Sensational as Simmba 

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Dec 2018 11:09:36




By Farina Salim Quraishi

Commercial and proud of it. Rohit Shetty has never made any bones about toeing the masala (movie) line wholeheartedly and his latest, Simmba, is a glorious conviction of his beliefs as a filmmaker. Commercial to the core and adorned with the best of the massy trappings - be it picture- perfect introductory sequences, ceremonious dialogues, elaborate dance numbers or even the good old stylish dishum, dishum - Simmba, likes its protagonist, wears its intention on its sleeves and is not afraid to flaunt it.

Ranveer ‘energetic’ Singh roaring away to glory - in the remake of Telugu blockbuster, Temper - might not be the proverbial lion aka Bajirao Singham, but is nevertheless an unstoppable whirlwind of entertainment. Moreover, for all its commercial trappings, Simmba has an intense premise which while theatrical and entertaining on the surface, goes on to address a grave problem the country is grappling with - atrocities against women.

Chronicling the life of a gutsy and orphaned Sangram Bhalero aka Simmba, the movie starts with the young lad in a super hurry to make it big in life and get rich in the process. After his boss, a gang leader of petty pickpockets, is roughed up by a cop and stripped of cash, Simmba realises that is the Khaki Wardi which will fulfill all his dreams and resolves to
become a policewala.

Wearing the ‘Police’ tattoo with considerable pride on his forearm, Simmba soon becomes Inspector Sangram Bhalero with his ‘ideals’ and priorities firmly in place. He will do anything and everything for the thing he loves most in life, money! So dealing in double, under the table, above it over even behind one’s back are all a done deal for Simmba, who soon finds himself transferred from Shivgad to Miramar, Goa, courtesy his deals.

He is welcomed with open arms by all his subordinates at Miramar police station with the sole exception of a seasoned head constable, Nityanand Mohile (Ashutosh Rana), a righteous and honest law-upholder.

Mohile’s disdain notwithstanding, Simmba is more than happy to accommodate the area strong-man Dhurva Ranade (Sonu Sood), who has his hand in every evil pie. Simmba pledges his loyalty to his money and promises to be Ranade’s Man as long as he showers him with moolah.
The convenient equation goes for a toss after Dhurva’s two younger brothers go one step too far to avenge their hurt egos. With his conscience finally shaken out of its stupor, Simmba finds the true policewala in himself and vows to put things right, come what may.

Rohit Shetty, who has made a career out of cop movies, takes the clichéd bad cop turning good plot to narrate his glossy action-comedy. In sync with the Shetty style, which the director has perfected over the years, Simmba is packed with bright sets, snazzy action, bombastic confrontations and of course the million colourful cars, much to the delight of his faithful fans. The vigilante action drama is silly fun in the first half. The dialogues are witty, illogical, sometimes philosophical and highly populist, evoking smiles now and then, never mind if we have seen and heard it all before.

Moreover, despite being the remake of Temper, Simmba just shares surface similarities with the Jr NTR-starrer. Apart from the premise, a few major scenes and the mock-serious tone of the film, Simmba charts its own course and has a frenzied pace.

To his credit, Rohit uses a subtle hand while tackling the serious subject post-interval and thankfully does away with the cringe-worthy moments associated with the genre. But even the small flourishes are not enough to gloss over the serious short-comings in the loose plot. Story of the film is extremely predicable with the twists and turns in the story all but laid for everyone to guess. Subjects like these have been dealt many a times in the past and Rohit offers nothing but Utopian ideas and solutions to problems plaguing society. The lengthy monologues about safety of women and desh ki betiyaan start grating on the nerves after a while, given their sheer abundance.

Ranveer is a 100 per cent performer and it shows fantastically in Simmba. Despite serious lapses in the script, it is the credibility with which Ranveer plays Sangram Bhalero, which makes one root for Simmba. Playing Simmba with flamboyant flair and sheer abandonment, Ranveer is the heart and soul of the film. Alternating between being rib-ticklingly funny to bone-breakingly menacing, to heartbreakingly emotional with consummate ease, Ranveer simply owns it as Simmba.

Taking his glowering Cheddhi Singh act a few notches higher as Dhurva Randade, Sonu Sood stands tall (literally too) as the angry antagonist. His bromance with Ranveer Singh has more fire than the clumsy romance between Simmba and his lady love Shagun (Sara Ali Khan). Sara Ali Khan, unlike her fleshed-out role in Kedarnath, has a brief appearance and is non-existent post-interval. Ajay Devgn, who makes a special appearance Bajirao Singham, is sensational and brings the house down.

The supporting cast is populated by Rohit Shetty regulars, right from Ashok Samrat, Ashwini Kalsekar, Sarita Joshi and others. They all fit in seamlessly and do their bit convincingly. But it is Ashutosh Rana, Siddharth Jadhav and Vijay Patkar who shine the strongest. Check out the sequence when Ashutosh Rana as Mohile finally salutes Sangarm Bhalerao, the moment when it comes, though predictable is incredible!

So if you can suspend reality and are ready to be entertained the Bollywood way, by all means Ranveer Singh’s hyper-energetic and relentless Simmba is worth your while and a ‘Mindd-ijj blowing’ experience. Just be sure to leave your grey cells at home while you are at it.

The Hitavada Rating :  O O 1/2

PS: Do stick around for a few minutes as the movie ends, Rohit Shetty has a surprise announcement in store for 2019.