It seems that cops have become the new messiahs of Bollywood — a perfect business idea that guarantees sure shot returns at the box office. These tough as templar, seemingly corrupt, gun-toting officers only strive to bring peace to the most atrocious of societies by bending the rules according to what they feel is right. Masala potboilers like Dabangg and Singham, have established policemen as the sole saviours of the nation with authority which supercedes even that of a mayor. There is nothing wrong with such notions of heroism because policemen are becoming to Bollywood what superheroes are to Hollywood.
However, when the men in uniform act more or less like Robin Hood, helping innocents by hook or by crook, then the image of the police force comes across as rather a mafia. While previous films have managed to tackle this representation subtly and have shifted the narrative whenever the audience might question the police as a force working purely for its ego satisfaction, Policegiri accepts the harsh reality — the growing ‘dadagiri’ of the Policegirs!
The story is about Rudra Aditya Devraj (Sanjay Dutt), Deputy Commissioner of Police, who with his grand name comes to cleanse Nagapuram of all the crime-driven activities and restore peace. Unfortunately, apart from its slight effort of evolving the typical Bollywood cop narrative, which after seeing the film seems less of a conscious effort, there is nothing brilliant about the film. Once again shamelessly borrowed from a Southern hit, Policegiri is Tamil director KS Ravikumar’s first Hindi film and rightly so because the film as a whole turns out to be bland with repetitive and incredibly loud Southern-inspired action sequences that seem pretty mindless.
The dialogues are average and the screenplay appears to be executed rather foolishly. The heroines in such movies often play irrelevant roles and so does the charming beauty Prachi Desai; she seems more fit to be Dutt’s daughter and hence, looks out of place. The real let down remains to be Prakash Raj, who despite being such an incredibly diverse actor seems to have been fixated in the role of an obnoxious super villain — that is kind of getting more ridiculous by the day.
Nevertheless, it is pretty ironic that Dutt plays a policeman in this film right after he went to jail but at the same time, it is tragic that we won’t be seeing more from this ultimate performer for a while. After all, be it the cool and witty concept of ‘Gandhigiri’ as Munnabhai or his aggressively painful Policegiri as DCP Rudra, this veteran actor knows how to fit in any role with sheer class and style. We hope to see Dutt back on the silver screen with a better film because it’s this man’s charismatic personality that has dominated the Pakistani poster market and work out routines at gymnasiums for generations.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.
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