Singh is Bliing

Dir: Prabhu Deva
Star: Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson, Lara Dutta, Kay Kay Menon

While technically unrelated to Singh is Kinng, this is a virtual copy-cat right down to the double-letter in the title. Again, we have Kumar playing a Sikh fool, Raftaar Singh, who gets caught up in events far beyond his control. There, it was his resemblance to a notorious gangster, here he is packed off to Goa, after setting a lion free at the local zoo, and is given the job of "minding" Sara (Jackson), the daughter of an arms dealer who has been sent there for her own safety, from Romania, where another dealer (Menon) has designs on both her and the arms trade. Sara doesn't speak Hindi, and Raftaar speaks no English. Enter Emily (Dutta), an interpreter who'll do anything for a quiet life, and so whose translations tend to be less than entirely accurate, adding to the overall confusion. Hilarity ensues, as they say: or, at least, moderate amusement.

It's certainly trying to evoke the same spirit as the original, and Kumar is often fun to watch as he bumbles around, being absolutely nowhere near as cool as he thinks. Unfortunately, at 139 minutes - about standard for Bollywood - the laughs are spread rather thinner than I'd have liked, and the songs are nowhere near as catchy as the original [which remains one of only two "non-musical" film soundtracks to which I will actively listen, the other being Run Lola Run]. The main point of interest here is Jackson, who has carved out a significant career in Bollywood, despite being thoroughly English - born on the Isle of Man. She has amazingly expressive eyes, and also kicks impressive ass in a couple of scenes, arguably better than Kumar (well, he is almost 50). Jackson provides the film with emotional heart that results in an excellent final 20 minutes, when it pays off. Until then, though, it isn't up to par with the original, and comes off more as a slightly second-class imitator than anything else.

[December 2015]

See also... [Index] [Next] [Previous] [TC Home Page]