'Singham': Ajay Devgn plays a one-man army

Film: 'Singham'; Starring: Ajay Devgn,Prakash Raj, Kajal Aggarwal; Directed by: Rohit Shetty; ...

Saturday, July 23, 2011 | 4:55:35 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Film: 'Singham';
Starring: Ajay Devgn,Prakash Raj, Kajal Aggarwal;
Directed by: Rohit Shetty;

This cop is a killer. He implements the laws applicable to the khaki-vardi with a passion that makes corruption seem like a mosquito that a human repellant can exterminate. His ways are unconventional. And he seethes and fumes when faced with diabolic corruption.

Last we saw, it was Rajeev Khandelwal playing the anti-establishment cop's role in the brilliant 'Shaitaan'. This time it's a huge star getting into khakee. Meet Ajay Devgn as Bajirao Singham an honest-to-goodness cop who believes he has been given the law-enforcer's job and he better take it seriously.

Hurling through a cavalcade of regionally-flush references 'Singham' is the kind of rustic boorish kinetic action thriller where a cleaner social order is seen to be brought about by the power of the fist. Give or take a gun. Or a Devgn. Devgn playing the one-man army invests the cliched role with a kind of cultural specificity which allows him the leeway to get verbally regional without losing a pan-India flavour. That's the magic of mass entertainment cinema that this film celebrates with panoramic verve.

We don't need to comprehend Marathi to get the powerful subtexts of Devgan's virulent attack on corruption. Fortunately Devgn isn't the kind of actor who needs to scream to make himself heard. He effectually offsets Prakash Raj's theatrical villainy bordering on bigtime hamming.

It is significant that the entire cast comprises Marathi actors, giving to the frenetic rustic proceedings a sense of arrogant chauvinism. Only the villain played by Prakash Raj is a South Indian actor of tremendous histrionic range. Give him anything to do. And he does with impassioned concentration.

A lot of the lines that the politician-villain is compelled to utter bordered on self-parody. Chunks of the action and drama are cannibalized from the Amitabh Bachchan's 'angry' series, without the bridled indignation of the central character.

Yes, 'Singham' is frustrated and embittered by the corruption that's crept into the socio-political system. But he lacks the vitality to transmute the cop's impotent rage into a potent cinematic language. We don't feel for his concern for a clean social order. We just wonder whom he will thrash next, and how.

Partly, it is to do with the kind of shallowness that 'Singham's' love interest portrays. Jaya Bhaduri in 'Zanjeer' and Smita Patil in 'Ardh Satya' made a brief but telling impact on the way the enraged hero looked at the seedy world. Newcomer Kajal Aggarwal is a bundle of shallow take-away expressions, the cinematic equivalent of a home-delivered pizza, without the spicy toppings.

What sustains the narrative's velocity is Devgn's uncalculated moves as an action hero. He brings a kind of reckless inevitability into every blow that he delivers on the goons. There are some entertaining supporting performances, Sachin Khedeker as the heroin'e cellphone-fixated father is a hoot.

In all fairness the action sequences (Jai Singh Nijjar) are entertaining and humorous. The fights don't take themselves seriously. However, the homilies on a need for integrity in the civil services seem like unwanted concessions to self-importance in a film that seems to revel in a kind of free-floating message on how to stay clean in a cesspool of corruption. Yup, Rohit Shetty packs in a punch.

You can't but smile at the infinite pleasure which the director partakes from the age-old language of commercial Hindi cinema in all its flamboyant glory.

Rating: ** 1/2

User Rating Rating(9 Votes)
saha007, suman_a20, .LovelyDreamer., vardah23, shakti_rock, ILoveDrama, samicute, *Piku*, kooliio

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Posted on: 24 May 2017 at 11:55pm
This is one of the best movie and Ajay Devgn is fantastic actor but best thing of the movie was Rohit Shetty's direction.I really like this movie.

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Posted on: 10 August 2011 at 7:23am
Superb movie for year 2011

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Posted on: 28 July 2011 at 6:46am
singham is opening with big bang in this year. I think this will big hit in bollywood in this month

1 member(s) Liked the above comment :

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Posted on: 24 July 2011 at 5:01pm
never really trust IF's reviews.. movie deserves better rating than 2 n half stars.. (ohh.. n I forgot..dis isnt one for those YRF/Karan/SRK movies, so hw cn it get better rating :( )
disappointed again!!!

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ILoveDrama, Aquarius18

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Posted on: 24 July 2011 at 1:38pm
Bollywood Hungama gave it 4.5/5 stars. I trust their ratings more. :P

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magicalmelody, ILoveDrama

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Posted on: 24 July 2011 at 5:19am
aawww kajal
best of luck yaa
i love from time of chandamama(telugu debut movie)

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Thomasbb, AmritaReddy

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Posted on: 24 July 2011 at 1:08am
This is a movie that deserves a better ratings, i think the review is little harsh. Sometimes the best movies are the ones that stories are repeated with new flavor.

I agree with shakti_rock, Dabangg was like comic action movie, where Singham is serious movie with cop vs politician drama. Ajay Devgan rocked and it showed him like angry cop, wow does he eyes speak volume or what. Ajay saab shows what he does the best angry man/action roles. For those who love serious/action flick movie its must watch!!!

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vehlicoolgal, Thomasbb, drpallavigoel, magicalmelody, ILoveDrama, HydroxyGroup, nikitagmc, Aquarius18

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Posted on: 23 July 2011 at 3:30pm
Like The Gurl,She looks Like Geet!! LOL

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Thomasbb, Nandita5, zaaratq

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Posted on: 23 July 2011 at 12:51pm
erhmm, Dabangg had higher rating so why this mvoie isnt having?? silly people...

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drpallavigoel, aranayani, Thomasbb, vehlicoolgal, Gagan614, Nandita5, Danika, pari_41, -Zeenat-, HydroxyGroup, zaaratq, Aquarius18

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Posted on: 23 July 2011 at 12:50pm
amazing movie. i liked both the tamil and hindi versions .
and ajay and surya were super hot...

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