By T S Sudhir
“Audience knows what to expect from a Rohit Shetty film and they will come,” said director Rohit Shetty, vanity dripping, on one of the TV channels promoting his film `Singham Returns’. It is a return of Scorpios flying in the air, a Rohit Shetty trademark, machine guns blaring and enough brawn display. Compared to his earlier films, there is a bit of a script though Shetty does not believe in cinema being about a gripping plot. The story of Ajay Devgn as a DCP trying to clear the name of his honest junior is a case so transparent because the name of the villain is so clearly written on the ambulance, the scene of the crime. Yawn!
No wonder, Devgn who has essayed brilliant roles in Gangajal and Apharan, looks stiff bored with Singham’s return. Bored both with dealing with a caricature of a villain played by Amole Gupte and romancing a screechy, forever hungry Kareena Kapoor. Wish Kareena had shown more hunger and demanded more meat in her role from Shetty.
The moral of the story : Fake encounters are the way out since the system cannot deal with the criminals the legal way. The `bump them off’ practise is treated in a cavalier manner at the end when the journalist – a Barkha Dutt lookalike – says indulgently to Devgn that “Oh, you won’t change”. And this is the message of the film, that Devgn believes women and children also relate to.
The music of the film is so pathetic that you keep looking at your watch for the songs to end. And I marvel at the audacity of Yo Yo Honey Singh to call himself a singer, if his song that comes at the end of the movie, is anything to go by.
Only two things stand out amidst a sea of mediocrity. Daya (of CID frame) being asked to break a door like he does in CID – a line that invited guffaws in the theatre – and two, a fiesty lady who challenges Devgn to teach the villains a lesson instead of beating to pulp her son who took money for voting for a corrupt candidate in the election.
And I still do not know, which IPS officer will stand before the CM with his top shirt button open like a roadside loafer. Even if the CM – who reminds you of a stiff Prithviraj Chavan – comes across as an ineffective politician. What a way to waste a powerhouse of talent like Mahesh Manjrekar.
`Singham Returns’ is not a remake of `Singam 2′ starring Suriya in Tamil. Even that sequel to the first `Singam’ paled in comparison but atleast Suriya displayed more style that Devgn does not. Save that shot of Devgn flying horizontally in the air to save Daya from getting. The best – and in fact, the only stand out action shot – in the film.