Bollywood is a domain where, almost every week, a new character 'takes birth'. There have been many instances wherein the film's characters have become evergreen icons and names to reckon with. The day and date of August 15, 1975 will always be memorable for the cinema lovers as that was the day when the iconic 'Gabbar' (of SHOLAY) took birth on silver screen. Even though this week's release GABBAR IS BACK happens to be the 'name-esis' of the famous character 'Gabbar', will it create the same impact as its original… lets analyse.
The film starts off with the very righteous man Professor Aditya (Akshay Kumar) and his tryst with corruption. He is on a mission to infuse a sense of purpose and hope amongst his students in 'National College', the place where he teaches the five elements of survival, in both, theory as well as practicals! Besides being a professor, he is also a vigilante who functions under the name of 'Gabbar'. He and his team inject fear amidst the corrupt officers. The main mission of his team is to eliminate the corrupt individuals, from all the spheres of life, but… in a systematic manner. When he's not bashing up the bad guys, Prof. Aditya also finds time to go on coffee dates with Devaki (Shruti Haasan). There is also a back story of Aditya that finds him romancing his wife (Kareena Kapoor Khan in a cameo) and how tragedy strikes him, courtesy industrialist Digvijay Patil (Suman Talwar). While the laidback police officials are unable to nab Gabbar, it takes an enterprising 'English speaking' constable Sadhu (Sunil Grover) to get the vital clues and leads about the whereabouts of Gabbar and his team. The only problem with Sadhu is that, because he is a 'driver', none of his superiors take him seriously and always belittle him. Amidst all this, when the police and the government land up in a very tight spot because of their inability to nab Gabbar, they hire a razor-sharp topcop, who vows to nab Gabbar at any cost. And when he sees Sadhu's clues of nabbing Gabbar, he immediately offers him all the support that he needs. Do the police and government ever get to know the real 'Gabbar', do they decipher the reason behind these killings, will Sadhu land up playing a spoilsport in Gabbar's master plans or does Gabbar who has been exposing the corrupt, will himself come out before everyone and 'expose' himself… is what forms the rest of the film.
GABBAR IS BACK is an official remake of the southern hit RAMANAA. It has the South Indian stamp of filmmaking written all over it. Ear-splitting-background-score, over-the-top action and humour emanating from strange food references like samosa-and-laal-chatni. One can also draw references with the recently released UNGLI which appointed a somewhat similar modus operandi for tackling corruption. GABBAR IS BACK's director Radhakrishna Jagarlamudi aka 'Krish' needs to be applauded for making a topical film at a time when the country is being swept by the corruption wave. Despite the fact that the film is a remake of the hit Tamil film RAMANAA, Krish makes all the possible efforts to give GABBAR IS BACK a feel that will surely touch everyone's heart alike. Despite this being his debut film, his story telling through his direction is praiseworthy! He does reasonable justice to the film's story (A. R. Murugadoss) and vice versa.
As far as the performances are concerned, no prizes for guessing that the captain of the ship is none other than Akshay Kumar, the man who mouths the eternal dialogue 'Naam villain ka, kaam hero ka
'. He is having a role befitting larger than life persona suiting a typical Bollywood Hero. He is earnest and it is clear that he believes in the actions of the protagonist. It is a departure from the comedies that Kumar has been associated with but it is no patch on the intelligent roles he has portrayed in SPECIAL 26 and BABY. Shruti Haasan, on her part, has this silly obsession with 'Google' facts that stops being funny after a point of time and lands up being irritating. At the same time, one cannot deny the fact that even though she has a small role, she looks beautiful. Sunil Grover is impressive. After being caught up in the garb of 'Gutthi' since a long time, he successfully creates an impact as an actor in this film. One just hopes that this film opens the proverbial door for this talented guy. Suman Talwar in the villainous role is too loud. The rest of the characters help in moving the film forward.
On the music front (Chirantan Bhatt, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Manj Musik), the track of 'Teri Meri Kahani' is the only saving grace in the movie which, otherwise lacks any soulful music. The single screen audience in smaller centers may take a liking to the luscious Chitrangda Singh's item song 'Kundi Na Khadkao Raja' because of its sexy presentation. Nirav Shah's Cinematography is average. Editing (Rajesh G. Pandey) is besotted with eye-sore zoom-ins. The pace of the movie is leisurely and it's only towards the end that it picks up pace. Rajat Aroraa's dialogues are catchy in parts. While the film loses its pace in the first half, it regains it in the second half.
On the whole, GABBAR IS BACK is an average entertainer which will draw huge footfalls over the weekend due to catchy massy title, action drama and the fact that it is releasing on a holiday. Post the weekend, the film will have to rely on 'PWD' (Performance on Week Days) to see it sail through. If you are sick and tired of corruption in India, then, you shall find GABBAR IS BACK inspiring, else you may find it boring and preachy.