Gabbar is Back
Gabbar is Back
By: Sonia Chopra
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Friday 01 May 2015
Gabbar is Back
Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi
Akshay Kumar,Shruti K. Haasan
A college professor Aditya (Akshay Kumar) doubles up as Gabbar, a mysterious entity, who kidnaps corrupt officials and even murders some of them to set an example.
Ok. So why did the filmmakers choose the name 'Gabbar', who is one of Indian film's most famous out-and-out villain? No grey shades, no hidden heart-of-gold, just pure villainy - that's what the name Gabbar stands for!
I suppose one can only attribute it to gimmicky exploitation, and nothing more. And so, naturally, the film begins with a loud song that has Gabbar's memorable dialogues interspersed.
Soon enough, news spreads that some 'tehsildars' from Maharashtra's districts have been kidnapped. The samosa-eating cops are beside themselves, when a CD arrives that has Gabbar explaining his motives. He says that his intent is to clean the system of corruption and he'll do whatever it takes. The next day, the most corrupt 'tehsildar' is found dead, leading the cops into frenzy.
This scenario repeats itself, several times over. How does Gabbar manage CBI-level inquiry into these shady official's corrupt doings? How does he never get caught despite roaming around freely without a care? These are the questions the cops want to know, and so do we. Sadly, these doubts are never answered through the film, and we just have to be content with an illogical story with a larger-than-life hero.
Meanwhile, a positively rude and loud-mouthed law intern Shruti (Shruti Haasan) stops his car in the middle of the night in one of the film's most absurd scenes. She has a pregnant woman with her who is in severe labour pain. Shruti decides, without having any such prior experience, to deliver the woman's baby in his car. Shruti says, 'Ok, now push', and after a few quick shots of the woman writhing in pain, the baby is born, and wrapped in Aditya's shirt. Easy as pie, you see.
Next, we have Shruti in a small driving accident with inane dialogue about women drivers. Her character consistently behaves like a bratty kid, and is very difficult to warm up to.
The dialogue is of the loud, junta-pleasing variety. There are lines that compare a bribe to a coconut, and the system to a baby's diaper ('geela' aur 'dheela'), and calls the corrupt folks 'bigde hue bachche'.
Directed by well-known Telugu director Krish and a remake of the 2002 Tamil film Ramanaa, the film tries thrashing several topics. Perhaps the most evocative portions of the film take place in a hospital, where corrupt doctors and hospitals won't even inform a relative about a death, unless they pay the exorbitant fees.
The owner of the Patil hospital, Digvijay Patil, says 'I am not a person, I am a brand!' and becomes Gabbar's No.1 target. Heck, they even have an argument about who's the bigger brand!
For a film named after a villain, the film does no justice to the story's central villain. More of a scowling caricature that a real formidable threat, you know this Patil guy is easy game for Gabbar. So where's the challenge?
Meanwhile, Gabbar lectures common people on youth power and the like, while the ear-splitting background score gets even more unbearable.
Akshay Kumar is dependably good in the film and the new fuller-haired look sits well on him. However, he needs to be paired with heroines around his own age, so the coupling looks natural and not ridiculous. By giving him a salt-n-pepper beard and making Shruti Hassan behave like an overgrown kid, the pair is made to look odd and the lack of chemistry is conspicuously glaring.
Kidnapping corrupt people, hanging a couple of them, and setting an example - this is the improbable but people-pleasing premise of the film. "Kaam se hero, naam se villain," says Gabbar. This is a low-brow, gimmicky film that capitalizes on one of Hindi film's most iconic villains, and more unforgivably, on the aam junta's frustrations with the system.
Rating: 2 stars
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