Sunny Deol is reason enough for most of us to watch Singh Saab The Great, writes Paloma Sharma.
It must be understood that Singh Saab The Great is Sunny Deol's comeback vehicle. So if you're not a fan of the dhai kilo ka haath, this film is not for you.
However, if you (much like myself) have the entire tareek pe tareek dialogue memorised, then you will regret missing out on Singh Saab the Great.
It was nice to watch a Bollywood film that's not a Hollywood film in disguise, starring an Indian star cast. One can appreciate that the director of the film, Anil Sharma, at least had a vision for his film -- even if it was a confused one.
Singh Saab The Great attempts to tell the tale of a collector, who valued his honesty, integrity and pride more than anything else, and the price he had to pay for telling the truth.
The film starts off quite well. Amrita Rao, who plays a pesky, truth-seeking journalist, documents her experiences with Singh Saab (Sunny Deol).
Singh Saab is a social worker of sorts, who is spearheading an Anna Hazare style movement called People's Beat and trying to change things at a grassroot level.
While touring villages in North India, Singh Saab comes to a quaint little hamlet ruled by the ruthless Bhudev, where some dark secrets of Singh Saab's past are buried.
Singh Saab's character finds strong roots in Sardar Shivsingh from Premchand's Sajjanta ka Dand and Deol brings great intensity to the role. However, it becomes a tad awkward to watch him romance his teenage bride Minnie (played by Urvashi Rautela).
Rautela, on her part, does nothing but glance seductively, laugh at her husband's silly attempts to woo her and get mad at him for pretty much everything. She also makes sure she's showing enough back for Deol to kiss every two minutes in the first half of the film. Although she's the motivation behind all of Singh Saab's trials, she gets reduced to a glamourized prop.
Amrita Rao's Hindi heartland accent is downright annoying.
For the first time since Singham, Prakash Raj has shown that evil spark. Although his character Bhudev is very similar to Jaykant Shikre, he brings a different flavour to it. Bhudev is absolutely despicable but you soften up to him when you see his attachment to his daughter.
The first half of Singh Saab the Great is enjoyable but overshadowed by the loud, sometimes nonsensical music. The other half is unnecessarily gory and overshadowed by even louder and more nonsensical music.
Although I appreciate that the makers of Singh Saab the Great tried to make a socially conscious and relevant film, they got pulled into giving a sermon instead.
Singh Saab the Great's tragic flaw is that it preaches against crimes that stem out of the two things out of which its morals stem -- religion and patriarchy.
On one hand, Singh Saab beats the living daylights out of villains who adulterate food, and on the other, he tells a man who was about to disfigure a girl's face with acid to woo her with love if he truly loves her. So your friendly neighbourhood acid attacker goes scot free.
Meanwhile, Singh Saab who slaps Bhudev for suggesting that Singh Saab's sister, Guddi/Simar, go into prostitution, Singh Saab has no issues dancing with (and how I hate to use the word) an item girl to a song with lyrics that go something like 'khaike palang tod paan tune le li meri jaan'.
But it's not over yet.
Brace yourselves for a long-ish soliloquy about religion and righteousness as the hero slays the villain.
Singh Saab the Great has its moments. But more importantly, it has Sunny Deol and that is reason enough for most of us to watch this film.