Gabbar Is Back Movie Review: A Superfast Action Entertainer
How do you make an out and out commercial entertainer work despite the subject (of corruption) being told often? Well, ask director Krish who makes sure that his two hour flick is superfast with such fantastic pace to it that you wonder aloud when the interval point comes calling. Such is the kind of stranglehold that he has on his storytelling that in spite of an unbelievable plot of a covert organization executing dozens of kidnappings all over the state and still going undetected, you do not get time to pause. Instead, you keep the claps and the whistles on and wonder who would be the next target of Gabbar.
Power to Akshay Kumar who performs this part with the kind of conviction, consistency, sensitivity and confidence that you can't help but marvel at the manner in which he does four films a year and still doesn't slag even once right through Gabbar. While actors take a year (or sometimes even more) to pick up that one performance based part and then end up getting all the credit for being choosy for their 'labour of love', Akshay ends up giving yet another award winning performance (after Baby) in a span of four months flat and still is seemingly not tired at all.
One thing that you can never accuse Akshay Kumar is of sleepwalking through his performance and in case of Gabbar Is Back, he proves once again that once he is on board, he is indeed on and takes the film notches higher than what it could well be on paper. When it comes to Gabbar Is Back though, there is so much on paper itself to give to the audience that the overall package becomes truly entertaining without once giving an impression that this is a routine masala flick in the offering.
Let's not use the word 'masala' for Gabbar Is Back because for starters, it is not mindless. A subject like this could well become ultra violent or ride high on the excuse of 'Oh well, this is meant for the masses'. Here, it is more about drama and thrills with some wonderful dialogues (Rajat Arora does it again) interspersed into the narrative. You want to hear what Gabbar has to say next because what he does indeed makes sense. This is what makes the first half of the film super packed with histrionics that establish the conflict so wonderfully well that you wait for the second half to kick-start once the interval card flashes.
There is a reason behind why Akshay finds himself at loggerheads with the villain of the piece, Suman. The flashback is narrated well, Kareena Kapoor sequence is included beautifully and the sequence thereafter, once the two men come face to face, has an unexpected twist to the tale that makes you root for the good man. Yes, the parts thereafter become a little sluggish for a brief moment. Once the senior cop (Jaideep Ahlawat) arrives on the scene, you expect the kind of magic that Nawazuddin Siddiqui brought on screen with his Kahaani and Kick entry. Here, none of that happens as it is hero who is always ahead.
No wonder, you do like what Sunil Gutthi Grover does because he is practically the only one other than Akshay Kumar who at least comes close to calling the shots. He is superb right from the start of the film till the end and once he gets his due after a well sequenced outburst in front of the top cops, your heart goes for him. From this point on right till the climax, you enjoy the show all over again though the final punch that lays down the villain could have done better had there been a little more depth to it, a la Singham once Ajay Devgn takes down Prakash Raj. Nevertheless, Akshay's final wink melts your heart.
In this entire turn of events, Shruti Haasan has at best a supporting part to play and she fits in well, though for someone who picks her films selectively, you do begin to expect more meat. Chitrangda Singh sizzles in Aao Raja and an extended version of the song could well have helped. However the background score by Amar Mohile is top notch as it goes well with the high drama. Full marks to Sanjay Leela Bhansali's regular editor Rajesh Pandey [Ram Leela, Mary Kom] who keeps the pace super strong. As for director Krish, this one is pretty much going to be a 'Welcome to Bollywood' flick for him.
Commercially, the film has taken the best start of the year and pretty much turns out to be the only one other than Akshay Kumar's own Baby to have done that. With single screens as well as multiplexes seeing good footfalls right from the first show, the film is set to gain moolah at the box office. In the times when audience are thinking twice, if not thrice, before venturing in for a film, Gabbar Is Back could well break the spell and justify the call of 'achche din aa gaye'.