Akshay Kumar and Emraan Hashmi Are In Their Elements In This Mass Entertainer That Seems Too Smitten By Its Stars
Selfiee Movie Review: Akshay Kumar and Emraan Hashmi Are In Their Elements In This Mass Entertainer That Seems Too Smitten By Its Stars

After a series of lacklustre performances, Kumar is back with his swag, while Hashmi puts in a spirited performance.

Director: Raj Mehta
Writers: Rishabh Sharrma (screenplay and dialogue), Sachy (story)
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Emraan Hashmi, Diana Penty, Nushrratt Bharuccha, and others
Rating: 3/5


Superstar Vijay Kumar is shooting in Bhopal. For the climax scene, he urgently needs to submit his driving license as the location falls under Army jurisdiction. But he has lost his and needs to get a new one. Enter motor vehicle inspector, Omprakash Agarwal, who happens to be a huge fan of Vijay. He is more than willing to help his hero out but he requests a selfie with the star. Vijay considers him a legit fan and agrees. But things go terribly wrong on the day these two meet. Things escalate quickly and simple misunderstandings fuel a serious battle of male egos—a battle between the ego of a superstar and a government inspector.


The fan turns foe and pledges to bring his hero down. He refuses to extend any special privilege to the star and insists that Vijay will have to legally procure the license following all steps like any commoner. He goes to the media who go berserk and what ensues is a media circus replete with a slew of boycott hashtags thrown on Vijay. As the media tears him down, Vijay— who has to leave for the UK in a week to address a family medical emergency— is now faced with the challenge of not only getting his license but also clearing his image.


Akshay Kumar brings back his trademark comedy and swag and he is a joy to watch as superstar Vijay Kumar. There is no pressing need to be Mr. Bharat. He is funny, irreverent, and often even self-deprecating. He has no qualms talking about being a producer’s actor, signing random projects back-to-back, and even his gum-baring broad smile. Instead of the smug actor trying to play a patriotic superhero, he is here to reclaim the vibe and swag of the Khiladi Kumar of the ’90s. And it works. He plays the superstar as the superstar he is.


But in the process, a lot of the earthy qualities that Prithviraj had brought to his version of the same character are sorely missed. Akshay Kumar, although earnest as Vijay Kumar, never becomes the relatable common man but remains firmly on his pedestal, but for this one has to blame the writer. He is not the edgy and often cocky superstar who doesn’t shy away from showing the finger to a cop in uniform. Akshay’s Vijay Kumar absolutely lacks Prithviraj’s complexities—he is never repulsive and doesn’t have an ounce of grey in him (except his body hair). This Vijay Kumar is Akshay Kumar who can do no wrong. On the flip side, even in the scene when he is seen opening up to his fans in front of the media about the challenges he is facing in his personal life and how the entire fiasco has impacted him, the dialogues never become as poignant as in the original robbing Akshay Kumar of the opportunity to attempt a more nuanced performance and the audience the prospect to have a deeper connection with the character. It seems that the writer and the director didn’t have as much faith in Akshay Kumar’s acting prowess as they had in his stardom. The tweaks the writer makes to milk his stardom create a flashy but less soul-stirring version of Vijay.




Emraan Hashmi, who has previously proved his acting prowess in relatively underrated films like Shanghai, Chehre, and Mumbai Saga gives a sincere performance as inspector Omprakash Agarwal. Similarly, as with Vijay’s character, Omprakash becomes more of a prick misusing his power as a government employee, instead of a die-hard fan transforming into an enemy. Also, unlike in the original, here Omprakash is not made accountable or answerable to the higher-ups, and more than a government officer, he comes across as an autocrat. The writer again chops out crucial parts of the original that established how much Vijay actually meant to Omprakash and hence turning into Vijay’s nemesis fails to shake up the audience or have that emotional impact.


Also, unlike Ayushmann Khurrana and Jaideep Ahlawat in An Action Hero, the duo lacks crackling chemistry. Even in the scenes when Kumar and Hashmi are pitted against each other, their performances, although strong, remain isolated.


