Singham Returns (2014)

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If you have decided to go and watch Singham Returns this weekend, then do not forget to buy some ear-plugs, because once into the movie, you’ll not find one quiet moment.

This sequel is an orgy of relentless action, shrill dialoguebaazi, and eardrum-shattering background music. And yet, buried somewhere under all that noise is a well-meaning – although misguided – story about the need for corruption-cleansing in the system.

Singham Returns is dissimilar if you draw parallels with the first part – there’s no connect between the two films, except, of course, Bajirao Singham. In Singham, Singham took on the powerful politician (Prakash Raj), while the second installment throws light on the upright cop’s crusade against corrupt politicians, including an influential Swamiji (Amole Gupte). Much like the first installment, the combat is amongst equals yet again, with the protagonist and the antagonist going all out to knock each other down.

Ajay Devgan reprises his role as Bajirao Singham, upright cop and dispenser of vigilante justice, now promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Police and relocated from a village on the Goa-Maharashtra border to big bad Mumbai city. Our fearless hero locks horns with a fake godman (a deliciously hammy Amole Gupte) and a crooked neta (Zakir Hussain), when it becomes clear that they’re responsible for the death and humiliation of one of his officers, and for the murder of an Anna Hazare-like figure (Anupam Kher) who’d been spearheading a movement to introduce dynamic and committed young candidates into the political fray.

There isn’t much that’s groundbreaking in the script, but Shetty and Devgan have created a leading man worth rooting for. Singham is steadfast in his intolerance for dishonesty and corruption; in one scene at the start of the film when someone offers him a bribe, he lands a stinging slap on the fellow’s face and this classic line: “Main leta nahin, deta hoon.” The plot line seems to have borrowed some ideas from OMG – Oh My God!.

What I especially enjoyed in Singham Returns were its stray moments of clever, unexpected humor. Twice our hero takes it on the chin when his girlfriend, and an officer in his team, makes a joke about his age. In another scene, when Gupte’s dhongi Baba rattles off lines from the Bhagwad Gita to him, Singham quotes from the Indian Penal Code in response.

However, there are loopholes you cannot overlook. Much like Singham, the romantic scenes just don’t cut ice and appear forced in the narrative. In fact, the story stagnates when the songs are incorporated to make the romance factor work. The film could’ve done without songs actually. Also, the action pieces are too lengthy at times and could’ve been crisper. Additionally, the soundtrack, which, despite a couple of reputed names associated with it, doesn’t linger in your memory, including Yo Yo Honey Singh’s ‘Aata Majhi Satakli’.

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Kareena Kapoor, the usually dependable actress looks lovely, but the film doesn’t require her to so much as break into a sweat to get through her scenes. It’s Ajay Devgan alone, who keeps the film from falling apart, as the plot becomes increasingly facile. He’s in terrific form as the tough cop with a soft heart, and he displays that quality remarkably, particularly in one scene where he’s confronted by the desperate mother of an erring son.

I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five for Rohit Shetty’s Singham Returns. Though some scenes, inspire some police pride (especially if you have seen the Police episode of Satyamev Jayate), but the predictability of the genre tires you eventually.