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SAAB BAHADAR (Punjabi) - A courageous attempt based on a decent mystery that sadly gets lost in an unexciting story progression and a loud background score. (Review By Bobby Sing)

27 May, 2017 | Movie Reviews / 2017 Releases

The biggest merit of SAAB BAHADAR as a new Punjabi film is that it courageously tries to make a breakthrough in the set patterns of Punjabi cinema insanely followed by both the viewers as well as the makers since its revival in the year 2012. 
Coming up as the first mystery thriller or a ‘who-dun-it’ Punjabi film to be precise, SAAB BAHADAR makes a pretty decent attempt to win over the viewers with its fresh content strongly reminding you of the cases solved by Sherlock Holmes or our own Byomkesh Bakshi in their unique styles. The investigator here is the ‘no smiling’ Chief Inspector in a small village of Punjab played by Ammy Virk and his associates are Jaswinder Bhalla and Rana Ranbir as the station’s Munshi and Hawaldaar providing the comic factor.
Written by Jass Grewal and directed by Amit Raj Chadha, SAAB BAHADAR has been made with a no-nonsense approach, refusing the usual songs and romantic angle, purely focusing on the murders, coming straight to the point within the first 10 minutes itself without any forced build-ups. But sadly the film keeps struggling in the middle and isn’t able to keep the interest alive particularly of the viewers who have not really come or interested in watching a dedicated murder mystery. The new murders reported are the only twists coming one after another adding to the unexciting narration and one doesn’t feel like truly involved in the investigation along with Saab Bahadar.
Cinematography impresses in the beginning with all those aerial shots. But what seriously affects the progression is a very loud background score which repeatedly gives an impression of something great coming up next without any interesting or engaging follow-up like a misfire. As a result, after a while both the eye-catching shots and the upbeat score look like two deliberately added features without any meaning as such in the film’s second half. 
Regaining its lost momentum in the final 30 minutes, the writing manages to score decently in the climax revealing a fine mystery and you do feel (thankfully) engaged connecting the given dots. The supporting cast performs well with both Jaswinder Bhalla and Rana Ranbir doing their usual acts. But I was frankly expecting a lot more from the talented singer-turned-actor Ammy Virk playing the title role. He does fine as the police officer leading the investigations, but there remains a teasing monotonous tone in his act not really able to pull you in.
In all, its not easy to change the taste of Punjabi viewers in particular as they haven’t shown any such inclination in the last many years. Therefore the makers of SAAB BAHADAR certainly deserve some extra brownie points for taking the big risk. And though the film lacks the required punch of an exciting murder-mystery, it still remains a decent one time watch for the ones interested in the specific genre and for the viewers willing to support the courageous effort made enriching Punjabi Cinema.
Rating : 2.5 + 0.5 / 5 (Including the additional 0.5 for having the much-required appreciable courage to take the big risk.)

Tags : Saab Bahadar (Punjabi) Review by Bobby Sing, Punjabi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, First Punjabi Murder Mystery, Ammy Virk as Chief Investigator Police Officer, Punjabi Cinema at BTC
27 May 2017 / Comment ( 0 )
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