Jass Grewal

Movie Review
Saab Bahadur:Suspense-thriller? Really?

Saab Bahadur is a suspense thriller! Pardon me, but I am just asking - is Saab Bahadur a suspense thriller? Perhaps even the writer Jass Grewal and Director Amrit Raj Chadha don’t know exactly. 
Set in 90’s, Saab Bahadur is the story of a stylish cop Kuldeep Singh (Ammy Virk), a diehard fan of suspense thriller pulp fiction, a college time Bhangra artist and now the officer in-charge of a police post in a village. He is known as Saab Bahadur. But no one knows what bahaduri (daring) he has done. Suddenly this peaceful village gets into turmoil when one after another; four dead bodies are found at different points. Saab Bahadur starts the investigation in his unique yet fun style. How the mystery behind the murders is solved, forms the rest of the story.
Story by Jass Grewal is a big disappointment this time. A little introductory comedy, four murders, some more fun (read investigation), more comedy, showing off that they are enjoying their time (mango munching scene) and doing nothing to solve the cases. Being aware that Saab Bahadur has the style of James Bond and Chacha Chaudary’s computer se bhi tez dimaag (brain faster than computers); he needs no leg work to resolve the mysteries. Therefore, Saab Bahadur miraculously gets all the hints and clues just before the climax. Then comes the long narration of confessions by the murderers and another long narration by Saab Bahadur revealing how he solved the ‘densely mysterious’ murders. Finally, mandatory end credits roll along with a promotional song. And you exclaim, ‘Wow! I have dared to watch the whole film in one go’. Audiences are real Saab Bahadurs who are daring to watch this film in cinema.
Jass Grewal along with Gurpreet Singh Phaleri has written, for this much proclaimed first Punjabi suspense thriller, a linear screenplay, which turns out to be a plainly lame affair. There are no such twists and turns which make you feel that you are watching a suspense thriller. There are no connected sequences to give you jaw dropping moments. The whole concept is completely riding on the brand value of Ammy Virk, which miserably fails to uplift the story. Jatinder Lall’s dialogues are just passable. 
Director Amrit Raj Chandha tries to add thrill by background score but Surinder Sodhi’s up to the mark work could not help him much in the absence of a tight screenplay. Chadha leaves many strings loose throughout the narrative; thinking he will connect them all in the culminating narrations, which goes against the whole premise. Even he forgets to connect an important string related female protagonist in the end. Thus Preet Kanwal’s debut gets condensed into a cameo role. The biggest downside of the Chadha’s direction is his conviction to narrate the story instead of making it happen through actions. 
Ammy Virk looks over confident as Saab Bahadur perhaps due to the bumper success of his earlier films. As a man in uniform he looks stylish, but has a loose grip on the character of a sharp police officer. In supporting cast Rana Ranbir as police constable and Jaswinder Bhalla as munshi (record keeper) is loud. Seema Kaushal and Sardar Sohi one again shine in their smaller antagonist avatars. The director deserves the applause at least for not adding songs in the screenplay. Sandeep Patil creates an appropriate atmosphere with his lens. Editor Bharat Singh Rawat had a little scope to cope up with randomly scattered reels.  
I think the audience has taken the promotional punch line ‘Saab Bahadar will lodge an FIR on 26th May’ much seriously, thus they are trying to avoid all the routes directed towards him.  If you are still daring to encounter him head on, don’t forget to unfasten the seat belts of your brain. 

   Deep Jagdeep Singh

Deep Jagdeep Singh is a freelance journalist, Screenwriter and a Lyricist. http://www.facebook.com/deepjagdeepsingh.

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