May 11, 2012 Y. Sunita Chowdary
Gabbar Singh has a very simple and ordinary South Indian filmi plot, remade into Hindi and now again remade into Telugu with a star who is in the right age and with a right appearance. It is neither a popular story nor a timeless one but what acquires importance is that Pawan Kalyan who is going through a string of flops has FYI a film that has tapped into all areas of the story albeit on a rough and a superficial level which is quite an achievement.
The actor was no way close to what Salman Khan was in Dabangg, or for that matter he couldn't match his own sprightly and expressive work in Theenmaar. Here his acting was purely functional (except for a couple of episodes like the Antakshari and another with Brahmanandam in the marketplace) but what helped the director was the actor's charisma and some good writing and technical aspects and the rest of the entire credit goes to Harish.
The director remains close and faithful to Dabangg and dishes out a decent entertainer without the hero taking off his shirt, without a fresh face like Sonakshi, without too many pelvic thrustings and accomplishes his task without too many risks or going overboard. The songs are a plus of course, the two numbers that follow successively does get a notice but Kevvu Keka could still have been breezy with any item girl, Malaika's presence hardly made any difference.
The sentiment factor mainly goes missing here be it the tortured childhood, tears behind the Raybans or the emotional moments that got to do with the mother's death or the reconciliation scenes between father and son. There is one moment when Gabbar Singh directs his men, the fat go that side, the lean this side and the fit with me...but the dialogue about the dieting hardly elicits a laugh or makes you smile.
Post Jalsa he's had all the wrong ladies, here he hits a new low by having Ms Shruti Hassan as his partner. All a heroine in this film needs to do is look pretty and throw the right glances, she does neither, even the voice doesn't suit her; Gayatri Rao who is obese does a far better job and exudes freshness despite her corny role and lines. The song thus written as a panegyric goes utter waste. Pawan Kalyan has nothing new to offer in terms of expression and looks, his jerseys show that he is trapped in youth though the spring in his walk is a delight to watch.
Rao Ramesh has a very brief role but within that time he arrives at that point with the required emotion, Ajay is vulnerable and Tanikella Bharani impresses. Abhimanyu Singh has matured as an actor and Ali has nothing much to do. All in all, the dialogues, the routine Theenmaar dances and that one Antakshari scene is enough to see the film get a splendid talk.
While Pawan Kalyan arrives into his forties and needs to enjoy his acting as much as his dances, Gabbar Singh proves that you don't need a fresh story or great screenplay to deliver success, one lengthy comedy episode and a few pelvic thrusts are enough to hit the jackpot. Harish Shankar, welcome to the Sreenu Vaitla league! You've done it again.