a bunch of cops openly kick the shit out of a high-profile politician (perhaps the film takes the term ‘kick-ass’ entertainment a little too literally). The honest police protagonist gives an extensive emotional speech on how the entire police force has gone corrupt, which instantly awakens the conscience of cops from across the state including the DGP, all of whom come to Singham’s immediate rescue. A head constable on the brink of retirement mouths a monologue on how a police officer is supposed to be saviour of the society yet remains underpaid than janitor.
In a country already mired with multiple controversial corruption scams, where an average Indian remains a passive spectator, the implausible heroism of Singham attempts to exploit the suppressed sentimentality of the audience.
Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn) is an honest sub-inspector in his village with practically no case registered at his police station, since he solves most of them amicably. With a heart of gold, chest of steel and fists of iron, he qualifies as the elementary hero material. He just needs an excuse to flex his muscles and clench his claws, turning a one-man army at the drop of a hat, to battle an entire battalion of zombie-looking goons. The actual story initiates by the end of the first half when he clashes with an extortionist-cum-aspiring politician Jaykant Shikre (Prakash Raj) and a game of one-upmanship begins between the two.
An aftermath of the success of larger-than-life actioners like Wanted and Dabangg , Singham (officially remade from last year’s Tamil hit by the same name starring Suriya) is clearly devised as an out-an-out action flick for the original action hero Ajay Devgn. The focus is clearly on action and perhaps Rohit Shetty’s definition of full-blown action is his trademark blowing-up-cars phenomena. Jai Singh Nijjar’s action direction involving mortal combats and car chases is quite unimaginative on that front and it’s only thanks to Ajay Devgn’s intensity and physical authenticity that the fight sequences look kind of convincing.
The more things change, the more they remain the same. That’s accurate for Hindi films, at least. On one hand we have subversive formula-breaking films, and on the other, we’re clinging desperately to the formula as it were.
Many are already second-guessing the film to be ‘Ajay Devgn’s Dabangg’. Fair enough. It has Devgn walk in slow-mo, fight off a circle of goons, save the heroine’s izzat, and mouth heavy-duty dialogue. All this and more… you can imagine the product packaging to declare.
There’s a difference though. Dabangg’s protagonist, beneath the humour and charm, was shamelessly corrupt. In Singham, our hero Bajirao Singham slaps the person who tries bribing him. This remake of Tamil film Singam is a blast from the past, really. And unexpectedly fun!
So we see Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn) stationed in a small village, that has, among the farmers, a section of prosperous and educated families as well. Singham develops a crush on Kavya (Kajal Aggarwal) who, in typical Hindi film tradition, falls for the hero as soon as he bashes up a few molesters. She’s feisty and while the toughest goon cannot make Singham sweat, her frank expression of love makes him stutter.
Enter the central villain with an equally solid name – Jaykant Shikre (Prakash Raj). The battle between David and the evil Goliath traverses through several dialoguebaazi episodes, violent fights that just don’t end, and fawning shots of Devgn’s rippling muscles.