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SINGH SAAB THE GREAT - It offers the same expected revenge & roar but not anything more. (Review by Bobby Sing)

22 Nov, 2013 | Movie Reviews / 2013 Releases

Anil Sharma, the director working with the famous Deol family since the late 80s has some acute similarities in his projects made for Dharmendra and Sunny Deol quite interestingly. After making two emotional dramas in the beginning (not with Deols), Anil had a major hit with Dharmendra in 1987 titled HUKUMAT which also gave a new life to the He-Man’s fading career in its last phase. But post this success, the director-actor duo was not able to repeat that same magic ever again in any of their films together namely ELAAN-E-JUNG (1989), FARISHTAY (1991) or TAHALKA (1992). Later in the new millennium, Sharma began making films with Dharmendra’ elder son and delivered yet another big blockbuster with Sunny Deol as GADAR (2001), which even went on to become one of the top grossers of Hindi Film Industry till date. But again the director failed to generate the same magic ever again with the son too in films such as THE HERO (2003), APNE (2007) and in the present SINGH SAAB THE GREAT (2013), exactly in the way it happened in his association with the senior Deol.
Hence as indicated above, though SSTG did show a great promise in its promos offering something unique and powerful, it fails to give you the same in its 150 minutes of content and turns out to be just a routine revenge saga depicted with the loud roar and nothing else. Beginning with a very lengthy introduction of Singh Saab along with a great title song, it goes on following a typical 80s progression of a loud action packed emotional drama with an overdose of songs, entirely depending upon the second half coming up with some explosive scenes.
But then the second half also doesn’t live up to the expectations raised, with not many impressive dialogues and completely predictable sequences offering nothing other than the routine. Yes, the film has its few pulsating moments, fine emotions and the good old Sunny Deol back in his most loved action avatar too as the smartly dressed turbaned Sikh. Moreover, his ‘Dhai Kilo Ka Haath’ has now turned into a “Saade Teen Kilo Ka Haath” eventually. And he again proves to be the only believable hero making all those terrifying roars and hitting solid punches to the rivals throwing them at a good distance like stones. Yet the engaging energy & thrill is somehow missing, as we have already seen enough of this revengeful stuff, in many different versions repeatedly in the last few decades. Particularly it is now becoming too boring and tiring to see Prakash Raj doing the same old things in every second film in front of the big hero without any fresh vision.  
To say it bluntly, even the south films repeatedly made around the similar confrontation drama, add much more to their scripts in order to engage the viewers in an entertaining manner. But here one doesn’t find anything exceptional in its entire 150 minutes in terms of interesting entertainment and even veterans like Johny Lever, Sanjay Mishra and Manoj Pahwa remain wasted with Johny Bhai also going over the top in few of his opening scenes.
Being completely focused on Singh Saab alone, the film has Sunny Deol looking impressive in his different get-ups and the action hero fits to his given character like a ‘T’ very convincingly. However the writers have not defined his value system properly by adding a few silly insertions, like the scene wherein Sunny leaves a boy easily (rather lovingly), who was just going to throw acid on a girl’s face. And later when the “People’s Man” doesn’t find anything objectionable to dance with an item girl in the rival’s den, picking her up in his arms, singing a song with the lyrics, “Khaike Palang Torh Paan”. No doubt, the masses are sure going to ignore these minor hiccups as they love seeing their favourite actor hitting the goons like a super-human with a huge roar of a lion. But honestly I strongly felt that with the social issues angle incorporated well, the character of Singh Saab could have shaped much better than the existing one, with a much careful and effective writing.
In the supporting cast Amrita Rao is just ok but her added accent does become annoying at times after the initial scenes. Urvashi Rautela looks good at screen but gets nothing much to in the film as per the role given. Prakash Raj, as said before has simply lost the novelty playing the identical kind of roles again and again. Anjali Abrol plays it fine and so does Rajit Kapoor in his few scenes.
Musically the film has a well written, brilliantly composed and superbly sung title track “Singh Saab The Great” by Sonu Nigam and few other above average tracks too based on Punjabi folk music. But ‘more than required’ use of songs in the background (in a repetitive mode) actually spoils the mood of the film to a large extent and they could have easily done without it in order to make it more sharp and effective. The track “Daaru Band Kal Se” also has a surprise entry of both Dharmendra and Bobby Deol which again is sure to please the die-hard fans of Deol family a lot. Cinematography works well along with the action director, but background score does tend to become loud and a lot musical too unnecessarily.
In all, SSTG is a typical action packed revenge drama, made on the lines of what Dharmendra used to do in the 80s like PAAP KO JALAAKAR RAAKH KAR DOONGA & many more. The film could have reached another level, exploiting the ‘social-reform’ angle a lot more, taking SINGH SAAB out of a fixed region dealing with more than one evil man as it seems. Still, in its present version, it thankfully ends on a positive note and is sure going to find more takers in the north and single screens, in comparison to all the other centers. Besides, any long time Sunny Deol fan is obviously going to watch it irrespective of any kind of review or star ratings.
Rating : 2 / 5 (Including the additional 1 only for its title track alone.)
(Note : Before the release, I was told that the film is a rehashed version of Dharmendra’s 1970 classic “Jeevan Mrityu” in which Dharmendra returns as a Sikh to take his revenge. Now since SSTG is not exactly a remake of the same, I am hugely relieved, as the said film cannot be made again with the same depth, emotions and character portrayals. So, if you are a true fan of Dharmendra or Deol family, then do watch “Jeevan Mrityu” at the earliest and then see the difference in a revenge drama then and a roaring vengeance saga now.)


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22 Nov 2013 / Comment ( 2 )
A Desai
Jeevan Mrityu has been my favorite Dharam Ji film.
Bobby Sing

Yes A. Desai, the film surely deserves the praise and love undoubtedly.

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