We all know what to expect from the stunt-master Rohit Shetty films. The director, famous for treating the viewers with a unique blend of comedy and action, has this time given a year-end gift by re-discovering his mojo.
Rohit Shetty directional Simmba is another film quite similar from the franchise. The premise remains the same!
A tough cop, a villain (Sonu Sood), and the quest for justice. Again, you know what to expect. After some pretence of world building, and laying the stakes, the unsmiling cop will get down to business: the villains would be tracked, the chairs would crumble, sermons would be dispensed and the cars would lose their centres of gravity.
Adapting the main story from the Telugu film Temper, Shetty uses the classic tropes of mainstream commercial cinema from the 70s/80s. The film’s eponymous protagonist has a backstory of being a poor orphan who decides to turn into a Policewala for all the wrong reasons. Although immensely likable, Simmba is corrupt and ethically compromised. Along the film’s journey, he has to contend with a grimacing villain Doorva Ranade (Sonu Sood) with evil brothers and a pretty young lady Shagun (Sara Ali Khan) whose sole purpose in the film is to be Simmba’s romantic interest and of course, a misdeed (rape) that causes the ultimate change of his heart.
We’re introduced to a cheerful, corrupt cop. Rohit Shetty, plays to his strengths –the comic sequences in particular, are hilarious.
The film falters in its blending of the comic, with the serious. Its attempt at being socially-relevant and send out an anti-rape message leaves a lot to be desired. The plot points get weighed down by the several nudge-nudge references to the brutal Nirbhaya case.
The plot works because Shetty is able to draw fantastic performances from Singh and the supporting cast comprising Ashutosh Rana as Constable Mohile and Siddharth Jadhav as Tawade. Ranveer Singh surrenders himself completely to his role and unabashedly milks the gamut of emotions essential for a true blue Hindi film hero–from rib-tickling comedy, bone-breaking action to intense emotional moments—with consummate ease.
Shetty plays at balance, giving decisive roles to female characters — judge, mother, policewomen — in a film that claims to be about rape, but this film is still all musk. Sonu Sood makes for an effective towering villain, while Singh pats his gun so long and hard that the film briefly turns into a Western.
At the end, we’re teased with the glimpse of another hirsute alpha male joining this franchise next year. These men don’t need women. The sequel could be called Threesome.