|I caught this movie on Saturday and the theatre was only half occupied.
The movie started off with the camera focusing on an elite school
in Kanpur and a child getting kidnapped, followed by a ransom call to
the boys father, setting the tone for our protagonist Chulbul Pandey
aka ’Kung Fu" Pandey to drive his jeep into the goons den and
unleashing his by now, patented anti-gravity stunts viz. pushing over
vehicles with one hand, striking a guy easily weighing over a 100kgs
and sending him flying thru brick walls/doors and such. The kid is
rescued and united with his parents and CB retains the ransom amount
as contribution towards the ’Chulbul Pandey Welfare Fund’ - our guy's
version of a modern day Robin Hood, where he donates a portion of the
spoils and retains the major chunk, in this particular case, Rs.2L
donated and Rs.8L retained for his own welfare!
The story is threadbare. CB gets a transfer to a big city - Kanpur
- where he wants to demonstrate his style of policing. The city is in
the clutches of a local corporator/MLA Bachhha Singh (Prakash Raj) and
his siblings, Chunni (Nikitin Dheer) and Genda (Dobriyal). They run
amok treating it as their personal fiefdom, doing as they please and
eliminating anyone who opposes/crosses their path.
In such a build up and in a time when the uniform commands very
little respect, it’s surprising that our CB gets away with so much,
including ridiculing Chunni in public, Bachha Singh at a party and
finally, killing Genda when the goon tries to drag a bride from the
wedding mandap. The fight sequence in the dhaba is
typical Chulbul Pandey of 'Dabangg' vintage. The correlation between
’Gulab Jamuns’ and a personal affliction, was a hoot and only Salman
can pull it off.
For Prakash Raj, this is a major climb down as his character never
gets to develop. After the strong roles he had in Wanted and
Singham, he was completely wasted here. Anybody could have
filled in for him considering the initial build up - the havan
sequence where his on screen persona is introduced as larger than
life, a baddie to the core, he is shown as completely subservient to
his political mentor.
The only flash of menace he came close to essaying on the lines of
his intro in Singham (the scene where he is shown strangling a
child whose parents refused to pay the ransom), was the scene where he
pushes Sonakshi’s Rajjo down the temple stairs resulting in a
miscarriage. Otherwise, he was completely wasted.
There was nothing at all to compare to Salman's 'shirt ripping off
his back' scene like in Dabangg. However, his belt seems to
have a life of its own in the hud, hud dabangg dance.
Manoj Pahwa was shown as his usual gluttonous self, hogging on
’Pisa’ (Pizza) through the movie. His caricature of an SP is wasted.
Throughout the movie, Salman tantalises by wearing sleeveless vests
and flashes his famous biceps, but refused to go totally topless, a
departure from his usual willingness to exhibit his well toned upper
torso. I guess it’s out of deference to the fact that age is catching
up with him such as a hint of a slight paunch, evident throughout the
movie. In fact, even the climactic fight sequence showed only his
pectorals, with just one side view of his toned abs. His pectoral
muscles looked decidedly in need of some toning up when compared to
One more scene that caught my eye was the manner he repeatedly
kissed his wife, Rajjo on her cheeks. A departure from his usual no
intimacy scenes on camera.
I found the song settings in plush 5 star environs, somewhat
jarring as the songs had a rustic tone. Personally, didn’t like a
single song, yeah, not even the adhesive one!
A credible first attempt at direction by Arbaaz Khan. Maybe the
next time, he’ll have a script to support him.
Overall, I would recommend it for Salman fans.
Rating: Half a star (Definitely better than Ek Tha Tiger,
but that's not really saying much.)