Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

July 22, 2011

Fists of fury

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 11:19 pm

July 22, 2011

Cast: Ajay Devgan, Kajal Aggarwal, Prakash Raj, Sonali Kulkarni

Director: Rohit Shetty

A few minutes into Singham, Ajay Devgan emerges from a holy lake, dressed only in a red dhoti and flaunting his pumped-up physique. He walks into camera in slow motion, his torso still wet, that six-pack visible from as far as the Moon.

This 80s-style actioner sees Devgan star as Bajirao Singham, an upright cop in a small village on the outskirts of Goa who dispenses his own unique brand of justice, which includes leaping in the air and landing a hard whack on the head of a local eve-teaser, or using his belt to wallop the living daylights out of the villain’s henchmen. His nemesis in the film is an evil Mafioso and corrupt politician Jaykant Shikre, played by the superb Prakash Raj who delivers a deliciously over-the-top performance marked by clap-trap lines and hyperactive dialogue delivery.

The flimsy plot involves the cop’s tireless crusade against corruption, which sees him clashing with seniors in the establishment who’re determined to get him off Shikre’s back. There’s an obligatory romantic track between Devgan’s character and newcomer Kajal Aggarwal, but the film’s strength lies in the combustible chemistry between Devgan and Raj.

Despite some nifty action sequences – including one in which Devgan plucks a bad guy out of a car as it hurtles over his head – Singham wears you out over the course of its 2 hours and 30 minutes running time because it all seems so darned familiar. In Devgan’s character, director Rohit Shetty offers his own take on the Angry Young Man, and even throws in a reference to that iconic “don’t-sit-until-you’ve-been-asked-to-sit” scene from Amitabh Bachchan’s Zanjeer. But alas Singham doesn’t have the smarts of a Salim-Javed script. It offers a routine ‘why-most-cops-are-corrupt’ subplot, and comes loaded with such corny lines as “Meri zaroorat kam hai, issliye mere zameer mein dum hai!”

Remake of the 2010 Tamil blockbuster of the same name, Singham has occasional bursts of comedy (both puerile and genuinely funny), but it’s never quite as entertaining as the similarly intentioned Dabangg.

Singham isn’t an unwatchable film, but how many times can you watch bad guys being whipped with a belt? Or heads being pummeled by a bare fist? There is such a thing as overkill, after all. I’m going with two out of five for director Rohit Shetty’s Singham. I suspect it’s going to make a load of money; I only wish it was a better film. Ajay Devgan fans however won’t be disappointed.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. I have seen the tamil version of the movie Singham and found it very entertaining. I hope hindi one entertains too. Going by your review, I am confused when you said ” it’s never quite as entertaining as the similarly intentioned Dabangg” because I think you had said “Dabangg is ordinary, at best average”. I believe we have to watch a movie that is supposedly a masala entertainer with a different mindset than movies like ZNMD which, though was a good movie, i did not feel completely entertained.

    Comment by Harish — July 22, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

  2. 15 suv’s come one by one,a fist is enough to toss the bad guy like a polythene,and of course the actors shout like mad people and u have a perfect potboiler but we wouldn’t have disliked it even with surya or venky or arjun so why make a hindi film when u can catch the dubbed versions of telgu films on set max and star gold almost daily?AGAIN venkatesh and other southern superstars justify their roles ajay devgan on the contrary doesn’t and what’s with the new actress she looks like the sibling of tanushree dutta. Rohit shetty and goa are like shakesepere and england i suppose.

    Comment by shobhit — July 23, 2011 @ 12:14 am

  3. Is that your job profile or your mindset dont let you enjoy the movie. When the entire nation loves it.you can see it by the BO collections.Same movie got 3.5 to 4 stars in south.Can you please define why?

    Comment by akbar — July 23, 2011 @ 1:16 am

  4. This movie will Rock the Boxoffice.

    Comment by Anant Raj Singh — July 23, 2011 @ 1:59 am

  5. Enough is enough ..instead of making fun of other’s films eating your popcorn!..its high time that you should consider making movies you like !..I am so curious to watch and review them!…


    Comment by pradeep — July 23, 2011 @ 3:18 am

  6. i think u r out of your mind…”Zindigi na milegi dobara” a boring movie u hv given ***1/2.

    singham is nice entertaining movie..

    it will be a huge hit…

    its a good movie…

    must watch..

    u r hopeless..!!!!

