|Movie Name||Naam Shabana|
|Movie Cast||Akshay Kumar, Taapsee Pannu,Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher|
|Production Company||Shital Batia|
|Release Date||March 31, 2017|
BABY, was undoubtedly one of the best slick thrillers and why not if it’s Neeraj Pandey wielding the megaphone. For Naam Shabana, he sticks to being the writer and let Shivam Nair who made Bhaag Johnny (ahem..ahem) be the director. The most intriguing character among Akshay, Rana, Anupam Kher and Tapsee was no doubt, Tapsee. Who could forget the scene where she takes everyone by surprise when she locks heads with Sushant Singh. Probably, they thought it’s a good opportunity to make a prequel out of it, also keeping in mind Tapsee’s off late popularity.
This is the back story of Shabana (Tapsee Pannu) and how she eventually gains a position in Anti-terrorist squad. Shabana has a troubled past and lives with her mother. She pursues B.com and has a friend Jai, who loves her. However, he gets killed by some murderers. An undercover agent offers help in giving back to the killers. The first half is more about Shabanas background and her vengeance. The second half puts Shabana on a mission by by Manoj Bajpai. She’s given the task to combat an international mafia don.
The biggest irony of the film is the film is supposed to show women power but there is so much of patronizing happening in between the lines. Akshay Kumar though in a cameo is glorified and in fact clearly shown as an upper hand in a couple of instances. The film lacks pace. It hardly has any interesting moments to make it a racy thriller like Baby. Though Tapsee’s martial arts work can be appreciated, the performance is nowhere close to the strong roles she did recently. Of course, the role of Shabana might seem strong but only on the surface. Not just that but the character is not well developed too.
Manoj Bajpai is restricted but he makes his presence felt, as usual. Malayalam star Prithviraj plays the antagonist in the later part of the film and sadly, he fails except his good looks. He has always chosen bad films in Hindi, be it Aiyya, Aurangzeb and now this film. There are some ridiculously funny scenes where he discloses come crucial information just to make it easy for the protagonist.
Also the film defies logic when knowing that Ajay (Akshay) is capable of doing the job, what was the need of training Shabana and deploying her.
The film is predictable in many ways too with hardly any suspense element.
The only positives about the film are its intent and Tapsee’s efforts in making the martial arts look authentic. Some dialogues were written to carry a punch but turn out to be disgraceful at different levels.
With such a predictable screenplay and forceful women empowerment, the movie only turns out to be a pretty average fare.
Alas, it’s a Neeraj Pandey’s pet project gone wrong, and let’s hope this is the first and last prequel to Baby.