If one may recall (not necessarily though) last year 'Ungli' tackled the been-there-done-that theme of one man/group standing up against corruption. Idea was a swell one, but due to poor presentation and lazy writing, it bombed badly at the box office. Now, this year, Akshay Kumar comes up with another movie, based on this very theme, called 'Gabbar Is Back'. Not only is it a remake of the Tamil blockbuster movie 'Ramannaa', starring Vijaykanth, but Akshay Kumar's latest flick, though is preachy, yet provides you amples of entertainment. This is the only Akshay Kumar movie, which is an entertaining remake of a South-Indian movie. Last year he came up with a South-Indian movie remake called 'Holiday - A Soldier Is Never Off Duty', which had left a bad after effect on my mind.
Without further yak-yak, let's analyse the plot. The film starts off with the very righteous man Professor Aditya (Akshay Kumar) and his tryst with corruption. He is on a mission to infuse a sense of purpose and hope amongst his students in 'National College', the place where he teaches the five elements of survival, in both, theory as well as practicals! Besides being a professor, he is also a vigilante who functions under the name of 'Gabbar'. He and his team inject fear amidst the corrupt officers. The main mission of his team is to eliminate the corrupt individuals, from all the spheres of life, but... in a systematic manner. When he's not bashing up the bad guys, Prof. Aditya also finds time to go on coffee dates with Devaki (Shruti Haasan). There is also a back story of Aditya that finds him romancing his wife (Kareena Kapoor Khan in a cameo) and how tragedy strikes him, courtesy industrialist Digvijay Patil (Suman Talwar). While the laidback police officials are unable to nab Gabbar, it takes an enterprising 'English speaking' constable Sadhu (Sunil Grover) to get the vital clues and leads about the whereabouts of Gabbar and his team. The only problem with Sadhu is that, because he is a 'driver', none of his superiors take him seriously and always belittle him. Amidst all this, when the police and the government land up in a very tight spot because of their inability to nab Gabbar, they hire a razor-sharp topcop, who vows to nab Gabbar at any cost. And when he sees Sadhu's clues of nabbing Gabbar, he immediately offers him all the support that he needs. Do the police and government ever get to know the real 'Gabbar', do they decipher the reason behind these killings, will Sadhu land up playing a spoilsport in Gabbar's master plans or does Gabbar who has been exposing the corrupt, will himself come out before everyone and 'expose' himself... is what forms the rest of the film.
Well, even though Krish is making his debut in Bollywood, with 'Gabbar Is Back', it's not an over-statement to say that he has remade the original Tamil movie, originally written and directed by A. R Murugadoss ('Ghajini', 'Holiday - A Soldier Is Never Off Duty' fame), with dexterity. After analysing his career as a director in Telugu movie Industry, with commercial success like 'Gamyam' and the critically acclaimed 'Vedam', this cements the fact that, when it comes to movie-making, he means business. Hats off to you Krish.
Off the crew, as stated the story (originally by A. R. Murugadoss) is nothing new. But the fast-paced-screenplay and Gabbar Singh-laden dialogues (written by Rajat Arora) add life to this story. Often it becomes preachy, as mentioned above, especially in scenes where Akshay Kumar's character gives lectures. But not only it entertains us for most of the part, it also pays homage to the original Gabbar Singh, whom we miss the most (thanks to those dialogues, originally mouthed by the real Gabbar Singh - late Amjad Khan). There are a few blemishes, and I would like to mention that the villain's characterization is similar to that of those Villainous characters portrayed by Prakash Raj. He looks ferocious in the beginning, ends up as a cat, especially in the climax.
Please future Bollywood screenwriters, focus on maintaining the consistency of the villain's character, in the movies.
Moreover, the direction (Krish) is first rate. Cinematography (Nirav Shah) is adequate. Music (Sandeep Chowta) is just forgettable. Background Score (Amar Mohile) is pulsating. Editing (Rajesh Pandey) is at times loose, due to those dragging songs. Costumes (Rick Roy, Garvita Bhatia) are authentic. Stunts (Stun Shiva) are over-the-top. Visual Effects (Reliance Media Works) is adequate.
Off the cast, Kareena Kapoor Khan leaves a lasting impression, in a brief cameo. Shruti Haassan is at her usual best, portraying a birdbrained-bimbo. Suman Talwar has a Prakash Raj-like DÃ©jÃ -vu to his acting skills. Chitrangada Singh looks gorgeous, in an item number. Nikitin Dheer, Jaideep Ahlawat, Sunil Grover and Govind Namdeo gave their best. But, it's undoubtedly Akshay Kumar, who steals the show away, with his power-wala performance.
I rate this a 6/10. Had the screenplay been a bit faster, and avoided the preachy tone, and the unwanted songs, it could've been better. But since it is not entirely bad, it's just a one-time watch. Don't expect it to linger in your memories for long.