Singh is Kinng – Movie Review
Singh is King (directed and written by Anees Bazmee) isn’t copied, but it has to be inspired by something, right? This one was apparently inspired by a tag line read by Akshay Kumar at the back of a truck – Singh is King! And voila! A film was born. Considering that we have many such lines at the back of trucks, rickshaws and taxis, you can imagine the fodder Bollywood script writers have to chew on. In fact it got me wondering whether Bazmee, who also directed the hit No Entry, got his idea from this rickshaw…
Script writers are also often helped along by pre-decided venues (not to mention songs). In Singh is Kinng the venues chosen were Egypt and Australia. The film is almost entirely shot in these two countries.
What’s it about? (no spoilers)
The film is about a group of friends (mostly Sikhs) from a village in Punjab. Some have made it big (in Australia) while others are at the village doing nothing much with their lives. Akshay Kumar plays a rustic character at this village and his character is “Happy”, both in name and spirit. The successful munda is in Australia and is called Lucky (played by Sony Sood) but as we find out he isn’t very lucky, although he is King (of the underworld), and nor is he happy. In fact Happy isn’t lucky to have around either, although he does become King. If that doesn’t make sense, it isn’t meant to. There is no attempt at realism in the film and that results in some ludicrous situations which provide the comedy. Some hilarious moments there.
This movie portrays Sikh culture, their bravery and their helpful and kind nature. Although this is showcased in the form of a comedy I don’t think it denigrates Sikhs in anyway. The movie was shown to some religious authorities before its release and some scenes re-shot. We don’t know which parts were re-shot but perhaps it was the scene where Happy Singh explains why he had to partially shave off his beard. Well, not everything that was demanded was re-shot and some people still have objections to the film. As a non-Sikh, but someone who has known Sikhs since childhood, I think the film is a superficial portrayal of Sikh culture, but well, it wasn’t meant to be anything else. It’s a comedy after all. But I think for those who don’t know Sikhs, it will send a positive message.
In fact there were positive messages throughout the film. Underneath the ridiculousness of the convoluted story, there is a strong message about Good vs. Evil.
The music is alright but unfortunately in the cinema hall we saw it in (PVR) the audio was on too loud. At times we had to put our fingers in our ears…I think cinema theatres in India are going to make a lot of people go deaf.
Characters and actors
There is a plethora of characters in this movie, but ofcourse Akshay Kumar is the hero. He is certainly not one my favourite actors, but he does alright as a comic. It is also difficult to deny his screen presence and charisma. Ditto Katrina Kaif. If she had nothing much to do in this film but play the pretty (though spirited) girl-friend Sonia, it wasn’t a surprise. Om Puri, who plays Rangeela, a childhood friend of Happy’s, does a good job, but Ranvir Shorey has a much smaller role which as usual he does justice to.
There are two other women in this movie: Julie, played by Neha Dhupia and the Rose Lady by Kirron Kher. It was refreshing to see Julie not portrayed as a moll, but as one of the “gang” members. She is as trigger happy as any of the boys. Kher was resplendent in her overacting.
Is the movie really all that funny?
Well, the situations are ludicrous enough to be funny although the audience didn’t really go ballistic with laughter, except once. It was nice to see that there were no sexist jokes in the movie! Perhaps that was why I found this comedy very relaxing. Overall, I found the audience enjoying the movie and people were actually reluctant to get up when the movie ended!
So is it worth a see?
I see a movie from the entertainment point of view, not a critic’s point of view, although I am critical if one reads between the lines. And when it comes to entertainment, a lot depends on your own preferences (for genre), and also whether you are able to tolerate the main actors in the movie, or whether you have a tight schedule, whether you are a student and prefer to save the theatre experience for special movies, or whether you like to see movies at all. This certainly isn’t one of those special movies that one saves to see in a theater…it’s okay for time-pass.
(The picture of the rickshaw is copyrighted to me (taken in Agra) and the second is a movie poster)
Update: A comment from Ashvini has revealed that the story of the movie bears a similarity to a Jackie Chan movie which is called Miracles. If you have seen Singh is Kinng you can easily compare the plots of the two movies (link here) and you will see the similarity.
Related Reading: Bachna ae haseeno review