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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 16/08/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Singham Returns is as loud as it gets and will appeal to Ajay Devgn fans says Deepa Gauri I walk into every Bollywood movie every week wanting to like it. I try to watch it and appreciate it for the genre it represents and the audience it addresses.And then comes along Kareena Kapoor. Sculpted looks and all the moment her character tries to act funny and then tries to give us the ‘I am the committed to the society’ gyaan I want to head to the exit and never ever return.

For all of the slick action a la Rohit Shetty style of people and cars flying it is tough to endure the unintentional hilarity that Kareena brings to a movie that survives only thanks to Ajay Devgn.

An actor who can rise shine and impress in the right role (his National Award for best actor is well-deserved unlike many of his peers) Devgn returns as DCP Bajirao Singham in the sequel to Singham originally adapted from Tamil.

If in the first outing Singham had established his menace and intolerance for corruption this time he has a bigger goal. He is out to ensure that the voice of Indian youth is heard.

Rest assured that Singham Returns ticks all the Bollywood clichés including the irritating heroine corrupt godmen and we-are-so-good politicians and social activists.

The action is set in Mumbai and there is enough raciness to keep you going especially in the first half but for the slow-motion walks of Singham every time he seems to have proved a point. Seriously this movie would have been at least half an-hour shorter and slicker without those slow-mos.

Director Rohit Shetty tries to raise his own bar by trying to mix the Prakash Jha genre of politics with his own vintage action. That should have been a deadly combo.

But unnecessary distractions a lack of conviction or understanding of Indian politics (other than layman generalisation) and absurd plot-points make it a wasted opportunity.

Thrillers work despite their predictability when villains stand neck-to-neck with the hero. That indeed was the magic of all those yesteryear hits where Amrish Puri would tower over anyone from Amitabh Bachchan to Anil Kapoor.

In Singham Returns that task is entrusted to Amole Gupte whom we all love for the wonderful movies he makes. But as Swamiji the conniving godman he really could have done better. The deadly menace is lacking. Anupam Kher executes his ordinary role with veteran ease while Zakir Hussain and Sharat Saxena are effective.

Ultimately (and naturally) the film rests squarely on Devgn. If you are a fan then you won’t be disappointed. If you are not you can still marvel at the glimpses of talent that occasionally comes to the forefront. Here is one actor who can act with his eyes especially if it is cold rage.

What Singham Returns however proves is that mainstream Bollywood’s directors are not as courageous as their make-believe heroes. DCP Singham might take on godmen and political heavyweights but a Rohit Shetty will never tamper with formula.

And if for once we are willing not to say ‘this is only a film’ and set our bars deliberately low our directors might just go out and surprise us.

If Dirty Harry could impress us with rather realistic thrillers that take on the politics-business nexus there is no reason why after some 40 years Bollywood still cannot deliver a good realistic enjoyable cop-thriller.


Khaleej Times

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