Daijiworld Media Network - Entertainment
Mangalore, Jul 22: Director Rohit Shetty had warned that 'Singham' would be an out and out masala movie. And that’s what it is. You can safely leave your brains behind, and enjoy the action-packed good-versus-evil drama without bothering too much about it, or getting bothered by it.
The movie is high on action, as expected, and even higher on drama. It opens with the story of inspector Kadam of Colva police station in Goa who is falsely accused of corruption, which leads him to suicide. A typical Bollywood scene follows, with his wife Megha Kadam (Sonali Kulkarni) threatening the villain with the same old “Insaaf to ab wo karega!” with a passionate flourish of the hand at the Almighty. Yeesh.
Enter Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn), dipped in a pond and praying fervently, amidst the beating of drums. The title song of the movie is shot Jeetendra-style, but what is worse is the sports ground where middle-aged saree-clad women dance to a spirited Singham track. The ‘lion’ action in the dance sequence is almost funny.
Anyway, let’s move on. Bajirao Singham is an upright, daring, politicians-my-foot kind of cop, who enjoys the support of the entire village of Shivgad. He has an unconventional style of working - he is the money-lender-cum-saviour-cum-family man, who has the uncanny knack of being omnipresent on his Bullet Electra. He is the ‘son of the soil’ who bashes up 20 gundas at one go and comes out unscathed with not even a small cut, the village boss who dishes out punishments as he wishes, a prince charming who saves a damsel in distress (Kajal Agarwal, who else?).
Enter Jayakant Shikre (Prakash Raj), a don in Goa (who was earlier threatened with God’s insaaf by Megha Kadam). He has the entire Goa in his pocket, right from the ministers to the chai wala in the Colva police station. His favourite pass time is kidnapping rich kids and killing them if their fathers refuse to pay up. He is the source of all evil in Goa, but is so powerful that no one can touch him. A prospective minister-in-the-making, he finally meets his match in Singham (again, who else?), when he is forced to go to Shivgad for a sign, amidst another dose of high drama and a lot of dialogue-baazi.
The real action begins post-intermission, after Singham gets transferred to Goa and comes face to face with the evil doers in the city. All of a sudden, Singham is promoted from solving petty problems in the village to encountering gun-flashing goons and a corrupt system, all running on Shikre’s fingertips. The minister, DCP and everybody else are ‘sold’, but thankfully, there are a few policemen like Singham who believe in righteousness, and soon, it is Singham versus Shikre tussle.
What follows is a series of attempts to outwit and intimidate each other, with a lot of high-flying dialogues thrown in. The encounters between Shikre and Singham oscillate between the intense and the funny, and some of the dialogues which are meant to be serious actually make you giggle. Take this for instance: “Kutton ki jhoond jitni bhi badi ho, unke liye ek sher hi kaafi hai.” Singham gives repeated reminders of the emblems of lion in the police vardi, which later inspires the DGP to at last take action against Shikre. The climax has the entire police force jammed into Shikre’s drawing room, with a chase to follow (and yes, an overweight don actually manages to run faster than the 20 police cars behind him).
The movie is centred around action, which, to say the least, is too much to handle. Gravity-defying moments are many, with cars and people flying all over the place. With just one hit from Singham on the head, a goon bounces off the floor twice, and he can even pull out a man mid air from a car and bash him up. Nevertheless, they are quite enjoyable and you will not be bored.
What works for the movie is the background score. The title track, played at apt moments, adds to the intensity of the scenes. Songs pop up all of a sudden, all shot in the stereotyped Bollywood way with lots of colour.
The best part of the movie, for Mangaloreans at least, was a full-fledged scene shot in Tulu. No surprises here, director Rohit Shetty being a Mangalorean. Sunil Shetty is known to throw in Tulu in his movies, but in ‘Singham’ Rohit Shetty goes a step further by actually making an attempt to introduce Tulu as a language of Mangalore. Needless to add, the entire scene was wholeheartedly applauded, enjoyed and cheered by the Mangalore audience, though perhaps Shetty could have done without the needless jibes from the hawaldar.
Ajay Devgn is back in action, no doubt. He has played his character with all the grit and power it requires, and one cannot imagine anybody else playing the role. His persona overpowers you at times, and he is at his best when he is most angry. Playing the romantic shy-guy is just not for him.
Kajal Agarwal is average, and sometimes a bit too hyper. Ashok Saraf as the hawaldar is quite outstanding. Prakash Raj as the eccentric villain is funny, not so intimidating, and sometimes over-the-top.
The movie is basically about an upright cop fighting a corrupt system. There have been many films on the same theme, and nothing about ‘Singham’ really makes it any different from them. Singham transforms the entire police force from being a doormat of politicians to becoming servants of the public in the real sense of the word. It may not inspire you to great deeds, but will keep you entertained, provided you are a fan of action movies and Ajay Devgn in particular.