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quick review:

When a Rohit Shetty film moves away from exploding cars to make way for forcefully imploding emotions–it is a step in the right direction. Only a teeny-tiny one though because the ‘women empowerment’ bit is still a huge charade.

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Director: Rohit Shetty
Running time: 160 minutes
Genres: Action, Social
More Movie Info

Simmba - Preview

When I heard of a film called Simmba and saw Ranveer Singh wearing a police officer’s costume, the first thing that came to mind was Singham and then, Dabangg. I didn’t know who the director was. That is how predictable the film will be.

What’s more, as the trailer began and you see Ranveer Singh being this corrupt cop, you begin to tell yourself, “Do I really need to watch the film to know that he is going to turn good because of someone close to him?” Guess what? They let you in on that in the trailer itself!

Then all you are left with is to hope for decent antics by Ranveer Singh and see if Sara Ali Khan’s freshness extends to her second film. Though, this role seems to be about the same as the one in Kedarnath. So, looks like we have repeats at different levels to close 2018.

Simmba releases on 28 December, 2018.

- meeta, a part of the audience

You know the attitude towards audience is changing for the better when the makers of the Golmaal series make an attempt to have a story with a conscience and a soul. It is a completely different matter that they are still far, far away from them walking the talk. In this particular case, I am referring to the superficial attempt at ‘woman empowerment’. It will take real courage and an outside-in change in mindset for Rohit Shetty films to truly empower women. Until then though, we can call it a good start–quite literally because it is only in the first half.

It doesn’t help that a valid point such as stalking being inappropriate even if it is done without the intention of harassing is almost immediately negated by Simmba stalking the lead lady and a song with lyrics that endorse cat-calling and eve-teasing.

To begin with there is a glimmer of content. While you want to leave the theater every time they try to force emotion out of you in the second half, the attempt at decent writing in the first half, one-liners and situations included, is a heartening change and hopefully indicative of a trend. Sure the lines are a tad repetitive even in before intermission and the melodrama is overbearing and overdrawn after half time. But, you cannot deny that you are a tad surprised by the mature humor in the first hour.

The themes seem a little different from the norms of the genre too. Our protagonist, Simmba (Ranveer Singh) is so enamoured by the power of power that he is actually inspired by corruption. I actually sensed a sarcastic comment if not a satirical commentary on the ways of society in the beginning of the film. In fact, Simmba also is no Robin Hood but an orphan in search of familial warmth who actually is found seeking a familial connect with the people he meets. We really don’t expect characters of this film to have layers.

There are some surprising elements in writing too. You don’t really expect a film like Simmba to take off on a tangent about parenting. Whether it is Simmba blaming his lure to corruption or a lady admonishing a rapist’s mom for not having taught her son better, the onus on parents comes out of nowhere. Just like the attack on government programmes such as the girl education drive come out of the blue too. While these themes are mentioned only once or twice, others like the call on conscience by a nagging honest police are repeated so often that they lose the value they might have had.

Fortunately, the writing of the situations is pretty direct for Hindi films. Often in the first half, there is no beating around bush, characters see through expressions and are outspoken about them. The dialogue is better too. It is snappy and witty. The signature dialogue works the first time but makes you feel like the writers couldn’t write anything better when it is repeated so often. Unfortunately and fortunately, both the wit and the repetition go missing in the second half. However, overbearing melodrama takes over and doesn’t end right until the last scene, elongating the film way too much.

On the other hand, it was good to see decent performances overall. Sure, almost each actor was unnecessarily loud and over-acting. But, it felt like it was more because it was the director’s brief and not because the actors can’t deliver a restrained performance. Given that that was the demand of the film, I alternated between being in awe of Ranveer Singh’s screen presence and squirming at his over-bearing performance. The spunk he adds is enough to make you wonder if he contributed to bring meaning and the hint of a soul to the Rohit Shetty brand. His comic timing and what seems like improvisation are a hoot. He makes you laugh even at a whatsapp-forward type of a joke. He sings well too and the two times he does it leads to a laugh. The writing of the lines he sings of course are to be given equal credit. The actor brings quirkiness to the run-down theme and chews every scene he is in, standing shoulder-to-shoulder if not over-shadowing even Ajay Devgn. It sure is good to see young blood replace the Salmans, Akshays and Ajays of this genre. For one, it means the star power is slightly less over-powering. Then, the choreographers can attempt better choreography.

Sara Ali Khan on the other hand is shortchanged significantly. For a film beating its chest about woman safety and claiming to empower women, you wonder why the lead lady goes almost 100% missing-in-action in the second half. Even the character who Simmba fondly calls a sister has more screen time than her.

This Rohit Shetty films wears its attitude without cars. And that's not necessarily all good.

