Simmba movie review: Ranveer Singh, Rohit Shetty's 'Simmba' is the jingoistic high we needed to end the year
If you're going in to watch a Rohit Shetty film, you shall not be disappointed! We give it 4 out of 5
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Director: Rohit Shetty
Actor: Ranveer Singh, Sara Ali Khan, Ashutosh Rana, Sonu Sood, Siddhartha Jadhav
You Will Like If You Liked: Singham, Singham Returns
Ratings: 4 out of 5
It took Rohit Shetty three years, 10 days and a comparatively failed Golmaal film to un-write the damage of Dilwale — the Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone starrer. And boy, has he done it right.
Simmba or Sangram Bhalerao is as much like Bajirao Singham as he is like Chulbul Pandey. The film itself — though a typical Rohit Shetty pot-boiler — is different. And you might think it is because of the lack of flying cars. But, nope. There’s more.
The trailer already sketched Simmba’s character — an ambitious orphan boy who grew up to chose a career path that he thinks holds maximum power and gives maximum returns, reminiscent of Amitabh Bachchan of the seventies. He grows up to be a police inspector — not just any police inspector, but one who has ‘police’ tattooed on his forearm. That he turned out to be a dashing hunk like Ranveer Singh is just coincidental.
But Simmba is no Robin Hood, and he has no qualms admitting it. In fact, he proudly proclaims, “Yeh kalyug hai, yahan log sirf ek hi matlab ke liye jeetein hai — apne matlab ke liye.” He has a benefactor in a minister, as goes the story, and as long as Simmba doesn’t rub anyone under his party’s umbrella the wrong way, he can continue enjoying all the perks.
One of them being a transfer to Miramar Police Station, Goa. It’s a gold mine, as Simmba puts it. Obviously, things change in Goa, primarily because he finds love in Sara Ali Khan aka Shagun, who, in all her 15 minutes of screen time and two songs, serves little purpose than that of eye candy. Also, Simmba runs, hits, thumps bad guys to the floor in s-l-o-w—m-o-t-i-o-n.
I swear if Simmba was going any slower he’d be walking backwards.
Like most of Shetty’s films, Goa plays a part in the narrative, by adding colour where needed and by providing a space for a possible drug racket to germinate.
It is interesting to note here how Sonu Sood has become the bad guy we love to hate. His monstrous physique — accentuated with strategically applied body oil and shirts a size too small — is no match against our heroes. Whoever that may be — Chulbul, Simmba, Chandramohan Sharma (Shah Rukh Khan in Happy New Year. Yes, even he beat him up).
Sonu's abs are no match for Simmba. (Source: Instagram/Sonu Sood)
The conflict of Simmba, however, is unique. The bad guys have been established, and we need a good guy to defeat them. But Simmba is a corrupt cop. So a change of heart must be had to take the story forward, and end the year on a —steroid-injected jingoistic — high!
Ashutosh Rana as the ageing head constable, Nityanand Mohile, plays the role of conscience with just the right amount of anger, disgust and disbelief.
Atta majhipan satakli! (Source: YouTube screengrab)
The rape that turns Simmba’s life around — no spoilers here, this was shown in the trailer — is too similar to the Nirbhaya case of 2012, which rocked the nation. Both 19-year-old medical students, brutally raped and mutilated. So, full points for reigniting a now dampened fire. But just in case the references were too subtle for those busy whistling at Ranveer’s badass dialogues, Ranveer draws the parallel himself, adding more tears and more fire to the already trippy concoction.
But ultimately how do you win against the system? Follow the right path and seek the help of the Indian courts, which, in Sunny Deol’s powerful words only hands you dates, not justice? Or should you then step into the pit yourself? Since Gangaajal released in 2003, we’ve come to believe in the power of the latter. Ajay Devgn showed us yet again in Singham Returns that if the ‘wardi’ is making you ‘majboor’ instead of ‘mazboot’ then it’s better to take it off. And Ranveer Singh’s Simmba must follow Bajirao Singham’s footsteps.
In your eyes I see the world! (Source: YouTube screengrab)
Does the film work? Absolutely. It entertains. It moves. It makes you proud. But more than anything else, it makes you want to whack the daylights out of the next guy who wrongs you — an urge I have been ferociously fighting since I got out of the theatre.
The fact that Ajay as Singham narrated the story adds to the recall value. Although the scenes between Simmba and Singham, two uniformed and oiled fellows fighting in slow motion as they steal long glances at each other on and off, makes you want to believe that this is the start of a different kind of bromance. We wouldn’t mind.
Here’s a tip: This time Shetty has pulled off a Marvel, so, stay back after the last scene. You will be pleased to meet one Veer Sooryavanshi, the IGP Chief, who is a bit of a Khiladi himself. Something’s coming in 2019, and we can’t wait.