as Ali’s foster-mother, Sulbha. Jas Arora is quite nice as Vikram Rathod. Nikitin Dheer is hardly impressive as Danger Bhai. Jackie Shroff, as the elder brother of Danger Bhai, is ill at ease in the comic villainy he does. He looks quite tired. Paresh Ganatra tries to be funny in the role of Fakru but succeeds only partially. Karishma Kotak (as Aditi) is just about passable. Arvind Parab (as the kidnapped old man) irritates more than entertains. Farida Patel Venkat is quite alright as Maharani. Micky Makhija lends fair support as Singhania. Durgesh Kumar (as Babu), Dhaval Parab (as Jojo), Javed Khan (as Vikram’s caddy), Habib Azmi Shaikh (as the old man in the basti), Priyanka Mishra (as the bride), Hussain Shaikh (as the bride’s father), master Deh Nilesh Ghodasara (as the fat kid) and the others lend ordinary support.
Sohail Khan’s direction is routine. His narration is unable to lift the dull script to any appreciable level. Music (Sajid-Wajid) is okay. The ‘Banda’ song is good. Lyrics by (Shabbir Ahmed and Danish Sabri) are appropriate. Rajeev Surti’s choreography is functional. Aditya Dev’s background music is commonplace. Mahesh Limaye’s cinematography is of a nice standard. Ravi Varma’s action scenes are alright. Wasiq Khan’s production designing and Parul Bose’s art direction are fair. Editing (by Prashant Singh Rathore) leaves something to be desired.
On the whole, Freaky Ali is a dull fare as it lacks novelty. Furthermore, the audience will feel alienated from the drama as it deals with the sport of golf, which is not at all a popular sport among the Indian masses. It will flop at the ticket windows.