Romeo Akbar Walter is an espionage thriller based in 1971 around the India Pakistan rivalry and pre-war situation.
Romeo Ali (John) is a son of a martyr and teller in a bank because his mother forbids him to join forces after his father ‘s death though he wanted to. He’s zeroed in by the RAW chief Shrikant ( Jackie) to be trained and sent to Pak as a covert agent. o
With the help of well laid out plot, as a Pak national Akbar, he wins the confidence of a top arms supplier of Pak, Isaq Afridi (Vincent George) who is also a close friend of ISI chief. Soon he works his way up the ladder and becomes a close confidante of Isaq while continuing to pass important intelligence information.
When Pak decides upon a critical operation to be held in East Pakistan and Romeo successfully passes on the information to India, his identity is discovered by a shrewd ISI officer Col Khan (Sikander Kher).
The rest of the story encompasses many twists, turns and double crosses to and fro to give you a supposedly surprising climax. The story was written and directed by Robbie Grewal begins on a promising and gritty note with John lying in apparent Pak custody, all battered and bloodied.
The movie then begins from ground zero. With no time lost except for a completely unrequired song, the protagonist is zeroed down and recruited within a first few minutes. Then the obvious training happens, he’s smuggled in and settles smoothly. By now we had begun to feel the lack of thrills or highs/lows. But I gave it a benefit of doubt that maybe its a part of build-up and the director has chosen the meandering pace for something bigger.
By intermission time, they thankfully try to throw in some iota of suspense or twists. But that relief was short lived. By the time we are served some twists and thrills, we start seeing the loopholes too. As the story progresses, the pace and thrills do increase and so do the improbabilities right until the unexpected climax which is borderline bizarre.
After having seen something as superb as Raazi, it was immature for the filmmakers to try and feed us something so drab and below average. Not only was the story-telling flat, but also devoid of sharpness of details that is a must for a spy thriller. It was riddled with glitches and improbabilities.
Especially considering that there was hardly any action, the screenplay should have taken up the responsibility of pumping in adrenaline. Instead, it could actually pump in Melatonin( the sleep-inducing hormone) in the less tolerant of audiences.
Performance wise, Sikander Kher and Jackie Shroff tried their level best. An able actor like Vincent George was not able to do much. Mouny was expression full in her minute role. It was good to see Raghubir Yadav after long, albeit in a non-nondescript role.
The man who was virtually in every frame was his expressionless best, which is nothing new for him. But he had no chance to charm us with any of his other USPs either, the brawny looks, the stunts etc.
Overall, the movie was quite mediocre and insipid.
Hardcore fans of John may give it a go or those who are a little tolerant of any kind of cinema.
Score 5 on 10.