Baby in a way was Bollywood’s own secret agent MI 6 kind of film which garnered wide appreciation due to its engaging pace, the swiftness and smartness in its narrative. The character of Shabana played by Taapsee Pannu in the film made an impression as she had some stunt sequences in the film and she looked like an integral part of the team. That might have prompted Akshay Kumar and Neeraj Pandey to go for a spin off shedding light on how Shabana became an agent. But with plot becoming dull in the first half, the tasks becoming somewhat illogical and the movie having a very poor technical support, Naam Shabana becomes a lazily made film.
This one is a prequel to Baby. Shabana has a very ordinary backdrop and this silent girl who knows Kickboxing gets a major shock when she loses her boyfriend in an unfortunate incident. The girl who was seeking revenge for her boyfriend’s death gets that aid from the agency and in return they had a mission for her. What is that mission and how she succeeds in it is what Naam Shabana depicting.
Externally it has this women empowerment feel. But if you look at the content of the film it is written very lamely. I liked how Neeraj Pandey constructed certain backdrops to Shabana’s entry to the agency by giving us some glances of how the recruitment secretly happened. But the sentiments in those portions aren’t depicted in a moving way by director Shivam Nair. While the first half entirely is a slow paced one, we get to feel the Baby kind of energy in the second half. But that portion has an element of “Plastic Surgery” which wasn’t at all a suiting a movie that was set in the Baby universe. The approach of Naam Shabana looks very peripheral and thus the movie has no real aggression to its credit.
Taapsee Pannu in Baby was more energetic and here in order to make the earlier Shabana a bit unsure she has made some tweaks which wasn’t that convincing. The movie fails to use someone like Manoj Bajpayee. Akshay Kumar makes a cameo appearance in the film as Ajay and the actor somehow saves the movie from being an extremely boring experience with his convincing acrobatic skills. Prithviraj Sukumaran plays the role of a mafia don Tony in the film. While the sensibility of that character is questionable, Prithviraj looks tough enough to be the bad guy.
The film has flaws in its writing and making. While Neeraj Pandey creates this way too superficial hurdles and secret agent set up, Shivam Nair can’t make it look that convincing on screen. When secret doors and locations are revealed in the film, you don’t get the sort of surprise one would expect. Even after Shabana getting in to the agency, the thrill we got to witness in Baby was not there in the film. The cinematography wasn’t impressive and the edits were really sloppy. CGI was poor. The BGM tries its best to make the film engaging.
Naam Shabana is a spin off that fails to live up to the expectations. With the elements in this movie looking too sloppy for a good spy thriller that can convince an audience who has access to quality films, this movie looks like a hastily made one.
With the elements in this movie looking too sloppy for a good spy thriller that can convince an audience who has access to quality films, Naam Shabana looks like a hastily made one.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended