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Singham - Movie Review

Singham movie review - Ajay Devgn roars, but Prakash Raj steals the show
By Naresh Deoshi
Fri, Jul 22, 2011 16:13:04 GMT

The ApunKaChoice movie review of Singham. Half way through director Rohit Shetty’s Singham, it strikes you why Indian films haven’t had many superheroes a la Superman, Batman and Spiderman. We don’t need them. Our regular heroes do the needful. The likes of Rajinikanth, Salman Khan -- and now add Ajay Devgan to the list -- are adept at superhuman feats like flicking a cigarette in the air and lighting it with a bullet (of all things), or bashing up a truckload of baddies without getting as much as a scratch on their goggles. Needless to say that all these stunts are punctuated by gravity-defying leaps and hops so incredible as to leave both the trampoline manufacturers and physicists alike in a tizzy. The bottom line is: we proudly anoint brute force at the altar of credulity. And director Rohit Shetty’s movie Singham, starring Ajay Devgan, is a typical example of it.

Normally, expecting sense, sensibility and subtlety from a Rohit Shetty film is to make yourself a butt of his jokes, but with Singham -- an action flick where the hero is dead serious while the villain leaves you doubled-up with laughs -- you do expect a tittle of the three S. All you get instead is a mix of style, spunk and savagery, attractively packaged in a palimpsest bearing Dabangg traces.

The protagonist Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgan) is the cop, the jury and the executioner all rolled into one brawny body. On the beat through the dusty alleys of the sleepy village Shivgad, he imparts justice as he deems fit. He’s honest and fearless. A showdown with a dreaded Goan ganglord Jaykant Shikre (Prakash Raj) puts Singham on Shikre’s hitlist. What follows is Singham’s transfer from Shivgad to Goa, Shikre’s home turf, where Shikre, in his own words, is a shikari out to hunt down Singham. Will Singham cop out against the all powerful enemy or will he grab the bull by the horns?

The movie pretty much follows the good-versus-bad template to a T, with long ‘conscience-invoking’ monologues thrown in to add some corn to the otherwise spunky affair. There’s also a nod to vigilante justice where cops take turns to kick a corrupt politician’s butt, and a long corny monologue by Devgn before the fag end makes you wonder if Shetty was switching from action to comedy.

Ah! There’s also a tepid love story between Singham and a Goan girl Kavya (Kajal Aggarwal), who tragically enjoys lesser footage than even the old and cynic constable (Ashok Saraf). And then there’s also a divine justice angle given through a sidetrack about an honest cop who committed suicide after being falsely implicated by the evil Shikre.

Which brings us to perhaps the only rave of this review. Prakash Raj. Never since Amrish Puri’s dramatics as the bald Mogambo has one enjoyed villainy so much as in the badmen played by Prakash Raj, be it in Wanted or Bbuddah - Hoga Terra Baap or Singham. It’s villainy with a comic streak and kudos to Prakash for pulling it off repeatedly.

More than anything, Singham is a collage of Devgn’s brawns. The swarthy star does stunts galore and takes off his shirt on at least two occasions (but don’t rejoice, ladies, for unlike Salman in Dabangg this cop wears a vest). The stunts have Rohit Shetty written all over them. The car crashes and car topples are aplenty but nothing beats one stunt where Devgan steps out of a skidding car to shoot at a baddie.

All in all, Singham is a brash celebration of brute force. If you wanna watch Ajay Devgn decimating a dozen fellows singlehandedly without ruining even the crease of his trousers, Singham is the film for you. If you get goose pimples by the sight of cars flying like wingless aircrafts, Singham is the film for you. And though Ajay Devgn is surely good as Singham, Prakash Raj is the real Kingham.

Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
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