By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | March 31, 2017
Rating: 1 / 5
The essence: The brilliance of A Wednesday, Special 26 and Baby cannot so easily be done away with. Neeraj Pandey is no ordinary filmmaker. He has his sensibilities intact… but Naam Shabana?
Naam Shabana is what happened before Neeraj Pandey’s Baby. A prequel, if one might say. While Tapsee Pannu had a bit role in the 2015 thriller, here she has the full film to herself. In fact, this movie is all about her and maybe the reason why she was in Baby itself.
My confusion is this: If she was such an integral part of the team that would be formed for Baby, why was she sidelined in Baby which should have been more about her? Also, why is her name Shabana now when it was Priya in Baby? Was it a goof up?
After going through the grind (it would have been better if one had played Angry Birds, as Shuklaji tells Akshay Kumar’s bored character) methinks, this film has been done as a favour for Tapsee for honoring the team of Baby with her presence and performance! How else do you explain this disjointed, alarming fare, which has Neeraj Pandey on its team, to pass muster?
The brilliance of A Wednesday, Special 26 and Baby cannot so easily be done away with. Neeraj Pandey is no ordinary filmmaker. He has his sensibilities intact… but Naam Shabana? Just for the record, Pandey is the writer; the director is Shivam Nair. But what really has me wondering about this insipid fare is Pandey. He cannot make a film like this. Period. He is far too sensible a filmmaker. He is just too good.
All throughout the film, Shabana (Tapsee Pannu) goes about with a bland, dazed look. I mean, people have a past, but no one goes through life in a drugged-out state!
The first half is a complete mess. We are taken to Venice, Austria. The intelligence agency from India loses two of its men to Mikhail, a wanted arms dealer. One agent has a gun to his back: all he has to do is pull the trigger. Three more are lost to Mikhail in Malaysia in a ‘state-of-the-art-foolish-set-up’ that would have a kindergarten child ask his father, “But dad, why did they take him to the loo?”
Loo and behold, all three lose their lives. In walks Shabana who the agency has been keeping a track of. They even help her eliminate her boyfriend’s killer. That apparently was a test of her determination!
Mikhail we learn has a fancy for Plastic Surgery. This he does to escape the law. In one scene in Malaysia, he is punched repeatedly on both sides of the face, but there is not a drop of blood or a crack of the jawline. In the next scene we learn that his entire jawline was altered in a painful surgery. So how did his operated jaw hold firm to such a brutal assault?
To cut the long story short, Shabana manages to get rid of Mikhail in a room he loves the best: ‘The Operation Theatre’.
I leave the theatre wondering what the fuss was all about?
Producers: Aruna Bhatia, Shital Bhatia
Director: Shivam Nair
Star Cast: Tapsee Pannu, Akshay Kumar, Manoj Bajpayee