Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and Half stars)
Star cast: Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Sameer Dharmadhikari, Dayanand Shetty, Amol Gupte, Zakir Hussain, Mahesh Manjrekar.
Director: Rohit Shetty
What’s Good: Ajay Devgn and the thrills his punches manage to evoke.
What’s Bad: The wafer thin plotline, hammy acting, predictable narrative and the lack of fun and excitement that drives a Rohit Shetty film.
Loo break: One every now and then depending on your ability to digest such films.
Watch or Not?: Singham Returns scared the daylight out of me. No it wasn’t a horror film, but it shocked me to see a Rohit Shetty film so devoid of fun. You can take everything away from that man but not his capability to entertain you. Not novel, frequently bizarre with some really lame vintage jokes to poke fun, the dude can amuse you surely. But when that fun factor is sucked out of his film, assume that something has gone gravely amiss. Singham Returns is a shabby replica of its earlier edition, working on the same contours, never stretching the plotline nor trying anything new. Rather, it deteriorates, frame by frame, turning into a tedious tirade. The impact was seldom there and never rises above the bar set by its prequel. Expect to be only half entertained because of Ajay Devgn whose zealous, rampant smacks and punches still has the gusto. Anyone who has the appetite for commercial potboilers can ingest this film, for others it is an attempt wasted.
Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn) is still the strict, disciplined cop who believes in changing the society more than punishing. He has his own norms of functioning but it is expected of him that he tones down. Afterall, the supercop is now posted in Mumbai. He is given the responsibility of providing protection to Guruji, a political stalwart who dies under his custody.
Soon after, his head constable is found with crores of rupees in a van, dead! Singham traces all of this to the alliance party who weren’t satisfied with the main party’s agenda of supporting youth power in politics. He wants to take them to task. But it isn’t that easy for him to disband the men in power. After the death of the stalwart in custody, Singham resigns.
Bruised and down on morale, will Singham rise to avenge? Does he defeat the men in power and how is what the film’s story traces.
Singham Returns Review: Script Analysis
There is no new script in place and I quite assure you that because the film hardly differs from the previous one. If it’s anything, it is a step backwards in terms of action, romance, drama and story. Given that it is a Rohit Shetty film, the action was memorable only in parts. It all seems walked through, offering nothing new. Infact, that statement stands true for the whole film. Except introducing a few new plots, Singham Returns gives you nothing new to savor. The few laughs seem deliberately induced and more unintentionally created. In a high voltage drama scene, where a woman who was paid off by a political party to vote for them, performs an overdramatic scene, I found it hard to control my laughter.
The logic lapses were myriad. If a police officer can’t swim for his life, would you buy it? Sorry, I couldn’t. A nagging girlfriend of a cop expects to be told about an undercover Operation; considered that matters of state security are both volatile and confidential? And for the last time, how many times in a row can you applaud for flying cars and flying men! The story tests you, repeating its antics, repeating the last film’s antics and mostly repeating trademark Rohit Shetty antics. Somehow, the progression in terms of action or story doesn’t materialize.
The predictability of the narrative harms the film even more. The death of the man whose mom is zoomed upon constantly is always the prime victim for charcater death in a commercial film! Understandable, but one would expect some changes given we aren’t in the 80s and 90s anymore. A man in coma, refusing to wake up almost throws you into a comatose state.
If you have to give any credit, give it to Ajay who keeps a loopy script consistent. I wonder what would have happened to the film if there was no Ajay Devgn. His swagger is up for sale here and pretty much that sums up the film’s crux. Anything else is a diversion as the script relies solely on Ajay to work. Allured by Singham? This is your film. That’s it and that’s all sadly.
Singham Returns Review: Star Performances
Ajay Devgn is better in terms of performance since his last stint at playing Singham. He is marvelous and keeps the film flowing thick despite visible discrepancies. Even the faults you buy because of his conviction on the character. Probably his most memorable screen appearance, Ajay does justice to a character in a film that doesn’t quite live up to his potential.
Kareena Kapoor is used as a mere distraction in the film. Her comedy isn’t very funny. Her action seems forced and her emotions seem fake. She is pleasant face on screen who offers some respite sometimes but the actress doesn’t grab noteworthy attention in the film.
Anupam Kher does a good job. So does Mahesh Manjrekar, who quite slips well in the roles of political stalwart and state CM.
Coming to the villains, they were two very poorly cast actors. If you expect me to be petrified or intimidated by a sugar coated, religious leader who is caricaturish version of some ‘Bapu’, then it fails to work. The same goes for Zakir Hussain who is more of a comedian than villain.
Singham Returns Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Rohit Shetty has lost an admirer in me this time. I have laughed at Golmaal Returns more than I had expected to. Shetty’s films are a celebration for audiences who just want to enjoy at the theaters. But Rohit, you bored the hell out of me bro. What happened?
The drama doesn’t scale up beyond expected. Probably I was left underwhelmed because my expectations were too high from the movie. The story attempts its hands at corruption, youth empowerment and black money, all of which seems delved at a very superficial level. And the film thrives on stereotypes. Typical images of journalists asking offensive questions, sporting giant bindis are slapped on your faces. The theme, the vision or the philosophy of the film doesn’t soar up from the level set by the previous installment. I was expecting something new and experimental but the director and his team played safe and doesn’t tamper with any of the essentials making a sore replica of the last film.
The convoluted base work harms the film, causing a confused and contradictory cues for it. If a woman rambling about women empowerment can feel offended by her man calling her a pub goer with cigarettes in one hand and beer in another, understand that not enough brains have been invested in making this film.
Coming to the editing, the male strip show in the pre climax shot as well as the slow mo walks of Singham with the thunderous background score could have been considerably cut short. Otherwise the film is kept tight. The music is forgettable but probably the sparsely thrown in brilliant action helps the cause.
Singham Returns Review: The Last Word
Singham Returns doesn’t match up to Singham and that is the failure of this franchise venture. It is definitely a very watchable film with Ajay putting in his best foot forward in a role that brings out his caliber to the fullest but for those who are expecting a Rohit Shetty fun watch, this film is neither immensely entertaining or superbly enjoyable. The action doesn’t offer anything new and the drama is too superficial for my taste. It is just about average and that too only for its lead man whose swagger rules the show in this one. I am going with a 2.5/5 for Singham Returns. Aata Majhi Satakli? Yeah, dude. Mine too. Ditto!
Singham Returns Trailer
Singham Returns releases on 15th August, 2014.
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