Despite vividly knowing subconsciously how high expectations and disappointments have been going hand and hand lately with these apparently must-watch grand Bollywood releases, I got myself watching today, the latest Dharma – Rohit Shetty joint venture titled ‘Simmba’; though aware of its done to death template emerging straight out of 80s Bollywood.
Thankfully, the movie not only sails seamlessly throughout, but eventually shines too – primarily due to the way the director Rohit Shetty helms it. His treatment to sensitive moments in the screenplay is the righteous one, which doesn’t make them look crass for even once. Further, he ditches his infamous sequences of mindlessly blowing cars or casual sexism (which never induced comedy), hereby delivering this cop drama with sheer coherence (which lacked in most of 2018’s Bollywood releases) and his usual conviction. Simultaneously, he retains his style, thus making this one a highly engaging and entertaining affair, despite its forever predictable proceedings.
Under Rohit Shetty’s direction here is heading Ranveer Singh, living the titular role of a corrupt cop who turns honest post having his “Aata Majhi Satakli” moment. Being almost in every scene of the movie, he efficaciously gets into the skin of Simmba, probably also because the character’s antics are somewhat an extension of his personality. It was much refreshing to see a new actor (and not a 50s rigid looking star) playing such a part. His act does oscillate between average to over-emoting at times, vividly showing how far has he traversed from his days of YRF’s crap cop dramas. Moreover, he gets a courtroom monologue to deliver, which makes his rare rough edges quite visible; though the court unlike me gives the verdict in his favor!
Playing the sunshine of the movie is Sara Ali Khan as Shagun, sincerely delivering her sing – dance – disappear act. Especially in the first half, it was evident that a song usually would follow in mere 2 minutes of her appearance on screen. Just slightly behind Kareena, who aces such roles being the usual choice, she looks completely at ease and peace with her brief screentime (Yes, it’s briefer than that of several side characters). Being a delight to watch whenever on screen, she does similar to what most of the heroines in Rohit Shetty’s movies do.
Reprising his essential baddie role from several cinematic universes is Sonu Sood as Durva Ranade, essaying his part the way he always does; which says much about what to expect! And no, there’s none a “Take off your shirt and fight” sequence of him against the hero (where he otherwise gets killed); probably to make way for a sequel in this apparent cop franchise. Ashutosh Rana is on – point as the ‘I’m so honest’ old – aged cop. As it’s a Rohit Shetty movie, Ashwini Kalsekar is also a part of it. With her usual distinctive charm, she plays this time a court judge. The rest of the supporting appearances are forgettable.
All proceeds normally until to generate max hoots and whistles, there comes a crossover moment in this ‘RSCU’ (read: Rohit Shetty Cinematic Universe), and the audience gets its ‘Singham meets Simmba’ moment to knock down the baddies. This has sharply hinted at how this RSCU is here to stay and only flourish from this point, so vast and fast that it declares its next cop drama releasing soon, (feat. the ‘Rowdy’ star) prior to the end credits in ala – Marvel style; because after it, our Simmba and Shagun do the ‘Mera Wala Dance’ as the end credits roll.
The dialogues by Farhad Samji are deliberate to garner whistles all the way. The same in one of the scenes of second-half between Ranveer and the girls come across as frivolous though – having a single line separately said by each girl there, which literally translates to the same sentence – “Just kill them, Now!”. The entire soundtrack is injected in the first half only, to cleverly maximize Sara’s screentime. The quintessential Swiss Romance song ‘Tere Bin’ is a visually stunning one. The background score though initially loud, escalates to being a goosebumps fest later, especially during the crossover moments of Singham and Simmba – I loved the blending of their respective characters’ signature tune!
In its entirety of long 165 minutes, the movie delivers what it promised, right from the word go. Hardly having any dull moment, this one is high on self – awareness and kept me bound, due to its utter conviction to deliver. It just doesn’t falter from its path, producing Roaring Entertainment all the way!
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