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Simmba has all the ingredients for an entertaining Bollywood masala movie, but at its heart is also a strong social message, says this review. Read on!
Disclaimer first: If you are not a complete Bollywood Buff, skip this one. In fact skip this review altogether as well – because I am going to sing the praises of a very typical Rohit Shetty kind of movie, high on testosterone, good cop beats bad guys, and one besides where the pretty lady actor doesn’t have much to do, except well, look pretty (which btw, she does well!).
Nonetheless I am going to sing these praises because even though this movie is a typical Hindi movie potboiler, it has a heart. And a message. And a very strong one at that. And I like strong men as much as I like strong women. (I married one, and I am very proud of it.)
I am sure all of you would’ve read the story of the movie already in other reviews, but still here’s a brief overview. Sangram Bhalerao, an orphan who becomes a cop, is loose on morals, accepts bribes and closes his eyes to all things bad under his regime. Ranveer Singh plays this corrupt, lecherous cop to the T. I almost cringed every time he broke into an idiotic dance and wondered if coming for this movie was a big mistake. That is how good an actor he is. He can convince you that he is a Peshwa Bajirao, a warrior who can die for his lady love, he can also make you hate him to the core as Alauddin Khilji, and he can make you cringe as a corrupt cop Simmba.
But then the movie takes a turn; unfortunately, after the horrific rape of a girl whom he calls his younger sister. And no, rape is not glorified here. These incidents (and much worse) do happen every single day, and we read about them in the newspapers. Lack of women’s safety is a very serious concern in our country. We all are scared to send our girls to schools, colleges, and workplaces. Hell, the reality is that I am scared to even send my daughter down the lift of my own building! To the credit of the director, there is not one titillating rape scene in the movie. Not even one. I did send my kids out of the movie hall to buy popcorn with daddy at this time though. But honestly, you can watch this with grownup kids (depends how mature they are though, and the conversations you have had with them as a parent).
The movie goes on to show how this horrific incident transforms Simmba into the man he is actually meant to be. I truly believe this can happen. It takes a lot of intelligence to be a mastermind – especially a bad one. Raavan is one such example from our mythology. Most terrorists are extremely intelligent brains who were trained in the wrong direction. This is where positive parenting comes into play, which is shown beautifully in the movie. Simmba says that there was no one to correct him when he went on the wrong path, no mother or father around to let him know better. These are the values we instil in our children – honesty, stealing being a bad habit, respect for elders, and respect for women.
And boy, did I love this transformation! If I knew how to whistle I would’ve in that theatre! I was crushing big time on Ranveer in the scene where he kicks the ass of the goons who come to tamper with the evidence of rape and I literally went weak in the knees when Ajay Devgn makes his entry sometime later in the movie. Yes, yes, I am still that silly little teenage girl inside! I wish there was one scene where Sara Ali Khan had delivered a powerful slap though. Now that would’ve surely made it my favourite masala potboiler this year! While Sara is just a movie old and very young, she did play her part of strong police officer’s daughter decently well, so we could give her another chance! She definitely does not play a dumb bimbette.
Ashutosh Rana was brilliant as an honest cop. Sonu Sood played the villain with all sincerity. In fact you don’t really hate the guy since he does respect and care for his family, and slaps his brothers when they commit the horrific crime but then, his over-protectiveness for his family makes him a monster who comes in the way of the law and breaks it in every possible way. (Bonus: he looks extremely hot while doing this!)
Now for one of the most important messages in the movie. Death sentence for rape. I am sorry for anyone who opposes it, but I actually very strongly believe this needs to be the law – castration and death sentence. In public. Let fear prevail. Only then will these incidents stop. The Police can do it. They have the power. They have the network. They have the resources. They just need the political leaders and the judiciary to support them. Of course, they need honest and committed officers like Singham and Simmba. A salute to many such who do exist which is why we can still live in this country. A salute to many more who might be inspired by such movies or any other source, and become the helpers of the citizens that they are meant to be. We need just one. And the fire will start.
We sometimes don’t realise what a powerful medium movies are. The subtle messages given in these movies areregistered in the subconscious somewhere. It is on us as to what we absorb. It is not easy to make a commercially successful movie with a strong social message. Kudos to Rohit Shetty, Ranveer Singh, Ajay Devgn, Karan Johar, Sara Ali Khan and the entire team of Simmba for belting out a full paisa vasool movie to give us a dhamaakedaar ending to this year. I couldn’t think of better!
And please do not peep into my house for the next few days! You might find me dancing silly to the catchy ‘Aankh Maare…. ‘! (My husband is rolling his eyes…)
Mala te avadale! (I loved it in Marathi!)
First published at author’s blog
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