Producers: Bhansali Productions and Viacom Motion Pictures
Writers: A R Murugadoss and Rajat Arora
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suman Talwar, Shruti Haasan, Sunil Grover
Rating: * * ½
Review By: Keyur Seta
Frankly, you don’t need to be an expert to judge a hero-centric commercial masala entertainer. One just needs to ask whether the film provides entertainment. As far as Gabbar Is Back is concerned, it’s a mixed bag. The film is an entertaining saga but it suffers from some serious issues. But if you are an Akshay Kumar fan, you are in for a treat.
The story centers on Aditya (Akshay Kumar) in Mumbai. He is a Professor but secretly heads an anti-corruption unit that kills corrupt government officials. Aditya carries out this secret activity with the pseudonym Gabbar. He targets people from different government departments one after the other. The police try hard in tracking him but never succeed.
During one such anti-corruption exercise, Gabbar’s dark past resurfaces in the form of the corrupt, evil and ruthless businessman Digvijay Patil (Suman Talwar). How long will Gabbar continue his acts? Will he ever face its consequences? The film is an official remake of the 2002 Tamil film Ramanaa.
Gabbar Is Back is a typical single-screen saga. The difference here is that it portrays the issue of corruption faced by the Common Man. No doubt, the topic is explored in mainstream Hindi cinema innumerable times. But what makes the film stand apart is the manner in which the protagonist executes his plans. The hospital or medical corruption episode is one of the most memorable sequences in recent times. Anyone with an expensive experience at a hospital will thank the film for this incident.
The film comes with a baggage of negative points. Logic isn’t important in this genre but few events are too unreal to believe. It is vital for the character of the villain to be strong to be pitted against a mighty hero. But what we have here is a foolish antagonist who is more funny than scary. For example, just minutes after the news of the passing away of his beloved son, he screams, “I am a brand!” without a tear or any sorrow whatsoever.
Unfortunately, the character of the female lead (Haasan) is also a disappointment. She is shown to be a silly girl who has nothing to do with the main plot. It is annoying to see Bollywood continuing such regressive portrayal of women even in 2015. And then, there is a raunchy item number too featuring Chitrangada Singh.
Gabbar Is Back does surprise you in the last few minutes. However, that part is difficult to digest given the genre (can’t reveal much to avoid spoilers). Plus, the penultimate events leading up to the finale aren’t so overwhelming.
Coming to the technicalities, the editing and camerawork are decent but the background score is unnecessarily loud, maybe because of the southern influence of the director Krish, which is also seen in a lot of sequences. Apart from the title track, the music isn’t noteworthy.
Lastly, it’s completely an Akshay Kumar film as far as performances are concerned. It’s a tailor-made role for him which he performs with all his might. He is surely the King of Bollywood when it comes to action. Suman Talwar, as the villain, suffers due to the characterization. He is otherwise a fine actor.
Sunil Grover and Ishita Vyas have their moments. It is sad to see Shruti Haasan doing something in which Sonakshi Sinha has achieved PhD. Jaideep Ahlawat and the rest of the actors are just average.
Overall: Gabbar Is Back is for Akshay Kumar fans. The film will earn decent at the box office but it won’t be a formidable success.