‘Singh Is Bliing’ is a low rent comedy and doesn’t care who knows it. Everything about it stoops low: IQ, jokes, scenes. Of course, there is no story, only unconnected, jerky set-pieces. The only thing which saves it—a little — is that it wears its silliness proudly on its hero’s `pug’ ( turban), said hero smartly reworking his good-hearted simpleton who loves his mother and respects his father, and rescues his girl.
The 2008 ‘Singh Is Kinng’ (remember that double ‘n’?) toplined the bumblesome Happy Singh who is sent out of his Punjab village to Australia to learn to do something. Seven years on, Akshay Kumar basically reprises that role in ‘Singh Is Bliing’ (double `i’, to match), only now calling himself Raftar Singh, and heading off to Goa to learn how to finish what he starts. But the template is the same: lots of inane chit-chat peppered with ‘puttarjis’, ‘pa’ajis, mummyjis, and two best friends, and an English-only-speaking `gori mem’ (Amy Jackson replacing Katrina Kaif) to address the deep `desi’ desire of possessing-and-pronging one such worthy.
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And because it is a Prabhudeva movie, we get steeped-in-misogyny cringe-worthy lines about women. Overweight young ladies are to be done ‘kushti’ (wrestled) with, not married. A messy-faced female is dubbed ‘kaala jaadu’. The heroine is made to do a lengthy lap-dance disguised as an action sequence, and we are left in no doubt as to the state of the hero’s nether region while this is going on.
The director’s penchant for kinky-camp, which was on full display in ‘Action Jackson’, is a trifle muted this time around. It is saved for the long-haired baddie played by Kay Kay Menon, who gleefully hams it up, but loses impact at the blah line he’s given to repeat — ‘I’m too good’. And just in case we were missing the dose of juvenilia, Prabhudeva turns it all the way up in a urinal scene where he and a couple of other fellows spray and sprinkle. See, su-su! After all, boys will be boys, no?
Leading lady Jackson is given a lot of screen time, and she spends it impassively narrowing her eyes and kicking butt and looking perfectly capable while doing so. Where she doesn’t fare as well is in the emoting department, but then her chief brief seems to have been to be bikini-ready at all times. Lara Dutta comes on to do a female version of the standard Bollywood buffoon, showing promise in being funny, but being drowned in sexist japes involving, yes, male private parts.
And that leaves us with Akshay Kumar, who rises somewhat above the risible dialogues and let’s-dump-on-the-audience-with-yet-another-hastily-conceived-set-piece because who-cares-for- a-plot, only because he is able to pull out his ability to be droll and good-natured when things are going south. Yes, he made me laugh a few times. But I went home wondering: is this all we can get from an Akki film?
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson, Lara Dutta, Kay Kay Menon, Rati Agnihotri, Yograj Singh, Anil Mange, Arfi Lamba, Kunal Kapoor