Saturday, August 09, 2008

Singh is Kinng

Rating : 5/10
Running Time : 136 Minutes
Release Date : 8th August ‘08
Director & writer : Anees Bazmee ; Music : Pritam
Starring : Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Neha Dhupia, Om Puri, Kirron Kher, Ranvir Shorey, Sonu Sood, Javed Jaffrey, Yashpal Sharma

For those who like that kind of stuff, this is yet another mindless film masquerading as a comedy. And all the hype yet again reveals something very slapstick, very ordinary. The first half is not so bad, if you don’t mind a little slapstick and some very Punjabi humour. The second half just deteriorates into unnecessary weeping, melodrama and one implausible situation after another.

The plot, that of a do-gooder cum nuisance, Happy Singh, being sent to Australia to bring an ex-resident of the village and current Don, Lucky Singh, is already implausible to the extreme. The sub-plots, involving Katrina, Kirron Kher, Javed Jaffrey and the other members of Lucky’s gang stretch credibility even further.

Its not without its moments though…the lingo is very rustic Punjabi and raises a lot of laughs. ‘Chehra itna bhola, andar bam ka gola’ or ‘lady Bheem’ were both delightful descriptors of Katrina. Names like Happy, Lucky and Mika cannot belong to any other community in the world. Pankaj Uddas, with his mournful, morbid stories, was a very nice touch. Javed Jaffrey’s removal of all guns from his person was funny. And the scene in the second half, involving Lucky Singh on a wheelchair being used as a waiter, was absolutely hilarious.

However, there was a tendency to degenerate into slapstick (the film begins with the oldest slapstick routine in the book with Akshay chasing a hen through the streets of his village), the situations become more and more flimsy and I really didn’t understand the need to switch gears and become so emotional in the second half – it absolutely ruined the whole film. Katrina & Neha looked lovely through the film, Akshay holds his own and most people acted decently, except Ranvir, who looks out of sorts and a bit mis-cast. The music is a split between the good (the title song and Jee Karda), the ugly (the snoopy dogg song and ‘Talli hua’) and the ok (most others), though all songs were forced into the film

I’ve also not understood the recent trend of choosing another country just for exotic locales – when it was a rarity, like the tulip fields of Silsila or the Switzerland scenery in Darr, it worked. Now I really feel the locale should have something to do with the plot…I mean the Mummy, quite obviously, needed Egypt just as Crocodile Dundee needed Australia. Singh is Kinng needed neither yet we were treated to songs in Egypt and the rest of the movie ostensibly in Australia.

In some ways though, the movie is almost like an ad for Punjab and its delightful, over-sized, gregarious residents. I remember when a restaurant chain called ‘Punjabi by Nature’ opened up in Delhi and quickly established itself as an iconic Punjabi place with its vodka-shot gol gappa’s, oversized naan’s (pls never order 2) and tangy butter chicken. This movie has already, due to its title, established itself as an icon of all Sikh’s and has been parodied / used and re-used in news channels, normal conversations, posters, sms jokes etc. Its commercial success is almost assured. Pity though that the imaginative title and the lovely designer pagdi’s was followed by something so trite, so ordinary. Surely the kingly Singh’s of the world deserved better.


Unknown said...

Loved this movie. First day second show in PA. Went with my wife and kids, 8 and 5, they loved it. The storyline did not make any sense but it was a great entertainer. Kids loved the scene when wheelchaired don was used as waiter.
Will go and watch again (with friends and after 2 beers)

Anonymous said...

It was an average movie.. But ppl were enjoying it in the teatre atleast the Punjabi's around me :) .. The lady looked simply gorgeous in the shaadi dress.. Its a timepass movie. Cheers, Bee

Anonymous said...

hey completely loved the movie !!!! laughed thru out ... maybe it was the surdy in me !!! but every body i know has enjoyed it ..... cheers