Call it deja vu, but around the same time last year, I went with the same people to the same theatre to watch the same lead pair in an outrageously high-budget movie which to be honest was a dud save for a certain Akshay Kumar’s on-screen charisma. That movie of course was Namastey London, a movie most Punjabis put right on top of their ‘Must Watch’ lists even before its release. The same can be said for Singh is Kinng… well at least mostly. So what’s different this time around, you ask?
Well for starters, Akshay Kumar (who once starred in horrible flicks with the Khiladi motif) has now become the fourth Khan. The surprise success of Namastey London, Bhool Bhulaiyya and even the hare-brained Welcome is testimony to his Will Smith like ability to make a movie a super hit even when it contains all the ingredients of a thumping flop. Naturally then, there’s a lot more money riding on this one than his previous projects. In fact Rs. 5 Crores were supposedly spent in generating the hype around this movie. Increased star-power and additional publicity aside, this movie has shades of technical brilliance which make even the cheesy action sequences appear not so cheesy after all. In short, packaging and promotion-wise this movie is one of the biggest releases ever in Bollywood. However let’s delve deeper and look at the basics which are unaffected by glamour and big bucks – in other words, the acting and of course, the script.
The star of the show is undoubtedly Akshay Kumar as the lovable, accident prone do-gooder Happy Singh. Akshay makes everything look good in this movie, be it a fluorescent pink turban or a love song that comes out of nowhere for no apparent reason. His comic timing takes corny comedy to a level which yesteryear exponents of the genre such as Govinda never could have imagined. His performance once again makes up for the non-performance of his leading lady Katrina Kaif who does little besides looking good in every scene. Come to think of it however, that’s what she is there for in the first place.
Coming to the supporting actors – Om Puri as Rangeela shows shades of his hit role from Hera Pheri, though I would still consider his Chachi 420 performance as his best supporting act to date. His chemistry with Akshay Kumar makes for a very entertaining first half. Kirron Kher, as is characteristic of her, delivers a fine cameo which I daresay surpasses her ‘Filmi Maa’ routine in the first half of Om Shanti Om. The rest of the supporting actors however are not well utilized. Ranvir Shorey for example, who is a brilliant comic talent in his own right, is wantonly wasted as an oh-so-cliched ‘second hero’. Javed Jaaferi who has a better role however is sadly under-used. And finally Sonu Sood, who is paralyzed for more than half the movie, isn’t allowed to do much in the movie.
The script written (and directed) by Anees Bazmee (who has also written yesteryear ‘masterpieces’ such as Sandwich and Raju Chacha) won’t exactly blow you out of the water. In that regard (along with many others) this movie has a lot in common with Om Shanti Om. The question however remains whether it will be as big a success as OSO?
If you ask this reviewer, I hope it does one count but not on another. My Punjabi heart cheers for this movie but my brain thinks otherwise. So finally, ‘Is Singh a King?’ Mostly, Yes!
Rating: 3 out of 5
What the Ratings Mean:
0 – Terrible Beyond Imagination
1 – Mostly Pathetic
2 – Strictly OK
3 – Good
4 – Very Good
5 – Bow Down and Worship!