You don’t expect Rohit Shetty’s school of cinema to give is films like Manto, Andhadhun, Manmarziyaan. His films come from a different arena, fall into an even different genre. So when I walked into Simmba, I didn’t expect cinematic genius. What I did expect was a good time and probably a very different (and good) avatar of Ranveer Singh, both of which I got.
In the film, Sangram Bhalerao aka Simmba calls himself bhai from another aai when he’s talking to the local goons (Sonu Sood and brothers) but he’s actually Singham’s brother from another mother. Simmba is an orphan and the only reason why he becomes a cop is to earn money. He’s corrupt and heartless at first and then, towards the second half, a girl is raped. This girl, Akruti, had called herself Simmba’s younger sister, so of course there’s a change of heart and this comical entertainer turns into a revenge saga. And it seems as if the pre-interval and post-interval parts of Simmba are two completely different films.
The first half of the film is a full on entertainer. I don’t remember when was the last time I let down my guard as a critic and enjoyed a film so much. But at times, especially in the second half, Simmba plays out as chaos. Rohit Shetty and team try to blend in too many genres in the film. It’s a comedy, a drama, a social drama, a courtroom drama and a revenge saga all at once. And it’s all in the Singham template. We’ve seen what we’re given to watch again. But you hardly see yourself complaining. And all credits to Ranveer Singh! What a performance!
Simmba is everything that Singh is! He’s boisterous, loud, extremely OTT, and makes all of this positive traits of both their personalities. Singh is entertaining at first, emotional next but he’s always in his element and surprisingly delivers a very great performance, which is almost natural. And you can see the hard work he’s put in to break the mould of being a serious Sanjay Leela Bhansali actor. He looks the part, with his buffed up body, bronzed cheeks and even becomes it. He makes Simmba what it is!
Sara Ali Khan gets a few scenes and songs in the first half and literally three frames in the second, but she shines on and proves that while she can head a character driven film (Kedarnath), she also be the leading lady of a masala film, where she’s mostly restricted to singing and dancing and carrying around tiffin boxes for the men.
My problem with Simmba is not that it tries to be too much at once, but that it uses rape as a train engine that drives the film. The Nirbhaya case is also thrown light on but it seems that it’s out of convenience, to add fire to the narrative.
All in all, Simmba is a film worth watching for the laughs, 4.25 scenes of a luminous Sara Ali Khan and the essence and presence of Ranveer Singh. He is a true winner!
If I had to rate the film, one more year, minimum, it’ll take for the next instalment of Singham, because at the end of Simmba, Rohit Shetty has announced his next cop drama with Akshay Kumar and also the next Golmaal film…
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