The case of FM Nanavati, the naval officer who pumped 3 bullets into the heart of a wily businessman Prem Ahuja for sleeping with his wife lends itself to cinema due to its storyline and intrigue.

The case had hogged headlines in the 1960s and two films that immediately come to mind based on it are 'Yeh Raastey Hain Pyar Ke' and ' Achanak'

Rustom directed by Tinu Suresh Desai like all films follows the laid down rules and mentions two statutory clarifications - that this is a work of fiction and that no animals had been harmed during its shooting.

But as soon as the film begins we are told that the story is based in 1959 when Mumbai was known as Bombay and when judgments were delivered not by a single judge but by a jury of eminent persons from society.

Action begins immediately wth the appearance of Rustom Pavri (Akshay Kumar) in a naval officer uniform with the national flag fluttering in the background, most likely to link it to the fervour for the Independence Day.

The announcement that the crew would be touching ground days before its schedule promises the situation this upright (literally) officer is likely to face, having left a beautiful wife Cynthia (Ileana D'Cruz) alone back home for six months.

Returning home when he does not find her there he stumbles upon tell-tale evidence of her betrayal, letters, poems and other incriminating documents signed off in style with a capital V.

He knows only one V and heads straight to the house of Vikram Makhijani a businessman where he finds his wife and Vikram together.He goes back to the Naval headquarters, picks out a gun makes an official entry, goes and shoots Vikram who has just come out of the bathroom dressed in a white towel and surrenders to the police.

That should have been the end of the film.

But no.It's the beginning, as the cliche goes.The police officer Vincent Lobo (Pavan Malhotra) is surprised at this simple narrative when the hero refuses to be placed in Naval custody and prefers police custody.

This is the beginning of a story of intrigue,blackmailing and business interests creating an edge of seat thriller which unfolds in the court room in the second half of the film.

It would obviously be unfair to reveal the entire story line.But of course Akshay Kumar holds the spot-light in a role that is child's play for him by now.Others in the film don't matter.

But it is the attempt to maintain the typical Indian hero's image by the script -writer that appears weird in what would normally have been a simple open and shut case of murder to avenge adultery.

In the process the hero makes everyone else feel guilty- his wife whom he defends as having been trapped into cheating him, of course the man he had murdered, senior officers including the Defence Secretary as being involved in a scam which he reveals to the police officer privately but not in court because it would hurt the image of the Navy among civilians.

Such lofty sentiments would appear misplaced after we have had the Kargil coffin gate scam, the Adarsh Housing Society Scam, Bofors and the latest Augusta Westland scam in which investigations are already on.

To prove his smartness he plants evidence on the murder scene but maintains an image of a patriotic naval officer for whom wearing the Naval uniform is a habit like breathing, like maintaining his principles and like fighting for the country.

This is not to say that the film is not worth watching.It's a thriller that keeps audience guessing till the end of the film which is how it should be.

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Ileana D’Cruz, Arjan Bajwa, Esha Gupta

Director: Tinu Suresh Desai