One line Review: Strong plot and action sequences coupled with commendable performances by the leads.
Positive Points: The action sequences are carved and shot amazingly. It is a delight to see Taapsee fight the baddies straight up their faces. The film is intriguing in parts.
Negative Points: The film is a bit too stretched with the extended backstory shown in the first half. The length is definitely dragged.
Plot: Shabana (Taapsee Pannu), a college student and a Kudo player is a short tempered, fierce girl with a terrible past. One evening, while returning home from a dinner date with her lover, they encounter a gang of drunkard loafers who indulge into eve-teasing. While trying to fight the eve- teasers, her boyfriend gets killed. The already wounded Shabana now, is restless to find and kill the murderers. After receiving no help from the Police, she gets a call from a secret agency.
Shabana is offered help with regard to finding the murderers and in return she is asked to work with the agency. Then begins Shabana’s journey from a college girl to a trained spy and her work for the country. She is soon assigned the responsibility to assassin the arms and trafficking honcho Mikhail who is disguised as Tony (Prithviraj Sukumaran). She is under the leadership of the agency’s best officers Ajay (Akshay Kumar) and Shukla (Anupam Kher). This deadly mission relies on the shoulders of Shabana. Will she able to accomplish the task to safeguard the country?
Direction and other Technical Aspects: Shivam Nair’s directorial narrates the story of a strong headed young girl who turns into a trained spy. While the basic concept of the plot is refreshing, the execution portrays some loopholes. The character building for each actor is done aptly accept for Akshay Kumar’s impromptu appearance. The film is gripping in parts. Overall the film is positive and impactful. Although, many will make references and keep expectations from this film after watching Baby. But, the story is a fresh one and need not be compared to Baby or any other movie. If watched with no presumptions, the film is a likable one. Though, several aspects like dialogues and other sequences lack the punch. The songs seem to increase the length of the film which is again a downside. The action scenes are beautifully choreographed and shot.
Performances: Taapsee Pannu is the star of the film. She shines in both emotional as well as tough scenes. The actress is very impressive when it comes to action. Her action stint is a delight to watch. Also, she looks gorgeous in minimal and no make up avatar throughout the film. Taapsee is a supremely talented actor and delivers every scene with utmost sincerity.
Akshay Kumar’s presence in the film is a refreshing change. His extended cameo works in favour of the film though his impromptu appearances leave a big question mark.
Manoj Bajpai has a limited role in the film in which he gleams as an actor. He pulls off his small role really well, although more of his interesting dialogue-baazi would have been appreciated.
Anupam Kher also has a special cameo and the veteran star does complete justice to his part.
The main antagonist Prithviraj Sukumaran is average in his performance and did not seem as gruesome due to his minimal role.
The lead as well as supporting actors carry the film on their able shoulders.
Music: The songs are passable while the background score is good.
Final Verdict: Naam Shabana is an action-packed thriller that sums up for a one time watch.