The ApunKaChoice movie review of Shabri.
If you are still not tired of gangster movies, here’s one with a difference for you. Shabri, produced by Ram Gopal Varma and directed by Lalit Marathe, is the story of a woman gangster. Yet the film pretty much follows the template of Ramu’s gangster films like Satya and Company.
The film follows the tried-and-tested formula of revenge at its core. Shabri (Eesha Koppikar), a girl from Mumbai’s slums works in a flour mill but takes to crime after her brother is tortured and killed by a corrupt cop. A vengeful Shabri guns down the cop and with the help of a small time gangster Murad (Raj Arjun) goes on to rise in the rungs of the underworld, even taking on the all powerful ganglord Rajdhar (Pradeep Rawat). A lot of blood is spilled even as a wisecracking cop (Zakir Hussain) who talks more and does little, tries to put an end to Shabri’s reign.
To be fair to director Lalit Marathe, Shabri does boast of a few interesting moments, particularly in the first half. But as the film progresses into the second half, its pace slackens, the narrative drags, and one wonders where the story is headed.
The film bears a raw tone typical of RGV’s many gangster movies, but how one wishes Marathe had not adopted Ramu’s fascination for loud background score.
Yet, Eesha Koppikar is the one who makes you sit up and take note of her performance as a vengeful, fiery slum girl who bumps off people without as much as a flinch. There’s a seething intensity in her portrayal of Shabri that’s far from the affected deadpan expressions a lot of actors playing a cold-blooded killer fall prey to. Alongside her, newcomer Raj Arjun comes up with a creditable performance. The equation between the characters played by Isha and Raj is never made clear, though there are subtle hints of a romance. Zakir Hussain hams his part while Pradeep Rawat is just about okay.
All in all, Shabri is strictly for those who aren’t bored of gangsta flicks yet.