Mumbai, 28 Dec 2018 10:24 IST
Updated: 04 Jan 2019 17:19 IST
The Rohit Shetty film delivers what it promises even as it deals with the serious issue of rape.
Filmmaker Rohit Shetty’s Singham (2011) achieved box-office success and popular acclaim. Shetty has repeatedly mentioned how the police in India have come out to help him ever since he made the Ajay Devgn starrer. The director followed it up with Singham Returns (2014), which also became a box-office hit.
Four years later, Shetty is back with yet another cop entertainer in the form of Simmba, official remake of the 2015 Telugu hit Temper. But the protagonist of this film is very different from Singham. While Devgn's character was completely white, Simmba is hungry for money and corrupt.
The film begins in the 1990s when Sangram Bhalerao aka Simmba is struggling to survive, leading a hand-to-mouth existence in Shivgad. He is so fed up of poverty that he does not hesitate to get into illegal activities like touting movie tickets. After learning that a person can earn a lot more by becoming a police officer, he joins the force when he grows up.
Simmba (Ranveer Singh) is kind-hearted, but that doesn’t stop him being shamelessly corrupt. After he is posted at the Miramar police station in Goa, he literally becomes a pet of the town’s gangster Durva Ranade (Sonu Sood). During this time, Simmba falls for Shagun (Sara Ali Khan) who runs a catering service. He also meets medical student-cum-social worker Aakruti (Vaidehi Parshurami) whom he begins to consider his sister.
Simmba’s subordinates like Tawde (Siddharth Jadhav) have no problems with his corrupt working style, but he earns the wrath of the idealistic head constable Mohile (Ashutosh Rana).
However, when Simmba’s happy-go-lucky life takes a serious turn, he is forced to rethink his ideology.
Simmba was never going to be a novel subject. The film does not pretend to be anything other than a Rohit Shetty entertainer. In other words, it is just aimed at providing lots of entertainment to its target audience, the masses.
Despite the predictability of the plot, Simmba never loses its grip. The writing team of Yunus Sajawal, Farhad Samji and Sajid Samji certainly know how to keep the audience glued to its seats. While the first half gives more importance to comedy and romance, things get serious and intense in the second half.
Simmba, incidentally, is the first time Rohit Shetty has explored a serious social issue like rape.
Once the transformation of the protagonist takes place, the film switches to a different plane while smartly balancing out entertainment and emotional appeal. This period has a number of moments that would be cheered with wolf whistles in single-screen theatres.
The most prominent of these is Ajay Devgn’s entry and his antics. Unfortunately, the makers themselves had killed the surprise by revealing Devgn's entry as well as his fight scenes in the trailers. Just as they tell us about the film's most defining moment right at the beginning, making it more predictable than ever.
Shetty’s films are not really known for their music. But Simmba has three enjoyable tracks, ‘Aankh Marey’, ‘Mera Wala Dance’ and the title song.
Cinematographer Jomom T John, a familiar name in the South Indian film industries, leaves his mark with some impressive wide-angle shots. The background score enhances the visuals and plays an important role in creating the impact. On some occasions, though, it is overpowering.
Films of this genre come with their share of flaws, and Simmba is no different. Frankly, one doesn’t expect logic in a Rohit Shetty film. But the flaws relating to the rape incident and the court scene where the evidence is proferred cannot be ignored.
Ranveer Singh has proved himself as a quality performer since his debut eight years ago and this film is another feather in his cap. His performance is a deadly mix of energy, dedication and charm. He entertains you with his comic antics as a corrupt cop and, later, moves you with his emotional act.
Sara Ali Khan plays her part well but has hardly anything to do after the interval. Sonu Sood has played the bad guy many times now, both in Hindi and in Southern films, but he brings in a different attitude here. Saurabh Gokhale, a Marathi film actor who makes his Hindi debut, compels you to hate him.
Ashutosh Rana is brilliant as the upright head constable. His scene with Ranveer Singh in the second half is deserving of applause. Siddharth Jadhav is funny as Simmba's junior. Vaidehi Parshurami, who recently impressed audiences in Aani… Dr Kashinath Ghanekar, gives a memorable performance despite her limited screen time.
The film also has fine supporting acts from Ashwini Kalsekar, Arun Nalawade, Sahil Joshi, Suchitra Bandekar, Ronjini Chakraborty and Sarita Joshi.
Overall, Simmba delivers what it promises. The film is an entertaining ride that also moves you.
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