After Pink, Taapsee Pannu has returned to the big screen with yet another unequivocally strong woman in ‘Naam Shabana’. The movie tells about the events before the special agent Shabana Khan joins the team Baby. The story commences with a daylight murder of two Indian secret agents, followed by the appearance of a bold-brat Kudo champion girl, Shabana Khan (Taapsee Pannu) who hails from Mumbai and lives with her mother. She has a disturbed past which upon her boyfriend, Jai’s (Taher Shabbir Mithaiwala) insistence, tells that she was arrested by the juvenile court for killing her abusive and alcoholic father. After a series of incidences, Shabana was victimized by a group of guys and they started eve-teasing her. But sadly, Jai gets killed while trying to save her. Learning that her case is getting delayed day-by-day, she gets frustrated. But, she got a ray of hope unconventionally when a secret agent Ranveer (Manoj Bajpayee) calls her and promises to help. In return, she becomes a secret RAW agent and is trained tremendously for her new avatar. The mission is “national security at any cost”. She is given a task to kill a nefarious guy Tony aka Michael (Prithviraj Sukumaran), who deals with drugs, flesh and arms illegally in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. To help her in the mission Ranveer has sent his best team comprising of Ajay Singh Rajput (Akshay Kumar) and Om Prakash Shukla (Anupam Kher). Together, they successfully complete the mission and also she avenges Jai’s death.
The first and the foremost, a “prequel” concept is pretty much a novice idea in Bollywood, and the director Shivam Nair has pulled it off with amazing style. We loved ‘Baby’ either, even though Taapsee’s appearance in the film was not much, but she did leave an impression amongst the critics as well as the audiences. Undoubtedly, Taapsee gave a sharp performance as an action star and you will be amazed to see her flawless act. Akshay Kumar makes a great extended cameo appearance in the movie with some best chosen dialogues and action sequences. The scenes in the movie are so realistic that it will make you question that things can happen to anyone at any time.
Naam Shabana has some plot-holes as well. Agreed that, Taapsee as Shabana Khan was fierce and brave, but she needs to re-fine her acting skills to essay both emotional as well as bold characters at the same time. The relationship of Shabana and Jai wasn’t very clear, and it could have enhanced. Also, Prithviraj as the despicable villain was pretty much wasted as he wasn’t given space to explore his role.
Shivam Nair was very confident to portray Shabana’s story and he has done a marvelous job. He has assembled a great cast and every one of them performed to their best levels. The action sequences were boldly crafted and Taapsee’s training will really give you chills. But the only part which might be a spoilsport is that you’ll see a lot of disconnection in a few scenes and the easily predictable climax.
The background music created by Rochak Kohli and Meet Bros is pretty average, but there are no chartbusters to remember as such. On the other hand, the background score given by Sanjoy Chaudhry accentuated the story and narration.
Much like Baby, Naam Shabana also engages you with its crisp storyline and knock-out punches. The heavy background music and fewer dialogues will bind you throughout the 2 hours 28 minutes. The two undisputed heroes of the film — Taapsee Pannu and Manoj Bajpayee share a very intellectual chemistry. Together they set to save their nation. Ek agenda hai — National security and that’s what is the ultimate aim of Shabana. Manoj Bajpayee is simply fantastic and Taapsee Pannu will take your heart away with her spotlessly stellar acting and martial arts. Although, you will see a few repetitions here and there from the scenes of ‘Baby’, but watch the movie for all the good reasons and get inspired by the women like Shabana Khan.
Bollypedia rating – 2.5/ 5 stars