Khiladi Kumar is now officially wearing the turban. After SINGH IS KINNG in 2008 with Anees Bazmee, Akshay Kumar wears the turban effectively, yet again, to portray Raftaar Singh in SINGH IS BLIING, this time directed by Prabhu Deva.
By now, Akshay can sleep walk into roles like these. BOSS, ROWDY RATHORE, HOLIDAY are just a few examples of 'roles without zing' that Akshay has essayed effortlessly and come out looking a winner. All he has to do is flash his goofy grin and revel in the shot he is executing for the moment. A good-for-nothing, who is always berated by his father, Raftaar lands in Goa to work with his father's friend. There he is met by Sara (Amy Jackson) who has come from Romania to stay with her father's friend, who incidentally is also Raftaar's father's friend.
The girl has come in search of her mother, who she last saw when she was around eight years old. In Romania, she has made an enemy in Mark (Kay Kay Menon), who has killed his own father because he asked him to apologise to her. He now wants Sara killed. Humiliation is something he cannot digest.
Raftaar is Sara's guide in Goa. But the tragedy is that he does not know English and she does not understand Hindi. Enter Emily (Lara Dutta), their translator.
Prabhu Deva has all the ingredients to make this an entertainer with some genuinely funny moments, colourfully choreographed songs, some breath-taking action/fight sequences and some wonderfully goofy moments with Akshay having the time of his life.
But what really makes the movie tick is not Akshay Kumar. Surprisingly, Akshay [known for wielding the scissors at the editing table to highlight his role] takes a backseat. It is Amy Jackson and Lara Dutta who actually steal the thunder in SINGH IS BLIING.
First Amy Jackson: The girl has come a long way since her rather silly and unsure performance in EK DEEWANA THA opposite Prateik in 2012. Then, she failed to emote and neither were her sunburns hidden effectively. It made her look awkward. Speaking of awkward, director Gautham Menon was so obsessed with her derriere that he kept having umpteen slow-mo shots of her walking away. She was not graceful in her walk either.
But this is a complete turnaround of a performance. Amy as Sara is sharp, sexy and emotes reasonably well. She has a sizeable screen time and she makes the best of it matching the goofy khiladi to the 'T'. Her fight scenes are brilliantly captured.
As for Lara Dutta, she is cute beyond description. I would go one step further to say that she is the 'livewire' who keeps the laugh moments roaring. No over-the-top comedy but simple subtlety is what she lends to her role as an interpreter. Watch her impersonating Goa's golden voice Lorna in the song Bebdo
(meaning drunkard) and you will know what I mean.
Yograj Singh as Raftaar's father makes a solid impression as a stern sardar father while Pradeep Rawat as Raftaar's boss in Goa presents a powerful sardar.
All in all, the performances are controlled which gives it that feel-good factor. SINGH IS BLIING does have it loopholes in the script, but the ladies do a fab job of keeping us entertained.
Watch it for Amy Jackson and Lara Dutta. Of course, you cannot discount Akshay Kumar.