Movie: Naam Shabana
Stars: Taapsee Pannu. Akshay Kumar, Manoj Bajpayee, Danny Denzongpa, Anupam Kher, Taher Shabbir
Director: Neeraj Pandey
Naam Shabana has been Bollywood’s first shot at attempting a spin-off. Needless to say, after the raving reviews that Taapsee Pannu a.k.a Shabana Khan received for her 20-minute stint in Akshay Kumar starrer blockbuster Baby, it only made sense that Taapsee gets her own screen time as the leading lady Agent Shabana Khan. Here’s how the story goes:
Shabana Khan is a college student and a Kudo Martial Arts player who has a dark past. But, she finds the perfect company and internal peace in her boyfriend Jay. But it all comes to an end as a bunch of eve-teasers drop into the scene, and, intending to keep his girlfriend safe, Jay loses his life. This indeed damages Taapsee beyond repair.
Considering it to be a golden opportunity, the Indian detective agencies contact her. In return for intel on Jay’s killers, she would have to provide service to the country. Reluctantly, she accepts the proposal. After her first successful stint of taking down Jay’s killers, she goes after Tony (Prithviraj Sukumaran) along with Ajay (Akshay Kumar) and Shukla (Anupam Kher). Will Tony be brought down? Watch the movie for that!
Our Verdict: Taapsee Pannu is here to stay for sure! She handles her emotional breakdown perfectly. The first half, showing Taapsee’s side of the story is rather dull. The second half, when Shabana is on a mission, she takes it on like a pro! It’s just baffling to see her play a character which she said in an interview that she bears no resemblance to!
Akshay Kumar, on the other hand, was forcibly pushed into the story just to show that it overlaps with the story of Baby. However, the saving grace of it all was the charm that Shukla (Anupam Kher) and Ajay (Akshay Kumar) put up on screen.
Tony, on the other hand, reminds us of the baddie that Sharad Kelkar played as the evil business tycoon in Irada; He just exists so that the bad guy has a face.
Manoj Bajpayee, on the other hand, was not utilized to his full potential.
Overall film verdict: Taapsee Pannu and Akshay Kumar are clearly the highlight, who are very unfortunately trapped in a lazily written script. Does Taapsee live up to the expectations we had from her? No doubt about that! But was it as engaging as Baby, Special 26 or A Wednesday? We strongly disagree.
We wonder what is happening to all the eminent directors? Seems like all have become a bit too lazy this year and are perhaps delivering one of the weakest executed stories of their filmographies.
The film solely rides on Taapsee!
Our verdict? 2.5 Stars!