Cast:Sanjay Dutt, Prachi Desai, Prakash Raj
K S Ravikumar
For a film that is as spectacularly dumb, Policegiri makes far too much noise. The actors holler at the top of their voices, the action sequences are mind-numbingly silly, the background score can pierce through any cotton-wool shield, and the storyline is all sound and fury, and little else.
Policegiri is veteran Tamil director KS Ravikumar’s first Hindi film. It better be the last. Mumbai has enough homegrown talent to take care of this brand of moviemaking.
Policegiri is a remake of a decade-old Vikram starrer, Saamy, which had sparked a spate of high-octane tough cop movies down south. This one triggers nausea.
It draws inspiration from the likes of Dabangg and Singham. Sadly, Sanjay Dutt no longer possesses either the over-the-top swagger of a Salman Khan or the brooding presence of an Ajay Devgn.
The central character here, Deputy Commissioner of Police Rudra Aditya Devraj (Sanjay Dutt), who has arrived in Nagapuram after a string of transfers, has a bit of both Chulbul Pandey and Bajirao Singham in him.
He is an inveterate crime-fighter but isn’t averse to playing ball with the underworld when it suits him. He is a bribe-taker for be believes in going beyond the law to tackle crime.
In Policegiri, Rudra appears at the outset to be as rotten as the men that he is supposed to eliminate. “I am a combo of a cop and a goonda,” he admits to a subordinate. “Buy one get one free,” he thunders.
The mafia don who controls the town’s underworld, Nagori Subramaniam (Prakash Raj), pays the cop back in his own coin. “I am a combo of a bhikari and a shikari, buy one get one free,” he declares, alluding to the fact that he began life as a beggar outside a movie hall.
As a film, Policegiri beggars description. Call it what you will – ham-fisted, mindless, devoid of logic – nothing will suffice.
It is the sort of film in which the stuntmen get more play than any of the principal characters. The latter merely walk in and out of the picture, setting the stage for one violent confrontation after another.
Bodies and vehicles fly through obstructions, but the musclemen who bear the brunt of the action director’s imagination keep multiplying until the time the audience is ready to drop in disgust.
As if the cop and the crook strand of the storyline isn’t bad enough, the screenplay foists a romantic track and a comic sub-plot as well on the film.
Prachi Desai sleepwalks through her role as a girl caught between a Hindu mother and a Muslim father. They do not see eye to eye on which religion their daughter should marry into.
It gets even sillier with Rajpal Yadav and a corpulent pal plotting to win the attention of the aforementioned damsel. The comedian’s boots catch fire when the love triangle gets too hot for him to handle.
Actors like Mukesh Tiwari and Murli Sharma are reduced to playing hangers-on in the music-loving villain’s den. The baddie is a joke. “I may not have Mohammad Rafi’s sur, but I have Muhammad Ali’s power,” he says. That is neither funny nor menacing.
Policegiri is an attempt to cash in on the fact that Sanjay Dutt is in the news these days. The reasons are wrong in both cases.
Nothing seems more wrong than the way in which Prakash Raj has allowed himself to be caught in a rut.
He is a fine actor, but Policegiri ensures that he stays well clear of anything that resembles acting. He hams away to glory, but even at half tilt, he gives Sanjay Dutt a run for his money.
Everybody involved with this film deserves a break. The audience certainly does.
The villain tells the audience helpfully that “population, pollution and corruption” are three scourges that India can never rid itself of. He could well have added a fourth P – Policegiri – to the list.