Singham – 3 out of 5
My experience with Bollywood films is limited to a few out-of-context YouTube clips that look like a bad drug trip and the mainstream Hollywood/Bollywood film; Slumdog Millionaire. However, I ran into Singham while reading a Cracked article on insane foreign takes on Hollywood clichés and was sold on the article’s description of the film and decided to seek it out…and yes, there’s is song and dance numbers in this one even though it is an action film. Just look at the film's opening…
Singham is a 2011 Bollywood action film that’s actually a remake of an Indian Tamil movie that came out the year before (which means it is overdue to be remade here in the States). The film tells the story of Inspector Bajirao M. Singham (Ajay Devgn) who’s a bit of a legend in his home village—and I think it has to do with the fact he clearly has superpowers that include cheetah-like speed, enraged Gorilla-like strength (which he uses to slap people mostly—boy he does a lot of slapping) and the ability to slow time to walk in slow motion (which is about 75% of the two and a half hour running time).
|His mustache did most of the slapping.|
After humiliating the powerful gangster Jaykant Shikre (Prakash Raj), Singham is transferred to the gangster’s territory where he can haunt and taunt him until he seeks escape by a bullet to the head like he did with the last inspector. However, since Singham is clearly a powerful demi-god that's also clearly lost his marbles, he decides to declare war on Shikre and take back control of the city and stop the corruption…by slapping as many men as he can (and one woman who ends up falling in love with him).
|"You've slapped my face...and stolen my heart."|
Singham is basically a live-action cartoon that is filled with bad comedy and out-of-the-world and physics-defying stunts. While the movie is entertaining in the fact it is literally bat-shit insane it’s incredibly difficult to take this film seriously.
|But that mustache however...you can't help but take that shit seriously.|
|He looks like he's moments away from being winded.|
|The fact he looked like an Indian version of Eugene Mirman didn't help|
me take him seriously either.
There’s also the really bad comedy that you have to deal with in the film. Like I said, the movie is basically a live-action cartoon and there are even sound effects to boot. I’m not the most familiar with Bollywood films (their running lengths and song and dance numbers tend to act as Kryptonite to me) so I have no comparison for their humor quality but to me the film was just a collection of overreactions that induce more groaning than laughing.
|Pictured: Subtle, thoughtful comedy.|
|Jumping increases Sinham's slapping power.|
That scene pretty much made Singham the most badass man in the world. The question becomes, however, how does he fit his mountain of a pair of balls in his pants?
|"If I told you, my mustache would have to kill you."|
(Okay, that's the last mustache reference I'm going to make)
|The UFC has yet to implement the Superman Slap.|
Singham is just insane. While the film has some decent acting and great action, the movie feels like it was fueled and made out of pure cocaine. The editing and fight scene choreography move like a junkie rambling about trying to locate his next fix but it only works along with the fact the film is just a parody of your typical action film. The movie is entertaining but not in the proper way. I didn’t watch this film saying, “I’m really enjoying this because the story, character and action are so well put together and yadda yadda yadda” but instead I found myself enjoying it because I can’t believe that someone put this on film and that such insanity actually exists. That isn’t to say that I didn’t like it. I’m just saying that the movie is way too crazy to enjoy for any other reason than having fun with the “what the fuck” factor it is constantly throwing at you.