Cast: Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Amole Gupte, Dayanand Shetty
Director: Rohit Shetty
Rating: 2 stars
'Singham Returns' is one big déjà vu. Not because it is a sequel to an earlier Rohit Shetty blockbuster, but because the film is riddled with clichés and tried-and-tested antics. Like any masala film, the hero, in this case the invincible Bajirao Singham is on a chase to nail goons and teach them a lesson. No points for guessing that these goons are actually politicians and spiritual babas in disguise. Like innumerable honest cops in Bollywood, Singham too finds his powers curtailed by the shackles of an unjust system. But instead of deploying a clever plan to outdo his enemies, he waits for them to push his buttons to such an extent that his physical prowess reaches a point where it can defy sense and science. You know he’s reached that point when he lets out his signature warning siren “ata majhi satakli”.
The film is essentially a pro-longed effort to put behind bars a few high profile criminals who manage to get away every time because they’re more resourceful than the cops. The effort brings to light the plight of Indian police, the unfortunate inroads to crime through poverty and the folly of people who fall prey to bogus babas. Bajirao eventually opts for a rather unconventional method to avenge the disgrace brought upon his fraternity that bring back flashes of 'A Wednesday' and 'Nayak'– minus the gravitas of course. If you think the film has begun to sound serious at this point, it really hasn’t.
The three things have been interspersed over 145 minutes with a more than generous dose of romance (with Kareena Kapoor) which is as misplaced as the sharpshooter’s aim when he points his gun at Singham. There are scenes in the film where Bajirao, with his humble pistol takes down an entire army of bazooka-wielding gangsters – sometimes even without the customary warning.
The film is exaggerated for most bits, with cars somersaulting at the snap of a finger, media getting live coverage of the juiciest moments in a country’s political history and policemen working in tandem with one revered cop instead of the guidelines laid down by the constitution.
Ajay Devgn has played to the gallery being the rebel with a cause. Kareena, as dishy as she looks with those kohl-rimmed eyes, does zilch to add to the plot. But then that was probably the idea. Amol Gupte, who plays the dhongi baba is rather theatrical for most part. Daya (from CID) who goes by the same name in the film does not disappoint either, acting as the faithful junior for Bajirao.
The strong point of the film is its action. Exaggerated, as it may be it is Shetty’s home turf. Some shots are power-packed, giving the audiences an adrenaline rush as they watch Bajirao pack a punch or smash a face. The background score is catchy, contagious and together, they define the essence of the film. Honey Singh's perky number in the end with some seriously adorable young acts brings a smile on the face.
A few goofy dialogues coming at an unprecedented time from the least expected people may take you through till end - if you hadn't already given up at the point where the baba pours himself a drink before choking a devotee to death, that is....