It doesn’t help that a valid point such as stalking being inappropriate even if it is done without the intention of harassing is almost immediately negated by Simmba stalking the lead lady and a song with lyrics that endorse cat-calling and eve-teasing. It becomes a clear case of telling us how women being wronged is wrong while showing us that it is ok for a man to use curse words involving the another’s mother. Casual sexism such as a comment on nagging wives makes all the converts all the ‘women empowerment’ attempts into tokenism.

And even so, it is heartening to see it happen. Indeed that is how low our expectations from films are. The irony of seeing a woman stand up against her son and have her being protected by him when a lawyer wants to ask her potentially embarrassing questions is indeed amusing.

But then the list of things that are unintentionally amusing could run long. For instance the weird editing in the ‘aankh maare’ song brings the bewildered smile that you have while watching tacky transitions in wedding videos. The CGI of pants and shirts being lit up suddenly is equally funny too. Similarly, while you have a genuine smile in some of the song visualisation and decent action choreography in the beginning. You smile at yourself for missing cars being blown up and the general machismo associated with this genre. Did they really hear us say, “enough already!”?

This Rohit Shetty films wears its attitude without cars and a series of action sequences. It is by far the least stylistic of his films. Even if on very few occasions, there is a hint of subtlety at some spots? Are the tides really changing, even if every so slowly?

- meeta, a part of the audience

32 reviewers(?) - 15 yays 8 so-so 9 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...In one elobrate song and dance traditional Maharastrian women are seen riding into the over-saturated frame on mobikes wearing sunglasses. This is the crazy world of Gol Maal which has suddenly woken up to the newspaper headlines. It wants to show a deep respect for women but can’t help chuckling at its own stab at topicality.... full review

Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, SIMMBA is a sure-shot winner, no two opinions about it. This one will storm the boxoffice. 2018 is sure to conclude with a roar!... full review

Thumbs up, by Ankita Chaurasia, Bollywood Life : ...Anyone who has watched The Lion King, would first think of the cute little lion cub from the film when thinking of Simmba. Not anymore. Ranveer Singh is here to steal the name and also the roar. Simmba provides complete bang for your buck. But it will also make you rue all the years Rohit Shetty and Ranveer Singh have wasted without collaborating. And it will make you wish they come together again and soon. Simmba will ensure you end the year on a high. Watch it with your family and ideally in a single-screen theatre for the complete experience.... full review

Thumbs up, by Deepali Srivastawa, Catch News : ...रणवीर सिंह ने पहली बार एक्शन फिल्म की है और जबरदस्त की है. फिल्म पद्मावत के बाद उनकी साल की ये दूसरी फिल्म है लेकिन वो इससे छा गए. रोहित शेट्टी के साथ पहली बार काम करना और एक्शन और दमदार एक्टिंग का तगड़ा मेल रणवीर सिंह ने खूब निभाया. एक्ट्रेस सारा अली खान की ये दूसरी फिल्म थी और इसमें भी वो छा गई.सारा का सीन भले ही छोटा था लेकिन काफी अच्छी था. उनके चेहरे के भाव और उनकी अदाकारी सभी कुछ एक साथ मिलता है. अगर बात करें सोनू सूद की तो दबंग जैसी फिल्म में जलवा दिखाने के बाद फिर से विलेन के रुप में सोनू खूब जंचे. आशुतोष राणा ने 'धड़क' के बाद इस फिल्म में एक इंस्पेक्टर का किरदार काफी दमदार तरीके से निभाया. कुल मिलाकर आप 'सिंबा' को देखने जा सकते हैं और आप बोर नहीं होंगे.... full review

Thumbs up, by Meena Iyer, DNA : ...Simmba is tried and tested 80s Bollywood formula. But what the hell? If redux songs can be a super hit, retelling formula, 1000-times-over can also be super fun. Go for Simmba with a whistle and a packet of kurkure. This is masala, just ENJOY!... full review

Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...This is perhaps the only Rohit Shetty film where cars don't fly in the air, though the rest of his trademark action and stunts are all there. On the lines of Marvel or DC's superhero universes, he's trying to built a cop universe of sorts and cameos by Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar as policemen proves that. It's a bold move by the director and it would be interesting to see how it unfolds in the future...... full review

Thumbs up, by Madhuri V, Filmi Beat : ...Coming to the music, Aankh Maare leaves your feet tapping with some nostalgia bytes with Arshad Warsi's appearance in the song. Tere Bin gives you plenty of romantic feels. Read more at: full review

Thumbs up, by R.M. Vijayakar, India West : ...Sara has nothing much to do, but Ashutosh Rana is fabulous indeed. Arun Nalawade as the old man is perfect, and Siddharth Jadhav as Simmba’s right hand and Vaidehi Parshurami as Akruti make a special mark among all the competent artistes, most of whom are Maharashtrians.... full review

Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Simmba gives us a combo we could cherish forever. The energies of Rohit Shetty & Ranveer Singh just create a combinatorial explosion on screen. The best masala entertainer of the year & it’s for everyone out there. JUST WATCH IT!... full review

Thumbs up, by Pankhurie Mulasi, Movie Talkies : ...Simmba Movie Still[/caption] Simmba is a full paisa vasool masala entertainer and thus, 2018 ends with a bang for Bollywood.... full review

Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...Shetty navigates familiar ground in this formula film. It is Read more at: full review

Thumbs up, by Manisha Lakhe, Now : ...A street smart orphan realises that the corrupt cops have money and power, so he grows up to become one. Ranveer Singh crackles in the title role of Simmba and wins us over in this simple tale of bad cop turning into gold. Eminently watchable!... full review

Thumbs up, by Urvi Parikh, Rediff : ...Rohit Shetty does full justice to the movie and incorporates his age-old formula of making masala films. His tried and tested method will surely bring results yet again.... full review

Thumbs up, by Ronak Kotecha, Times of India : ...But overall, Simmba is a potboiler that you expect it to be, where the good surely outweighs the bad. There are enough paisa vasool moments including the cameo by the original Singham, Ajay Devgn. And it doesn’t end there. Shetty leaves you with a parting shot of another superstar already revealing the first look of his offering in 2019.... full review

Thumbs up, Zee News : ...But overall, "Simmba" shines and the film is worth your ticket price.... full review

So-So, by Devansh Sharma, FirstPost : ...Simmba is a Ranveer Singh vehicle. Though an Ajay Devgn pops in to save the day in the climax, Ranveer impresses for most part of the film, particularly in his interaction with the supporting cast, including the why-always-a-baddie Sonu Sood, the thank-god-not-a-baddy-again Ashutosh Rana and a perennially confused Sarita Joshi. But his overriding schmooze remains with Shetty as they dazzle on a date that would not have gone wrong, had it not been an inconsistent affair.... full review

So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...So the film’s moral compass is totally warped, the titular character’s actions are politically incorrect and the ludicrous buffaloing makes it all so inconsequential and mindless. The second half even tends to tedium. Writers Yunus Sajawal and Farhad Samji make empty-headedness their requiem, of sorts. But Ranveer Singh’s psyched-up vitality, Sara Ali Khan’s savvy confidence and a whole bunch of supporting actors (largely from the Marathi film industry), create an affect that is both eye-pleasing as well as fairly ameliorating. And that’s exactly why this film might appeal to a certain demographic.... full review

So-So, by Raja Sen, Hindustan Times : ...At the end, we’re teased with the glimpse of another hirsute alpha male joining this franchise next year. These men don’t need women. The sequel could be called Threesome.... full review

So-So, by Samrudhi Ghosh, india today : ...Throughout Simmba, there are constant references to Singham. In fact, when Ranveer dons the khaki for the very first time, the Singham title track plays in the background. In Simmba, Ranveer has successfully taken on the mantle from Ajay.... full review

So-So, indiaglitz : ...Overall, Simmba is a perfect finish for Bollywood and movie goers. The film offers the most important aspect that cinema evolved for – ENTERTAINMENT, that too unlimited. Leave your logic and brains outside, might have a good time.... full review

So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...The script can be full of holes. You hope your brain isn't. This is how I caught this picture, with folk in the front-benches-whistling, clapping, making loud noises, and then going quiet, during dramatic sequences.... full review

So-So, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...So watch Simmba if you must. But here's rider: do not imitate its methods - at home or in society.... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, : ...I suspect this film will polarize viewers. There will be those who will enjoy the broad-strokes storytelling and gladly submit to the overt manipulation. Others might have a problem with the irresponsible messaging. No points for guessing which lot I belong to.... full review

Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks : ...In short, SIMMBA can only be seen, if you must, for Ranveer Singh’s spirited, likable act, the freshness of Sara Ali Khan in her very few scenes and the social concern it raises regarding the growing number of rapes in our present society. However, since a lot more interesting, thought provoking and intriguing, must watch stuff is available online in your home for a nominal subscription, I would not recommend spending your precious time and money on such strictly average releases offering you nothing new.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayur Sanap, Deccan Chronicle : ...At the end, Simmba is just another serviceable action movie that tastes like salted popcorn. It tastes good while it lasts, but eventually you end up rather dry and thirsty. It is all about glam and no substance. Although, if you are seeing this film, than this is what you are expecting.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...The most disheartening part about Simmba is its bipolar pursuit of relevance. The setup was the film; there was no need to embrace the guileless-sermon path. Just letting Singh play the fool, without hindrance, might have finally lent credence to the Rohit Shetty School of non-storytelling.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vertticad, FirstPost : ...Never mind the rest of Team Simmba, Ms Khan, but you deserve better than this hypocritical nonsense.... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...Finally, it is Singh, bubbling over as the ‘bhai-from-another-aai’, that you take away from this jaded thing.... full review

