'Policegiri' review: Sanjay Dutt's failed attempt
A threateningly loud signature tune announces Rudra's (Dutt) arrival in Nagapuram, the den of Nagori (Prakash Raj).
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Prachi Desai, Prakash Raj
Director: KS Ravikumar
A song in the film goes like, 'Munna stud hai, aisi smile hai, jhappi dene ka public ka karta mood hai.' Well, not exactly.
A strangely crafted police officer Rudra (Sanjay Dutt) greets you in the beginning and soon starts flying across the screen as if he has to impress the stunt director of 'The Matrix'. As expected, Rudra is a fearless cop, (Remember 'dost ghareebon ka, naam Robinhood hai') who has been transferred from several police stations, which he claims to be at least hundred in number. I wonder how he became the DCP with such a track-record. Never mind, you don't need to scrutinise things with a magnifying glass, just sit and understand the reasons behind Baba copying Chulbul.
A threateningly loud signature tune announces Rudra's arrival in Nagapuram, the den of Nagori (Prakash Raj). He is a PM (politician maker) and does what he has been doing in 'Wanted' and 'Singham' and countless Southern films. Probably, it's difficult for the directors to imagine Prakash Raj in a different avatar than how he has been presented by Rohit Shetty in 'Singham' (I'm not imagining things; 'Singham' has been mentioned in the film). Moreover, the supporting cast of 'Policegiri' is an integral part of Rohit Shetty's films.
No prizes for guessing Nagori's character graph - a small guy makes it big in the world of crime and then wants to bend the system in his favour until he meets a really smart officer who also knows the loopholes of the system. One more film like 'Policegiri' and the public watching Prakash Raj shooting will start imitating his probable gestures.
Rudra follows the mid-path, not like Buddha though. His character is flawed but is willing to stand up against the traitors. And yes, he also has to romance Shehar (Prachi Desai), who has a very questionable dressing sense. The hero in the Hindi adaptation of Vikram starrer Tamil flick 'Sammy' (2003) sheepishly tries to salvage the situation by saying, 'Pyaar umar se nahi, kamar se hota hai,' (A similar scene took place in 'Wanted'). The songs featuring an aging hero and a grief-stricken heroine don't touch the required emotional level and provide enough plastic to make personalised mugs for the entire audience in the theatre.
The screenplay makes it a point that the focus remains on the chemistry between Rudra and Nagori, and it works to some extent, however the heroine keeps entering in between them to give it a biological angle. The dialogue writers put their heart and soul in coming up with catchy one-liners and they evoke laughter occasionally but KS Ravikumar's inexperience in handling the Hindi film audience obstructs their efforts.
Ravikumar is good at many things such as the colour combination in the backdrop and aerial stunts but his wish to generate many emotions within the same sequence doesn't help 'Policegiri'. His attempt to give the film a social angle falls flat because the spectators could already anticipate the tempo of the story and the events to follow. Leave aside the classical narrative style of giving two 'solid' twists; he even refrains from giving the viewers a hint of the hero's weaknesses. The actors who pull off hits like 'Dabangg' or 'Singham' carry a different baggage than Sanjay Dutt. Further, slang and the use of stereotyped props need to be judicious. Not everytime can be a sickle and a flying chariot be tolerated.
Dutt keeps repeating that he is a deadly 'combo' of a cop and a goon, and literally becomes an airborne Rambo to demonstrate the same but the lack of motive rather the director's inaptness of constructing a good conflict line breaks the flow in every second sequence.
A fellow actor very rightly sums up DCP Rudra: Aapko dekh ke lagta hai ki jaise Gabbar Singh ne police force join kar liya ho. On the other hand, Nagori does it for himself: Main bhikhari bhi hoon aur shikari bhi. In this whole tiger-hunter business, the one who runs out of the enthusiasm is the viewer anticipating an enticing story.
It's evident that Sanjay Dutt took fun while shooting 'Policegiri' as he is in almost every scene but the film's chance of emerging as a 'masala' pot-boiler gets washed down the drain because of unimaginative narrative strategy. The police jeep keeps taking rounds without any driver, the piles jokes run out of the gas and Sanjay Dutt continues imitating Salman Khan, all without any concrete reasons.
Prakash Raj's signature dialogue, "Sur Md Rafi ka na ho par power Md Ali ka hai," can't be held true for 'Policegiri'. May be the sympathisers of Sanjay Dutt help the film in getting an acceptable opening but even they would find it difficult to garner the courage to see its sequel which it promises in the end. Too much confidence, I must say.
By the way, KS Ravikumar has written the forthcoming Rajinikanth film 'Kochadaiyaan'.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5.