One look at commercial Hindi cinema’s biggest money spinners in the last few years and you know action is back. It’s the unabashed ode to high-voltage masala Tamil films that saw Ghajini, Wanted and Dabangg rake in the big bucks at the box-office and now it’s time for the king of the jungle to roar. No, the king here isn’t Shah Rukh Khan and the jungle ain’t the one that comes to mind… get ready for Singham, which as the name suggest means well, a lion!
Rohit Shetty, otherwise known for his galloping comic hits like Golmaal, is shifting gears with this Suriya remake of the same name. The story of a hot-headed honest cop who takes on the big baddie, serenades with the doe-eyed lass and does just about everything a typical Hindi film hero does was one of Suriya’s biggest hits. While the basic premise as well as the original villain, Prakash Raj, remain the same Shetty, in his words, has reworked almost 70% of the film.
Singham is about Bhajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn) who fights Jaikant Shikre (Prakash Raj), a politically connected villain on the Goa-Maharashtra border and has very old-fashioned high adrenalin action. From the looks of it Singam is being called Ajay Devgn’s Dabangg but the action man refutes the charge and suggests that he is simply returning to his action avatar.
While Shetty says that he has made the Hindi version as an independent feature he has maintained the raw, hardcore action that was the highlight of the original as well. Ajay Devgn has performed most of his stunts himself and Shetty insists that looking at the action the audience will have their hearts in their mouths. Singham will also have a car chase, something that every Rohit Shetty film features, but this time it’d be… different.
Trends in Bollywood
For years ‘Bollywood’ believed that the best way to ensure a film’s success is to remake a previously successful one. It didn’t matter where they picked up the film from as long as it featured the right ingredients; now-a-days they don’t even bother changing the titles! The maximum number of Tamil films to be remade into Hindi happened in the 1960’s and the 1980’s but it was only with the wild success of Ghajini that the interest in remaking Tamil films was rekindled. While Dabangg can’t be called a remake it owes it’s genesis in films like Samy and the fact that writer/director Abhinav Kashyap is a huge fan of masala Tamil film only helped it.
Besides generating curiosity about Tamil films Ghajini, which coincidentally stared Suriya as well, set the trend where every major actor started looking for a film which would reconnect them with the single screen audiences as well as the huge majority that is far removed from metros and multiplex. Dabangg’s triumph only furthered the search and so it’s hardly surprising that one of the original action men, Ajay Devgn should not join the party. And Ajay Devgn outshines in it!
Singham Rating: 2.5 / 5
Singham Star Cast: Ajay Devgn, Kajal Aggarwal, Prakash Raj, Sonali Kulkarni, Sudhanshu Pandey
Singham Directed by: Rohit Shetty
Singham Duration: 2 hours 20 mins
Singham release date: 22nd July, 2011