A dated plot of honest cop vs corrupt politicians

Producer: Reliance Entertainment
Director: Rohit Shetty
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Prakash Raj, Kajal Aggarwal, Sachin Khedekar, Govind Namdeo, Ashok Saraf, Anant Jog, Murli Sharma, Sonali Kulkarni.

MUMBAI: Singham is the remake of Reliance Entertainment‘s own Tamil film of the same name. While in Tamil the title translates as Lion, here it means nothing in particular but retained as surname for Ajay Devgn‘s screen name, Bajirao Singham. That is fine but why does a whole village including the protagonist, Ajay Devgn‘s father in the film, address him by his surname?

The theme seems to be: Anything goes. South remakes usually seem to work very well at the box office holding appeal for both, the multiplex as well as the single screen audience, as has been seen by the universal acceptance and success of Ghajini, Wanted, Ready, etc.

Singham follows the old fashioned honest cop vs. corrupt politicians theme and the name coined for this genre is ‘retro film‘.

So there is this honest to core police officer, Ajay Devgn, who is posted in his native town called Shivgad on the edge of Goa state who settles all local disputes amicably rather than with the use of law. He has earned the love and respect of all and soon that of a girl also. He has had time to just prance around woods and imagine a romantic song when it is time to be a real man; He crosses paths with the scoundrel of scoundrels, killer, kidnapper, wannabe politician, the all powerful Prakash Raj.

Ajay Devgn draws first blood, humiliating and cutting Prakash Raj down to size after calling him to his police station. The latter decides to shift the war to his turf and, thankfully, the film shifts to more watchable locales of Goa. The battles of one-upmanship are fought in true loud and gory style of South Indian films where villains never travel in a single car, they have a cavalcade of a dozen cars of the same model and colour; you could not have missed it if you have seen even a single South film.

Ajay Devgn‘s action scenes are backed by the title chant of ‘Singham……Singham…‘ as he resorts to various kinds of somersaults and dives and as the cars go bouncing around in the air like tennis balls in the guise of stunts.

The problem with Singham is, for its 2 hours and 24 minutes, all it has to offer is raw action and stunts which can get tiring after some time. There is little in the name of distractions. The film lacks romance, emotions, comedy and music. The claptrap dialogue which should go with this kind of action film are few and far in between.

Director Rohit Shetty, having chosen a South film to remake, has stuck to the South look rather than polish it up in his own style. Also, the Marathi background was unnecessary! His action design is becoming very identifiable and looks similar to his earlier films.

The film is basically an Ajay Devgn physique and action showcase vehicle and that is how having started his career as an action hero in Phool Aur Kaante, Ajay has only improved several notches in both, physique as well as action.

Prakash Raj is getting more and more repetitive and his same turning comic at the end shatters the villain‘s image created through the film. Kajal Aggarwal, the leading lady, has but few scenes in a film that could very well have done without her. Among others, Sachin Khedekar, Govind Namdeo, Ashok Saraf, Anant Jog and Murli Sharma give good support.

Singham has had a better opening response at single screens and Hindi belt circuits while not making a much needed impact at metro multiplexes. Considering that multiplexes contribute a sizeable chunk to a film‘s box office takings, so much the worse for this film.

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