NAAM SHABANA Movie Review: Of Taapsee Pannu's kick ass energy and Akshay Kumar's magic

Naam Shabana
Director : Shivam Nair
Music : Rochak Kohli and Meet Bros
Lyrics : Manoj Muntashir and Kumaar
Starring : Taapsee Pannu, Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher, Danny Denzongpa, Akshay Kumar, Prithviraj Sukumaran and Madhurima Tuli

March 30, 2017 10:25:12 AM IST
Naam Shabana Review By Vishal Verma, Glamsham Editorial
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NAAM SHABANA is a spin off - a pioneer in the Bollywood world of sequels that are sometimes done right or unworthy. Starring Taapsee Pannu and Akshay Kumar in lead, the Neeraj Pandey written adventure produced by T-series in association with Cape Of Good Films, Friday Film Works, Plan C Studios and KriArj Entertainment and distributed by Reliance Entertainment banks on the popularity and success of BABY to incorporate a new story focusing on a different character/characters, all while staying in the same franchise the fans, audience know and love.

Neeraj Pandey promotes the lovable kick ass Taapsee Pannu's character Shabana from his 2015 terrific thriller BABY to the central stage in NAAM SHABANA - the first spin off in Bollywood. Whether NAAM SHABANA is successful in setting this new trend by supplying some new narratives worth expanding that invigorates the franchises and also builds some magic on its own. Let's find out.


Sadly, Neeraj Pandey's plot about how Shabana (Taapsee Pannu) a Mumbai girl with a dark past gets hand-picked to join an intelligence group as an undercover agent/spy that has extraordinary powers to eliminate the enemies of the country lacks the sting and patriotisms which we felt in BABY, but as an independent film NAAM SHABANA is an enjoyable action packed thriller that helps Taapsee Pannu up her ante as an action hero. Gosh! We wished the movie could have done the same in Bollywood action/spy/thriller genre and set a bench mark.

Blame it on the easy going approach by Neeraj Pandey in his scripting which surprisingly is not interested in introducing the special powers of Shabana and what makes her so different that the special intelligence agency is following her like a spy for more than a year and when Shabana is finally roped in, the Chief played by Manoj Bajpayee says, ''Women are born spies'' (oh come on.. we expected much much better and solid reason).

However, the flaws of Neeraj Pandey's overwhelmingly make believe but crowd pleasing script is overcome to an observing and engaging extent by Shivam Nair's narration that holds the audience interest. The first half is terrific and Akshay Kumar's entry is rightly planned.

Shivam Nair shows good improvement after AHISTA AHISTA, MAHARATHI and BHAAG JOHNNY with this thriller. The second half however lacks the required adrenaline rush and is marred by predictability and noticeable cinematic liberties. However, the movie in the end somehow manages to give an ode to woman power and makes it a decent one time watch.

We have chosen not to divulge much from the plot to avoid the spoilers tag and continue to say that the movie showcases some terrific acts by its lead making it a definite crowd pleaser and a must for Akshay and Taapsee fandom around the world.

Taapsee Pannu is solid, energetic and completely immersed in her role and gives a stand out performance after her brilliant performance in PINK. The actress is damn lucky to bag this dream role and prove her mettle where Bollywood icon of fitness and real martial art expert like Akshay Kumar comes in a 'special' appearance; the girl nails it to the hilt and kicks some serious butts. Bravo. Well done.

Akshay Kumar charms his way in the film with his magic and makes his fans happy in a 'special' appearance that is truly special.

Manoj Bajpayee is incredible and south star Prithviraj Sukumaran impresses with his evil menace. Anupam Kher, Danny Denzongpa and Murli Sharma successfully provide the 'BABY' nostalgia to a good effect. Veteran actor Virendra Saxena is fantastic.

Production values are of highest standards and technically it's a polished effort. Sudheer Palsane's cinematography is eye candy. Praveen Kathikuloth's editing is sharp. Action by Cyril Raffaelli and Abbas Ali Mughal is entertaining.

Music by Rochak Kohli, Meet Bros goes with the flow, 'jubi jubi' remix is used well and it sets the right momentum. Sanjoy Chaudhury's background is okay it could have been better.

All said and done, NAAM SHABANA may not have an innovative plot but it's a definite crowd pleaser. The makers have probably planned this probable money spinner banking on the popularity of their previous brilliant BABY and the movie doesn't disappoint in entertaining the action thriller hungry souls of Bollywood and also gives a soothing nostalgia to the diehard BABY enthusiast. NAAM SHABANA is a decent bahana (reason) for Bollywood makers to start thinking on the spin off genre and churn some more interesting twist.

(an extra for pioneering the concept of spin offs, Taapsee Pannu's outstanding act and Akshay Kumar's magical charm)

 Naam Shabana Review Rating : 
3.5/5 stars

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