Singh Is Kinng

Dir: Anees Bazmee
Star: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Ranvir Shorey, Neha Dhupia

After the disaster which was Talaash, nice to get back to the better side of Bollywood, with this megablockbuster. But, first things first: yes, that is how you spell the title - apparently, a numerologist advised the producers to throw an extra 'n' into 'king'. Only in Bollywood. Though it seems to have worked, with the lively, enjoyable tale about Happy Singh (Kumar), the village idiot of his Indian hamlet. When they get fed up of his destructive antics, they send him off in his lime-green turban on a fool's errand to Australia, where relative Lucky Singh has become a kingpin of the criminal underworld. After an unfortunate accident, Lucky is left catatonic and Happy has to take over the illegal business, a project for which he is utterly unsuited [sure, he kidnaps a rival's daughter, but on discovering she's blind, whisks her off to hospital for treatment]. Simultaneously, he's trying to help a local flower seller convince her daughter Sonia (Kaif) and fiancee she is rich, but Lucky has already fallen for Sonia, after they bumped into each other on the way down under.

This reminded me a lot of a Stephen Chow film: a downtrodden idiot with a heart of gold perseveres through virtue, winning out in defiance of real-world logic. While certainly requiring some suspension of disbelief, it works very nicely as a frothy piece of entertainment, with some memorable sequences as the gangsters have to adapt to life under their new, sensitive boss, and pretend to be servants rather than tough thugs. The soundtrack is probably the best we've heard in the genre, amazingly toe-tappy - we particularly liked Talli Hua, which appears to be about the joys of heavy drinking - even with the rather pointless assistance of Snoop Dogg. Yes: Snoop Dogg. Still, the 135 minutes breeze past with remarkable ease, if with no real surprises - not that we've come to expect any from Bollywood, who seem much more inclined to play to the audience's expectations than confound them. It all ends up in a major brawl at Sonia's wedding where confusion reigns supreme - it's no real spoiler to say everyone lives happily ever after. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

April 2009

Is it available in plush?
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