MOVIE REVIEW: Naam Shabana
Starring: Taapsee Pannu, Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher,
Director: Shivam Nair
Music Directors: Rochak Kohli, Meet Bros.
Remember Neeraj Pandey’s slick action thriller Baby, where Taapsee Pannu as special agent Shabana Khan bashes up a baddie in a Kathmandu hotel room? The actress made a huge impression in that scene. Well, Naam Shabana gives us Shabana’s backstory, which involves a troubled childhood and a doomed relationship. It tells us why she became a spy.
Expectations were great for this prequel, but unfortunately, while Taapsee delivers terrific knockout punches, the movie as a whole lacks punch and suffers from lazy writing. Surprising, since Pandey has written the screenplay.
What’s worse, while Taapsee looks dangerous and powerful in the action sequences, she seems to be out of her depth in scenes that require her to emote. As for Akshay, he is happy to lend his superstar presence in an extended cameo. Familiar faces from Baby show up: Danny Denzongpa, Anupam Kher (in a horrible wig), and Manoj Bajpayee. Malayalam star Prithviraj Sukumaran is menacing enough as Tony, an international arms dealer.
On the positive side, the film reminds you that women are now not so helpless and give it back as good as they get.
Finally, one niggling thought remains: For a film that celebrates woman power, why do we have Akshay playing Taapsee’s savior at every stage? A trifle insulting!
TOP 10 SONGS
1. Badri Ki Dulhania (Badrinath ki Dulhania)
2. Sahiba (Phillauri)
3. Zaalima (Raees)
4. Uff Yeh Noor (Noor)
5. The Humma Song (OK Jaanu)
6. Bawara Mann (Jolly LLB 2)
7. Channa Mereya (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
8. Nashe Si Chadh Gayi (Befikre)
9. Dhaakad (Dangal)
10. Love You Zindagi (Dear Zindagi)
TOP 10 MOVIES
1. Badrinath ki Dulhania
2. Jolly LLB 2
3. Naam Shabana
8. Dear Zindagi
9. OK Jaanu
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