(Speaking of An Action Hero, is it too farfetched to imagine that Vijay Kumar/Akshay Kumar bumping into the fugitive star Maanav played by Ayushmann Khurrana) of An Action Hero on the very flight he is about to take to London to meet his wife?)


Abhimanyu Singh who plays Vijay’s roommate-turned-jealous-competitor is hilarious. He gets the most fun scenes and makes good use of each opportunity. Mahesh Thakur plays Vijay’s manager but there isn’t much for him in the movie to make an impact. Diana Penty plays Vijay Kumar’s wife whose expressions get lost amid thick layers of makeup. Nushrratt Bharuccha again plays another version of the irritating girlfriend/wife. None get much to do apart from playing the ‘supportive wife’ and ‘nagging wife’ stereotypes respectively. Among the women in the movie, only Meghna Malik shines as Vimla Tiwari with her impeccable comic timing. Kusha Kapila fills in the newly-formed influencer quota in the cast and plays the same eccentric person she plays in all her reels. She is pretty but she really needs to play a character as the character and not as ‘that South Delhi girl’. Talking of clichés, again we have a loud maniacal Arnab Goswami-like media personality. It is funny but it is getting a bit boring now.


At 2 hours 23 minutes, Selfiee doesn’t lose its pace much, except maybe in the few scenes right after the interval. The production design is sub-par, which really sticks out like a sore thumb, especially since the movie itself is about a superstar. It seems the producers spent all the money on Akshay Kumar (which might be a fact but cinema is supposed to create a make-believe world!). Also, the film is backed by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions along with Akshay’s Cape of Good Films and Sukumaran’s Prithviraj Productions and Magic Frames and one would hope that all these giants had some money to spare for the production design. What really disappoints is the astounding mediocre cinematography by the otherwise brilliant Rajeev Ravi instrumental in creating the stunning and varied worlds of Anurag Kashyap films like No Smoking, Dev.D, Gulaal, Gangs of Wassaypur, Bombay Velvet among other movies. Here he shoots Bhopal with the earnestness that reminds one of Akshay Kumar’s in his recent outings. It can be any city in any part of the world. Projecting Bhopal, beyond the cliché of narrow bylanes and sprawling balconies, as a developing township with good infrastructure is one thing, but creating a set out of a throbbing city is something entirely different.



There are some foot-tapping numbers and MC Square’s Sher can get you hooked. But the remake of the Main Khiladi Tu Anari number falls flat. Again, the lack of chemistry between Kumar and Hashmi makes you sorely miss the magic of Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan. That song will always be as much about the rugged Akshay as the quirky and cute Saif (and his ’90s bouncy hair).




It is a story of a die-hard fan locking horns with his hero. But this is also a story of ego clash, of misuse of power, of social media and the cancel culture, and of the price a celebrity often has to pay for the fame s/he enjoys. Akshay Kumar and Emraan Hashmi are both in their elements in this remake of Prithviraj Sukumaran and Suraj Venjaramoodu-starrer Malayalam film directed by Lal Jr., Driving Licence. After a series of lackluster performances, Kumar is back with his swag, while Hashmi puts in a spirited performance. But the movie at times seems too smitten by its stars. Although the soul and poignancy of the original are dented in places by the writing and the unnecessary tweaks because of this, there is no doubt that Raj Mehta has managed to create another mass family entertainer after last year’s Jugjugg Jeeyo.


Malayalam cinema is known for creating poignant stories out of the trivial and Selfiee proves that a strong story, even at its flashier and vacuous version, can translate into a watchable movie. Credit however goes to the original writer.


Does the movie live up to the standard of the original? No. But replete with some genuinely funny moments and good performances, it definitely surpasses the standard set by recent Akshay Kumar movies by leaps and bounds.

contact us :
Follow US :
©2024 Creativeland Publishing Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved