By Vinay Charaniya
Before I take the movie apart, let me be rational and try to understand why Rohit Shetty would make Singham. My hypothesis is that Rohit Shetty gets nightmares in which his father (famous action director of the 70s-Shetty) taunts him for making soft movies like Golmaal. Thus, Rohit must be feeling obliged to make a hardcore action movie.
Alas, he instead made Singham.
To be honest, if there is any genre that Singham can belong to, it will probably be the action movie one. Wait, let me rephrase, if there is any genre other than ‘absolute rubbish, pure torture, will f&%k your brain ’, then it has to be action.
The story, if you must know, is about an honest, all muscular-moustached (synonyms in Bollywood these days) cop <yawn> and his fight against the corrupt system <yawn yawn> — local goon, politician and corrupt police officers. Yes, it is the same story, which we have all grown up watching a zillion times and it is as entertaining as watching paint dry.
I thought of several ways to write this, but I don’t think the impact of the movie can be retold better than just narrating the sequence of thoughts that came to my head as the movie progressed.
So here goes,
‘Hehe <smirk>…successfully fooled my friends, told them it was a ZNMD show when the timing was for Singham, <how smart am I, smirk again>. Normally they wouldn’t have ever agreed to come for Singham! Lets hope this movie is not terrible, else they will thrash me’
‘Hey! Sonali Kulkarni and Ashok Saraf! Fine Marathi actors…fellow friends also appear happy, good, could turn out to be a decent movie.’
‘Ouch…Ouch…why is Ajay Devgn wearing only a sarong! Why the eff is the camera focusing on his body parts! Someone tell them, whatever he does to his body as long as the face remains the same he will never look hot’
‘Did I just see Ajay Devgn on the big screen coming out of a pool of water wearing only that red thing <shudder, cringe no.1>’
‘ROFL! What is that dance step! Is he trying to indicate a lion’s claw? But it appears as if he is grabbing …. <Censored by Music Aloud>’
‘So I can see that Ajay is the cop in his local village, imparting justice in his own style. He is getting angry in this scene now…the first action moment of this hardcore action movie coming up! Ajay raises his hand…and…wait a minute…did I see that right…did that fat guy who was hit on the head by Ajay just bounce off the floor like a tennis ball and stand straight again…I look around…laughter all around…<blink, gulp, blink> that must have happened’
“Hey! Tanushree Dutta is in the movie, that’s a surprise!”, I speak out loudly…“You idiot, its Kajal Aggarwal”, says neighbour, a little angry, rightly so, he came to watch ZNMD, not Ajay Devgn stepping out of water wearing only…No No! Don’t visualize that scene again!
“Kajal…hmm…” I speak in my most reverential tone, admiring his depth of knowledge, hoping still that I don’t get thrashed later for bringing them to this movie, “Must admit she is cuter than Tanushree <she acts her first scene, trying to scare away village folks using a mask, you get the standard of the humour don’t you?>….DUDE! That is Tanushree…I can tell from the non-acting!”
Friend stares, I retreat into my seat.
Somewhere around 25th-30th minute:
Me to myself again, ‘Why the eff is Sachin Khedekar hamming so badly! <Cringe no.2>
This is easily the worst heroine’s dad-not-approving-the-hero act ever. Every time he comes on screen, I feel this strong urge to get that hammer from the safety cabinet and smash the screen. Hmm…but to do that, I need to have muscles like Ajayyy….Nooooo…dont play that scene in your mind again! <Too late>’
Post half hour mark:
Neighbour to me, “You know what the screenplay reminds me of”. I question with my hands, “What?” “Virender Sehwag”, he says with a wise as Watson look.
“What?!” I am loud, inducing ‘Shhhs’ from the audience around.
“What process does Sehwag follow in deciding whether to leave a ball or smash it?” he asks.
“Process…what nonsense! With Sehwag there isn’t any! It is completely RANDOM!” I protest.
“Exactly!” says my friend, “So is the screenplay…completely random…no two scenes are linked”. This time, the reverential look I give him, is for real.
Scenes roll on. Low brow humour is dished out in abundance. Camera keeps focusing on Ajay’s biceps <aargh>. The villain (Prakash Raj) has rhyming dialogues, no, not Gunda level.
I get inspired, in sing song tone, I start,
“Hero has bashed up the goons,
Cuter Tanushree swoons,
A song together they croon”
<Friends overhear, stares as cold as daggers follow>
“I am so doomed!”
Lion comes on screen again. Interval! God exists.
And as the lights turn on in the theatre, I make a promise to myself, that I will not review the second half of the movie. Either that or I exhausted all my wit in reviewing the first half itself. And no 21st century man, with dignity I may add, will give this movie that much respect to review both the halves.
Yes, the movie gets slightly better, yes, the action sequences, though few, are good to watch, and Tanushree disguising herself as Kajal looks gorgeous in a black sari (What is it with saris and Bollywood beauties anyways?!). But this movie has tortured me enough in the first half to write about it more.
Ofcourse, one knows what would have happened, policemen complain about their job and their ‘ijjat’ in society, villain hurts hero and heroine’s family, hero gives speech about ‘imaandari’ and duty, conscience of policemen awakes, they fight and defeat villain.
Hence, I will not write about it. But I must mention about Prakash Raj’s comic timing, playing the over top comical villain, he is the only respite and the only reason I didn’t get thrashed by my friends post the movie.
If only this was supposed to be a comedy. Last heard, all shows in Pune of Singham were house-full. Sigh, we live in troubled times!
Rating: Terrible! (No ratings for a bad movie, it’s just bad. or worse)
The author is a close friend from IIML. Was in the business of selling newspapers for the past one year, got tired of it and switched to selling paint recently. Given his passion for movies and the ability to be verbose (even when there is nothing to write about!) movie reviews came naturally to the man. So if he doesn’t let his famed laziness get over him, you will see more reviews from Vinay here. He tweets as @VinayCharaniya