    Comment by Amit — July 23, 2011 @ 8:48 am

  7. Anks Movie Review: “Singham” (1/5) – Well, what I was thinking before chosing this movie to watch. I was thinking the action is back in bollywood. Ajaya Devgun with history of movie like Omkara, Gangaajal.. this will have something more to offer. But highly disappointing. Bad editing, over hyped action sequences and weak plot… on to…p of that worst unrealistic climax one can of. The only lil bit saving grace was Ajay Devgun’s acting and amazing dialogues.
    The way movies are coming up.. its look like Bollywood is trying hard to imitate south movies and every actin hero wants to be “Rajanikant” .. SAD!!!!

    Comment by Ankesh — July 23, 2011 @ 9:30 am

  8. Rajeev said not entertaining as “dabaang” … he did’nt change his initial stand on it ….

    Comment by rahul — July 23, 2011 @ 9:37 am

  9. Singham is just ok ok… agreeing with your review… in fact i like your reviews … we cant help people who these days like cheap comedies like ready,housefull etc… let them do that… and @ amit who replied earlier… saale jab movie dekhni nahi aati to review kyu karta hai… ja ke b grade movies dekh…

    Comment by kunwar siddharth — July 23, 2011 @ 10:49 am

  10. singham is like CHEWING GUM………..
    u like it in da first initial mins den u get bored of it !!!!!

    Comment by Dhaval — July 23, 2011 @ 11:21 am

  11. amit i agree with u…mr masand is out of his mind he loved craped films like ZNMD n d super entertainer SINGHAM accroding 2 him is not good enough..i think he shud make movie on his reviews of stupid SRK n faran aktar family and showcase them as medals..
    SINGHAM ROCKS…n audience will tell dat..

    Comment by neha — July 23, 2011 @ 11:47 am

  12. i saw the movie and it seems to be poor cousin of dabangg.

    Comment by manish tiwari. — July 23, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

  13. The tamil version was okay… It was a hit because of Surya…. He was too good….. not sure if Ajay Devgan can match Surya…. Even Aamir couldn’t

    Comment by Shalini — July 23, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

  14. Mr.masand only like movies which r for NRI’S audience….or for multiplex audience…he gave dabangg poor rating and film became ATBB….poor chap, he will give 5 out of 5 to movies like ROAD TRIP, EURO TRIP, AMERICAN PIE….grow up man just by sharing your review in english does not mean you r english man…sorry u r reviews r so sick…i will give 0.5 out of 5 to your review ratings…haha

    Comment by atul — July 23, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

  15. it was pathetic!!!…gawd!!…guys plz come bk frm south…

    Comment by jignesh — July 23, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

  16. and he (masand) is also not denying the fact that it will make lot of money…. Completely liked the review.

    Comment by Darshn — July 23, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

  17. Rajiv, I follow ur reviews very closely…many films i have watched only after ur review..
    For the first time I think ur being stupid and giving singham 2 stars.. πŸ™
    and now i believe…critics dont make movies…movies make critics..

    Comment by Pratik — July 23, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

  18. this not bad ,overall and entertaining effort doesnt make any diff if its a copy of south, not agreed with ur review this moviee deserves more than 2* , i think u will never give 4 star to a bollywood movie,

    Comment by rajesh — July 23, 2011 @ 11:59 pm

  19. I was wondering why you guys are shouting at Rajeev, to eat good food one does not need to be a good chef, one can justify the taste by just eating it, being a hit at the box office does not make a good film , no doubt SINGHAM might do well at the box office, but again if the plot is to be considered, if you watch carefully, the first half is aloosely patched up part , and second part has devgan shouting and thinking witha little bit of bish bashing here and there with no actual story or plot whatsoever. and it ends in a very shocking or can say sad way for a good movie to end, if this was to be the result i think i have seen plenty of MITHUNDA’s films they are much better.

    Comment by Praveen Dwivedi — July 24, 2011 @ 2:21 am

  20. Dabaang and entertaining??? What happened to you sir???

    Comment by Abhay — July 24, 2011 @ 4:00 am

  21. Absulately… He is out of his mind….in cinema hall was clapping and shouting and at the end nobody is leaving hall each and everyperson was enjoyed a movie and he says its a flop…******….

