First things first, the promos of Singham minced no words (visuals) to proclaim itself as an out and out masala film. So all you Fellini, Nolan, Tarantino and Ray aficionados, better stay home and revel in your DVD collection and critics be damned. With Singham, Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty take the mantle of Dabbang further, sans munni bhabhi and chhed of cuss words that would confuje one which to use for what. So come prepared, for this family entertainer (which are already becoming extinct species).
The film begins with a claw dance choreographed by Ganesh Acharya which could easily inspire a copywriter to come up with concepts for Itch Guard ad campaign. The village inMaharashtra, seems to be custom-made for Priyadarshan films, with the only difference being that everyone is thankfully not dressed in Aerial white and Robbin blue attire. The romantic angle between the petite Kajal Aggarwal and Ajay Devgan singing to the lackluster music by Ajay-Atul and penned by Swanand Kirkire seems redundant.
In an age of Dhooms, Wanteds and Dabbangs, where villains have become the better halves of the hero, why make the hero run around trees with a chic? The film proves this point when Ajay Devgan locks horns with Prakash Raj few minutes before the screen growls with interval (and your stomach growling in response, for a tub of popcorns).
Singham could’ve been easily another Once upon a time in Mumbai had the dialogue writers Farhad and Sajid worked a tad harder. “Cheating cheating cheating!” is by no means a smart reaction of a villain blessed with sense of humour that would give Raju Shrivastav run for money. But fikar not, we have Prakash Raj as the villain, who easily makes one wish his name was Singham in the film ala Ghajini.
Dudley shoots the locations of Wai and Satara, and Mumbai in Maharashtra andGoawith style, especially the action sequences innovatively choreographed by Jai Singh Nijjar. The background score by Amar Mohile employs nothing more than chants and refrain of ‘Singham’, which sounds like a cross between Dabbang and Omkara title songs.
The screenplay by Yunus Sajawal bears the stamp of ‘Rohit Shetty humour’ in each scene, especially in the ‘Gotia’ scenes featuring Sachin Khedekar and the laid-back cop on the verge of retirement essayed by Ashok Sharaf. Steven H. Bernard edits the film with restraint, but one wish the village scenes were snipped some more.
The scenes that really stand out are surprisingly by Prakash Raj’s ‘right hand’ played by Ashok Samarth. He does a parody of Amitabh Bachchan’s cult film, Zanjeer, by mouthing the immortal dialogue, “Jab tak baithne ko kahan na jaaye sharaafat se khade raho, yeh police station hai, tumhaare baap ka ghar nahin”, with a generous ‘Haaayi!” thrown in for the effect. Applause, applause! The same actor does an encore when Ajay Devgan whips him with the much used and abused police belt and the henchman teases him at his pitiable position. Did I hear someone asking, “What is the story?” Maajhi satakli re!