One would have wondered what new Rohit Shetty could possibly offer with his latest film, Simmba. The expectations are understandably low and yet the hopes are high. You aren’t looking for a Singham anyway, but don’t want to be fooled with a Dilwale too. So, how does Simmba pan out?
“Oh God, one more remix?”
The trailer promised to entertain you and guess what, that’s precisely what Rohit Shetty’s Simmba does – Entertain, entertain and entertain. Simmba, in all its grimy glory of a masala film, is a remix of 80s and 90s films that we have grown up with. Wait, let me put it more ‘intellectually’- Simmba reinvents the done-to-death genre of Bollywood revenge saga.
“Mein police wala bana paisa kamane ko, Robinhood banke dusre ka madad karne ke liye nahi.”
This line is perhaps a cleverly disguised disclaimer by director Rohit Shetty that he isn’t here to change the world, but just entertain. So if you’re expecting a film that would champion the rape cause, you are in for some serious disappointment, as the insights you’d gather here wouldn’t be any different from a hairdresser or paan-waala located near the corner of your house.
A self-pitying ‘Main anaath hoon’ undertone, a muh-boli-behen who eventually gets raped, a good looking heroine who sings songs before and after the interval and steps aside once her job is done, a villain waiting to be vanquished – Simmba is replete with every cliché of a typical Bollywood masala potboiler, yet it comes across as a fresh breath of air amid the stench of pseudo intellectual cinema that either guise themselves as a whitewashed biopic or bore you to death with yawn-inducing reality.
“Yeh kalyug hai kalyug. Yahaan log sirf ek matlab ke liye jeete hain, apne matlab ke liye.”
Come to think of it, when did the masala potboilers of the 80s and 90s ever give a damn to social causes? They coolly picked up a social cause, be it rape, corruption or terrorism and used it for their plot’s benefit. Even the Vijay films in Tamil do the same, albeit with better production values and seeti-worthy performances. Well, even Simmba is a remake of the Telugu film, Temper.
“Bhau, je mala maahit naahi te sanga. Tell me what I don’t know.”
Farhad Samji delight you with their witty dialogues and to give the devil its due, Ranveer Singh pulls them off like a boss. Yunus Sajawal and Sajid Samji write a screenplay that engages you to the core, despite the fact that you could see what is to transpire on screen at every given point of time. Among the songs, the ‘Aankh maare’ remix compels you to tap your foot all the way and sounds even better than the original version. The cinematography of Jomon T. John and editing by Bunty Nagi lend the film an edgy tone with all those slo-mo and low angle shots thrown in good measure.
“Dil dhadkaaye, seeti bajaaye!”
Sara Ali Khan is easily one of the best finds of 2018. The range that she displayed in Kedarnath, as well as Simmba is enough to convince one that she’s going to belong to the top league of Indian actresses. After all, she has this rare attribute that our actresses seem missing these days – She can act.
Who would have thought Ranveer Singh will waltz his way through the Masala entertainers and dethrone the Robinhood Pandeys of this world, even before his contemporaries begin to experiment this genre? Ranveer owns each frame of Simmba, despite the distraction of Sara Ali Khan’s beauty, Sonu Sood’s brilliant antagonist act, Asutosh Rana’s ‘salute’ (You need to watch the film to get this), Siddharth Jadav as Tawde (He truly shines in one of the best scenes of the film) or the ‘Tony Starkish’ cameo of Ajay Devgn that makes the audience go into raptures.
“Aala re aala, Simmba aala!”
More than ‘outshining’ our hero, these characters make Simmba roar louder and proclaim that he’s here to stay. The actor is quite capable of wooing an autorickshawala as effortlessly as the most cynical film critic. There’s a scene in the film where Ranveer Singh dances his way to a pub with the intention of closing it, which just might remind you of Sanjay Dutt from Thaanedaar and Anil Kapoor from Ram Lakhan.
To sum it up, Simmba shows the middle finger to the snooty critics with its unapologetic masala film treatment. ACP Sangram ‘Simmba’ Bhalerao is a character that surely deserves multiple sequels, just like Bajirao Singham. We are already waiting, Rohit Shetty. More so, because of the actor who makes an appearance as Veer Sooryavanshi. Let the Infinity War begin!