    Comment by ajinkya — July 24, 2011 @ 9:16 am

  22. why these bollywood ppl used to remake some mindless tamil movies like singham, pokkiri(wanted) instead of some classy movies like vikram’s ‘deiva thirumagal’, ‘pasanga(entertaining movie- kids special)’,’angadi theru(story depicting the lives of workers in metro)’ and so on.. In every years,tamil cinema produces a minimum of 8 movies thats generally out-of-the-box and it keeps increasing every year,but still bollywood ppl are doing the remake of midless films only.. Its such a shame:(;(

    Comment by KF — July 24, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  23. if u all dnt like rajeev’s review…den go to hell..dnt comment n c it…simple πŸ™‚

    Comment by Dhaval — July 24, 2011 @ 11:01 pm

  24. Hello Masand,

    I am very disppointed with ur review. First of all let me introduce myself. I am a big ean of you (initially). I was such a fan that i used to watch hindi movies only after reading reviews. but now a days i feel that u r giving biased reviews. Particularly u give very bad reviews to well made remakes (like wanted, Singham) or movies directed by south people (Buddah) and give good reviews to poorly made straight bollywood movies (Murder 2). If u r so passionate about originality dont watch these movies and dont review. just as simple as that

    If u really think that south people doesn’t make good mvies then y all the so called super satrs of bollywood (including Amit, Ajay, Salman, SRK, and Akshay) crape for the south hits…. Just see u have line up of movies coming ur way which are southees (Kick, Rowdy Rathod, Body Guard, Buddah 2 and so on)…

    And coming to the plot line just tell me what story did u find in ZNMD to give a rating of 3 and half. Now a days directors are only not coming up with full script. They just think of a line and add some scenes on the spot to those lines and think they have created a masterpiece. It goes with all the directors including Sanjay Leela and Farhan Akhtar… Previously there used to be directors who used to make movie with full bonded script including all the scenes.

    So would u accept that bollywood lacks creativity.

    Comment by Dinesh — July 25, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  25. I would be waiting for masand’s answer for the question

    Comment by Dinesh — July 25, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  26. Masand,

    If u did not like over the top action sequences (like the ones Rajni does or Surya soes) in the film or for that matter in any of the south made movies, then u should also justify y did u like those spider mans, super mans, Prates, tranformers, who does all kinds of weird action sequences and unimaginative things (with weird make up). Come on Masand, promote Indian movies and not hollywood…

    People like you who have followers who watches movies only after reading your reviews (like me), need ur explanation.. I think u should promote indian movies (be it a remake or a great straight movie or even a dum movies) we should be asked to watch indian movies as anyways there are hardly good movies made in our industry and they say there are no good movies made in Bollywood..

    Please promote Indaim Moveies Masand.. Please

    Comment by Dinesh — July 25, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  27. Return of the douches…after ghazini,dabangg,ready,wanted we have singham.don’t worry the bandwagon also adds up body guard,kaaka kaaka and many for ur aural and visual molestation.

    and for all the douche bags who complain about masands reviews i still don’t get why u come to his site,read his reviews and criticise him.come on get a life.its a free country if u dnt like his reviews get a taran adarsh,nikhat kazmi or the wierdo on zoom tv who can cater for ur needs.
    Masand reviews are for intelligent people wanting to see intelligent cinema not some masala potboiler which is passed off as cinema nowadays.long live douche baggery…

    Comment by shaik imran — July 26, 2011 @ 12:46 am

  28. This (Singham) will roar at the box-office. Movie is “Jhakaas” baki all “Bakwaas”.

    Comment by Pritesh — July 26, 2011 @ 11:24 am

  29. I hav seen Singham & i fully agree with u sir.
    This film has everything which will make a bollywood movie blockboster. But still the excess use of same action scenes sometimes bores me. Alos the extra song ‘maula’ bored me a lot. Ofcurse Prakash Raj was as usual great as a comic villian. His entries has better effect than Ajay. But Devgn is Devgn ,he suits everywhere & when he has such a favoulus physiq & outfit he roars at screen.
    Singham is roaring on screens & it will go on. I think u should give this movie a 2&half.
    Ajay & Rohit always goes big.

    Comment by Johnny — July 26, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

  30. I am not sure what to make of Rajeev’s review. Anupama Chpra has given the movie 4 out of 5 stars. Surely there can’t be that much of a difference between two reviewers.

