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Policegiri review: Strictly for Dutt fans!

K Ravi Kumar
Sanjay Dutt, Prakash Raj, Prachi Desai
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He's drunk from last night's booze, yet buys more, cleans his teeth with the alcohol, mixes it with idli like you would sambhar, and then washes his hand with what's left in the bottle.

This charming introduction belongs to Rudra Aditya Devraj (Sanjay Dutt), the new guy in town.

He calls himself a combo, that of goondagiri and policegiri. 'Buy one get one free,' he chuckles often to his detractors.

The film falls in the 'rogue cop' genre of Dabangg and Singham. You know the drift - the hero wears a cop uniform and walks in slow-mo; the sweet girl in the next lane, who's half his age, falls for him; Prakash Raj of the bulbous eyes plays the villain.

In this small town, the local police has a rate card for bribes. Naturally Rudra, with a propensity to thumping his chest and breaking coconuts with his biceps, comes to clean up the mess. Like Chulbul Pandey of Dabangg he's open to accepting bribes and has a Robinhood-esque mentality.

Plus he likes to say a few favourite dialogues including, 'Aadmi apne naam se nahin, kaam se jaana jaata hai'; 'Chowki chowki ka paani pee ke aaya hun"; and 'Main mazak nahin bullet chodta hoon.'

The action has him emerging from behind a god's idol in slow-mo, jumping, almost flying, and landing on top of a car unscathed, as you watch people's jaws drop to the floor. Almost all the fight scenes have cars reduced to dust and a tiresome attempt to make Dutt do some Rajinikant-esque gimmicky stunts.

Like the time he announces he's the Deputy Commissioner by jumping on top of a car with a symbolic blast in the background.

Whoa, subtlety is certainly not a virtue here. He announces grandly that he's there for "choron ki safai and gunde ki dhulai".

The main gunda here is Nagori (Prakash Raj) who has a lovely introduction as we see him enjoying classical music in the car. Like always, Raj's portrayal is semi-comical and he attempts at comedy with his singing and playing musical instruments.

He could play this role in his sleep, even as the character follows the familiar pattern of trying to bribe the hero and then transforming into a caricature accepting defeat. The last major movie he played such a role was Singham, which this film often references.

Nagori grudgingly respects Rudra even saying, 'I like him yaar' to his cronies. Their equation is fun at first, but then turns into a game where each one's move is topped by the other, and they keep saying 'mind it' after each dialogue.

Dutt is in form and the bright shirts do him good. Unlike his other recent films, Dutt actually looks good in 'action' mode. Of course, the romantic pair looks odd. Looking more like her uncle, Dutt looks too over-the-hill to be paired with Prachi Desai.

Directed by well-know Tamil filmmaker K S Ravikumar, the film is the Hindi remake of the decade-old South hit Saamy. Perhaps it would have made sense before the South remake trend started. Now the audience has seen too many such films, and the novelty factor of such loud, action films has worn out.

It's ironical that while Dutt serves time in jail, his film called Policegiri has released. In fact, as the film ends, there's a super on the screen that says, 'Baba will be back'.

Whether it's intended as a sequel warning or to express solidarity with Dutt is unclear. Indeed, he is the only reason for watching this film. Go for it if you're a fan.

Rating: 1.5 stars


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