Rohit Shetty and Ranveer Singh was a collaboration waiting to happen and the result is exactly what you thought it would be – loud, action-packed and entertaining. The movie starts with a spunky orphan Sangram Bhalerao aka Simmba (Ranveer Singh) street-smarting his way into the big bad world. An early encounter with the movie’s antagonist Durva Ranade (Sonu Sood) shows what this boy wonder is made of. From the first scene itself, you know this movie will have dialogues that are just slightly better than Kanti Shah‘s Gunda, take the line – ‘bhai from another aai’ for example, it’s just a shade less than ‘mera naam hai Bulla, rakhta hoon main khulla‘. You know the background score will be obvious enough to dictate the emotion you’re supposed to feel and you definitely know the parts played by women are merely plot devices for our Simmba to react or act upon.
Simmba is a corrupt police officer who develops a conscience after a girl he considered his sister is raped by Sonu Sood’s brothers. This is not a spoiler, you know what you’re getting into from the film’s trailer itself. Rape is used as a device for the hero to ignite his hero-ness. The Nirbhaya case, candlelight vigils, and women’s rights are spoken about during laughably bad court scenes and killing a rape accused is shown as the better option than following the due process of law. The problematic bits of the film makes it difficult to cheer for Simmba as we did for Singham. But token feminism and the bloodlust for vigilantism aside (if you can keep that aside that is), Simmba has its moments where it shines.
Ranveer Singh fits this role like the green Versace dress fit Jennifer Lopez, causing the invention of the ‘images’ section on Google. The actor is brilliant really. His comic timing, his action sequences, his PG-13 romance with Shagun (Sara Ali Khan) and of course, his sheer badassness makes the movie what it is. A drunk scene with Ashutosh Rana particularly stands out where you can’t help but laugh at his antics because he’s just so real. Sara Ali Khan is cute in the few scenes she has, but the actress is short-charged, especially in the second half of the film. Sonu Sood is well… not really different from what he was in Dabbang. The film is firmly placed on Ranveer’s broad shoulders and the actor delivers. But, the highlight of Simmba is definitely the cameo by Singham – Ajay Devgn. His ‘entry’ is the money shot and I couldn’t hear much of his lines because the theater practically erupted with whistles and applause when Ajay came on-screen (all puns here are intended).
The songs are mostly unnecessary and thankfully there aren’t many, except the remake of Aankh Marey which is worth our time because of Arshad Warsi‘s dance and Kumar Sanu‘s voice. The screenplay is average and the second half of the film does not match up to the gripping first half. The movie sorely lacks an impactful villain, like the madcap Jaikant Shikre played to perfection by Prakash Raj in Singham, but Ranveer makes the runtime of 159 minutes watchable and entertaining. The movie is definitely the perfect vehicle for the actor to become a ‘massy’ hero. Take whatever you watch in Simmba with a pinch of salt, I mean Vipin Sharma plays a character called David Cameron for the love of God. There’s another superstar cameo in this film, proving that Rohit Shetty wasn’t joking when he said he’s creating his own Marvel universe with Simmba.
But, most importantly, the movie makes a strong case for men to take responsibility for their actions and for the society to stop trying to suppress women under the garb of their safety. It is a flawed take of course, but I don’t really expect anything better.