Movies starring female protagonists, and action oriented, carry a sense of heavy responsibility to deliver. Mardaani, Akira and now Naam Shabana all fill the same boat. Naam Shabana, from it’s announcement felt a fitting prequel to Baby, that incorporated various secret agents engaged in curbing criminal activities over the world. Sounds like an Avengers movie plot eh? Well, both the movies heavily focus on the Spy/Agent aspect that is sort of unexplored in the Bollywood culture.
Tapsee Pannu or Shabana, has delivered epic performances in Pink, Baby and the likes, to have come across a deeper character exploration in the form of Naam Shabana. The movie revolves around her, carrying an incredible straight face throughout and rightfully so. The feeling of incredible underlying tension passes through the movie’s length, a tad bit too long to explode into a naturally fit situation. The pre-interval story does succeed in keeping you on the edge-of-the-seat, however the 2nd half is what really ties the story together, and something I await the most. The story glides through the initiation of an agent, her training phase and glorified tech stuff, that the directors feel is a never before seen aspect of storytelling.
Action in Bollywood movies has seen pretty much everything possible to be done with cars flying, roads exploding, bridge collapsing and what not. Naam Shabana, similar to Baby, keeps this quota of action to a believable and perfectly done extent with no slow motion surprises or drama during its fighting sequences. Actors from the franchise including Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Danny Denzongpa play short and crisp roles, enough to keep the continuity ball rolling.
My biggest gripe with the makers of Naam Shabana : Why include unwanted song sequences, and what is a Salman Khan look alike doing in the movie? I am sorry, I just cannot take your movie seriously with this casting.
Bhai ko leneka, toh sidha Bhai ko leneka. More glamour, more sales!
I’ll quickly wrap up this write-up by giving you a recommendation. The movie is worth a watch, especially with its dry humor, Tapsee Pannu’s acting skills and the consistent story line. Manoj Bajpayee too, deserves a piece, with his solid mentorman-ship. A word of advice to the makers however, they could’ve kept Manoj Bajpayee the voice on the calls with Shabana till revealing him during their first meet. Could’ve been a cool reveal. Also, quickly, I would love to see more of the Baby movie character profiles come to life in such prequels.