Thumbs down, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...Before ‘Simmba’ turned, I found myself dangerously close to enjoying an entire half of a Rohit Shetty film.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...If this is cinema that roars, I am happy watching cat videos.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nandini Ramnath, : ...Ranveer Singh’s energy and flamboyance ensure that Simmba appears more engaging than it often is, and Ajay Devgn’s well-timed cameo rescues the film from being a write-off. Simbba is all about its male movie stars. Sara Ali Khan has fewer scenes than some of the other characters, including Siddharth Jadhav as a member of Simmba’s posse. The movie has no use for her Shagun – so much for being on the side of women.... full review

Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...Be it as brutal violators or patronising saviours of women, Simmba shows that it all boils down to the same toxic masculinity which the men behind Simmba have been perpetuating film after film.... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

1 readers - 1 yays 0 so-so 0 nays

Want to Watch, by TimELiebe : Sounds interesting - and a bit deeper than usual for Masala

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Fan

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads of fist fights
  • Language: A few abuses that are cut off mid-word by design
  • Nudity & Sexual content: The central theme is rape. No visuals though. Other than that a few skimpily clad women.
  • Concept: A corrupt official gets a soul mid-way through the film
  • General Look and Feel: Loud, brash, melodramatic, very bright.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Comments (6)

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The trailer kind of tells it all. So was the case with Singham's trailer. But then Singham went on to be a blockbuster entertainer. So all depends on how Rohit Shetty has executed the film. Knowing his track record of an entertainer I am looking forward to my visit to the theatre tonight. Let's hope that Simmba lives up to the expectations. Hakuna Matata ;-)


B L O C K B U S T E R !

I am using this word to describe a Hindi film for the first time and the last time in 2018.

Let me clarify: this is no intellectual fare. Anyone searching for a technical or cinematic masterpiece that crosses every "t" and dots every "i" should stay away from this. This is an out and out Hindi masala commercial film. Mind is blowing film :-)

Simmba's story is as presented in the trailer. The brilliance comes from the execution. The first half is, as expected, full of LOL moments. Ranveer Singh as Simmba gets the choicest and wittiest one liners. Despite the fact that he is shown as an unashamed corrupt police officer, he manages to win over audiences' hearts.

Beyond the fun and frolic of the first half the film has a serious message. The second half is dedicated to this message. It makes the film seem a wee bit slower and losing steam. But it still manages to hold through and reach the seeti blowing climax.

Performance wise the film belongs mainly to the men. Barring Aswhini Kalsekar none of the women make a mark. Even the lead actress is more of a prop.

Simmba is certainly not the best film that I have seen. At the same time it ticks all the boxes that will guarantee a blockbuster status. I give it a few extra points for the dignity and maturity with which it has handled the horrific reality of rape. It has clearly stayed away from the temptation to visually portray rape. Many a Bollywood director would have gone into the graphic details under the pretext of making realistic films but with the real intention of drawing more footfalls from perverts. Hats off to Rohit Shetty for maturely handling the subject.

Before signing off, India as a society faces multiple challenges. Rape is one of the challenges. It is a most heinous crime. And every convicted rapist must be given the harshest of punishment. Rape related cases must be treated by the courts in the fastest track possible. This social evil can only be eradicated if the rapists are named shamed and severely punished within a least amount of time.


That's it then. Just one more day left in 2018 as I type this post in. And with that comes to an end one of the worst years in recent history of Hindi films. A look at the various ratings I gave to films of 2018 would reveal that more than 50% received a Thumbs down.

The Khans came and tried and failed outright. I sincerely hope that they disappear from the Bollywood screens, their brand of cinema propped up by paid journalists, is crumbling. It is time for youngsters and fresher themes - like Andhadhun and Badhai Ho (yet to watch it). Vicky Kaushals, Rajkumar Rao, Ayushyman Khurana - guys sans glamour - are winning over audiences. And rightly so. Is it the starting of a new dawn, where star power is no more relevant? It might seem like that but it is not yet there given the successes to films of Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor (both synonymous to star power). What ever it is, just the pleasure of seeing the rejection of the Khans is a positive trend - they are substandard actors responsible for the substandard films being dished out to us since the 1990s. Yeah yeah they gave some commercial successes, but so did Rajendra Kumar have a line up of 20+ consecutive silver jubilee films in his heyday - would you consider him a great actor?

@Fan - sounds like you liked it more than Meeta did, and her review was more favorable than usual for a Rohit Shetty Joint....


@Tim: I would not rate it as personal top N. But knowing dynamics of North Indian region, this type of cinema is a sure shot winner. I believe that all the right ingredients and proportions are used.

@Fan Yeah! I like this trend of smaller films will non-star actors doing well too! Fingers crossed for the coming years!

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