Movie Review: Simmba

Simmba (Ranveer Singh) is an orphan from Shivgadh, the native town of brave and honest cop Singham (Ajay Devgn). But Simmba doesn’t believe in Singham’s ideals. The way he sees it, cops have it easy as everyone gives them a cut. He works hard towards being a cop, gets posted in Shivgadh itself and sets about extorting money from all and sundry. He gets transferred to another police station, where he joins hands with the local goon Ranade (Sonu Sood) and starts minting money. He meets with a girl Shagun (Sara Ali Khan), who runs a tiffin service outside the police station and starts dreaming of marrying her. Life’s all hunky dory for the hunk alright. At this point, Ranade’s younger brothers rape and kill a girl Simmba considers as his younger sister. The incident shakes him up from the inside. His conscience gets awakened and he vows to avenge her death. How he goes about doing it forms the crux of the story.

The first half of the film is different from the second half. While the first part is light and breezy and is full of laugh-out-loud moments, the second part becomes serious and preachy. The tonal shift from a broad comedy to a film that that champions the cause of women safety is a tad jarring. The pace too gets stilted somewhat. You get the feeling that perhaps tighter editing was the order of the day in some places.

If Sanjay Leela Bhansali is the director who made Ranveer into an actor having a cupboard full of awards, Rohit Shetty is the person who will be credited with turning him into a massy hero. Because the film is as massy as they come. The punch dialogue, slow motion action, quirky dance moves — it’s all there and more. And Ranveer takes to this new avatar like fish to water. Simmba is a complete OTT character on paper and Ranveer takes it up a notch higher through his performance. He summons up the spirit of Jim Carrey, making faces, speaking in different voices, being cocky as hell all the time and wisecracking with aplomb. He’s good in the emotional scenes as well. You feel entertained whenever he’s around and that’s what counts, never mind the implausibility of some of the scenes. Sara Ali Khan, who made a super confident debut with Kedarnath, looks completely at ease in a Rohit Shetty set up as well. She matches Ranveer toe-to-toe in dance sequences and shares a easy camaraderie with him. Though her role isn’t that big in what’s primarily an action comedy. She has shown us she’s a natural and now needs author-backed roles to showcase her talents further. Ashutosh Rana, not seen much on the silver screen nowadays, plays an honest constable, something of a conscience keeper for Ranveer and does a good job of it.  The scene where they both get drunk is a hoot.

This is perhaps the only Rohit Shetty film where cars don’t fly in the air, though the rest of his trademark action and stunts are all there. On the lines of Marvel or DC’s superhero universes, he’s trying to built a cop universe of sorts and cameos by Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar as policemen proves that. It’s a bold move by the director and it would be interesting to see how it unfolds in the future…

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