Having created Box Office history with Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, The Hero: Love Story of a Spy and Apne, the director-actor duo of Anil Sharma and Sunny Deol returns to the 70 mm with this week’s release, Singh Saab The Great. For those who believe that the action king is back in action, well, indeed, he is. However, what the audience sees is a mere reiteration of the past. Literally!
Being an honest collector-officer, Saranjit Singh Talwar aka Sunny (Sunny Deol) is often transferred to different states. His life changes when he is transferred to a village, Bhadori, ruled by a bahubali named Bhudev (Prakash Raj). Bhudev is corrupt goon who has politicians in his pocket and believes that wohi state hai aur wohi center. When Saranjit Singh Talwar sends a notice to Bhudev to pay the pending excise duty and orders shut down of all his factories, and an infuriated Bhudev meets the collector. Bhudev tries to threaten Saranjit but the honest officer pays these petty threats no heed. When Bhudev tries to target Saranjit’s family, a fight ensues between the two. The duel leads to loss of life, property and much more. Letting go of his past when Saranjit Singh Talwar starts a new life in Chiraunji as a social worker, who stands up for the common man through his party, People Beat, he is rechristened as Singh Saab. The messiah of common man buries the past, heads out to right the wrong and spread smiles across the cities and villages. However, when he gets an invite from an NGO in Bhadori, life takes another twist. This introduces us to a crime reporter played by Amrita Rao who makes Singh Saab re-tell his past. Later, Rao is seen joining the cause of People Beat party. In Bhadori, Sunny and Bhudev come face-to-face once again and what begins is a chase between the two towards victory.
The film, which is a hallmark of the long association between Sharma and the Deols has a surprise element wherein you see the Deols doing their Deol-like dance. With this film, Sunny Paaji’s ‘Dhai kilo ka haath becomes ‘sadey teen kilo ka’. What’s more, the film is action-packed and with heavy dialogues, “Oh sadey vich Gandhi vi hai, Patel vi hai aur thoda Bhagat Singh vi hai”. It targets sentiments, initially by endorsing the common man’s cause and later by dedicating the climax to the virtues of the Sikh community. The story of the film is partially-influenced by anti-corruption movement and partially by the initial films of Sunny Deol. Ghatak, Damini, Ghayal, Jeet invariably make their presence felt, be it through a dialogue, costumes or Sunny’s furious stance. What’s fresh is Johnny Lever and Sanjai Mishra’s comic punches. Although, Prakash Raj remains the quintessential, ultimate, whimsical villain of new-age Hindi cinema, as we have seen him in Wanted and Singham, he has a shades of grey to his character which epitomizes only towards the climax. Except the title track which has bhangra beats, other songs of the film are less likely to amuse.
Overall, the film leaves movie-buffs with hefty dialogues and Sunny Deol’s enraged streaks. The film has complete Sunny Deol-ness in it and will be a treat to the Deol fans, rest can afford to skip this one.