Selfiee movie review: Akshay Kumar, Emraan Hashmi film is not even trying to be more than it is

Selfiee movie review: This film has an interesting premise but it is never allowed to overshadow its larger-than-life hero Akshay Kumar himself.

The good thing about Selfiee is that it doesn’t pretend to be more than it is. The bad thing about it is that it is not even trying.

An interesting premise offering an opportunity to talk about the transience of fame, the meaning of it in the time of social media, the nature of genuine stardom, the manipulation of media, the pitfalls of petty egos, and whether Big Bad Bollywood is really all that big or all that bad, is explored, but not really allowed to overshadow its larger-than-life hero Akshay Kumar himself.

Akshay even does a piece-to-camera at the start as himself, dedicating the film to the “fans”. And while the fans have reciprocated the film industry’s faith most recently in powering Pathaan to super-success, Selfiee is dishearteningly not as nice to its little man as it is to its big guy.

A remake of the Malayalam critical and commercial success Driving Licence, Selfiee has at its heart superstar Vijay Kumar (Akshay Kumar) and one of his most ardent fans, Om Prakash Aggarwal (Emraan Hashmi). A film shoot brings Vijay to Bhopal, and then to the RTO, as he needs a new driving licence for the climax shot. That also brings him to Om, Bhopal’s sole (it seems) RTO Inspector.

There is a third angle in the form of an actor who started out with Vijay but is now a nobody, doing ads for stuff like groin scratch cream etc. He reaches out to a tarot card reader (Kusha Kapila) in the hope of bringing Vijay “down to my level”. Meghna Malik is criminally misused as a corporator seeking her 15 minutes of fame, wherever she can get it.

A misunderstanding leads Vijay to humiliate Om in front of his seniors and his son, who dotes on the star equally. And Om swears payback.

Selfiee is unpredictable in the choices that Om – the quintessential good guy, family man – makes. As well as the pressures Vijay – the quintessential arrogant star, wannabe parent – faces. Hence, where the two will let their egos take them is interesting to follow, with Akshay’s impatient snapping and quiet seething effective, as is Hashmi’s helpless adulation. Up to a point.

As the film goes on and on, and the fights get ridiculously petty, Vijay and Om are reduced to children who need a good shaking down.

But then Selfiee comes in the wake of at least two incidents involving celebrities, who were hounded and almost manhandled by fans seeking to be photographed with them. So who says that in a world where the self is instant selfie, we have grown up?

Selfiee movie cast: Akshay Kumar, Emraan Hashmi, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Diana Penty, Kusha Kapila
Selfiee movie director: Raj Mehta
Selfiee movie rating: 2.5 stars

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