    Comment by Big_Cat — July 26, 2011 @ 11:32 pm

  31. Rajeev reviews is only for high class audience not for masses.he didnt like single screen movie.so if u r going to watch this type of movie follow other critics like taran adarsh,komal nahata…

    Comment by Shakti — July 27, 2011 @ 10:15 am

  32. @Rajeev Masand?
    R U OK? Please get checked urself from a good doctor.
    The complete theatre was enjoying and shouting while movie….n you say this is not a good movie.
    N for U,Dabanng was a good movie?
    I think you are totally out of your mind……

    Comment by Akash Deogade — July 31, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

  33. There are good movies and there are movies which make good money, and its not necessary a single film can fall in both category..
    but rajeev fails to apply this logic in hollywood movie.. where big money making movie are often rated 4 or even 5 out of 5.. but with Bollywood.. he differentiates as movie breaking boxoffice record need not be a good movie

    Comment by Prabhu — August 2, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

  34. Movie ,besides of being industry, is primarily a form of art,, so lets not judge a movie based on the commercial success/failure.

    and Rajeev is doing a good job, at least better than other critics in india

    Comment by Ekrajj — August 3, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

  35. You found Dabang boring and un-impressive (rightly so) and now suddenly you have found that movie to be an entertainer!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Dipankar — August 8, 2011 @ 8:15 am

  36. It’s time we understand that critics are bought by movie producers and actors. Plus the fact whether any hero or director comes to their parties or shows or not. Critics get biased/bought based on that so do not blame a critic, just take review with a pinch of salt and go with your own taste and hunch. Most critics are biased and useless.

    Comment by Raj — August 12, 2011 @ 11:21 am

  37. its an amazing movie,seen aftr a long time. with wonderful performances. going 3.5 out of 5. go for it!

    Comment by ricky — August 19, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

  38. The original south movie was way too better than this…it was not even worth of 2…screenplay, direction everything is very bad….what is the meaning of adding some non-senese comedy in between the fury…which makes the movie more flop..:(

    Comment by Saurav Das — September 3, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

  39. Rajiv
    It’s high time that you accepted ‘masala films’ as a genre in itself.

    Except for the totally avoidable heroine, her father Gotiya and the idiotic songs, the movie’s narrative is very well done. not only the conflict is well-timed but also of a magnanimous nature. it’s rare to give such a wonderful part to the villain. Film writers have forgotton that a 10-headed Ravan is essential to make a hero out of Ram. In Singham, the villain is like a demi-god of crime, and the hero almost a desi superhero. On the contrary, Sonu Sood’s characterization in Dabangg miserably fails against it.

    Yes, it was a clear attempt to counter Salman’s Dabangg (which infuriated me in the first 45 min, as a sensible actor like Ajay Devgan need not compete with Salman), but the film picks well, totally thrills, people clapping and whistling on both the hero’s and the villain’s dialogues. Rohit’s camera does much more than being a recording tool, in amplifying the action.

    Another thing. If you find ‘Meri jarooratein kam hain, isliye mere zameer mein dam hai’ corny, how about ‘rishte mein to hum tumhare baap lagte hain, naam hai shehenshah’ or ‘basanti, in kutton ke saamne mat nachna’.

    Comment by Vijeta Dahiya — September 12, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

  40. I think Rajeev has got bored watching so many movies
    I am a person who usually hates cop based movies, because they are just the repeatations but after watching this movie yesterday i am sorry this is the best movie, it has got all the things in it, such as active dailogues, style, and the way Ajay and his enemy performed in this movie is really outstanding, jokes were superb making you to laugh out loud
    I will go with 4 out of 5, because of some boring love story and a bit of repeatation

    Comment by Sachin Naik — October 29, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

  41. rajeev is been bribed i think so………..giving only 2 stars for singham absolutely useless….and movies like znmd nice movie but doesnt deserve 3.5……. i give 1 out of 5 for rajeev masand ‘s knowledge in cinema and reviews…as our actors say correct “critics are bull shit”

    Comment by ROSHAN — November 21, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

  42. You people are plain foolish.
    You don’t know what a review is.
    A review is just a compilation of the good and bad points of a movie by one person.
    A review tells you why the film is good if it is good and why it is bad if at all it is.
    BUT u ppl think that a reviewer is sum kind of a oracle who predicts whether the movie will be hit or flop.
    ABSOLUTELY WRONG people….go learn something. Rajeev’s review is his own opinion of the film and not the reaction of the audience

    Comment by Ankit — January 26, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

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