Release Date: March 31, 2017
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Manoj Bajpayee, Taapsee Pannu, Prithviraj Sukumaran
Director: Shivam Nair
Genre: Action, Crime, Mystery
Duration: 2 hours 27 minutes
Prequels carry the risk of running into skewed perceptions, as most people tend to compare it with the original. As prequels go, Naam Shabana came with great expectations and the response from the audience has been a mixed bag. To those who could see Naam Shabana as an individual offering felt delighted whereas the ones carrying past baggage did not like it as much as they liked the original movie ‘Baby’.
If you watched Baby (2015), you may know Shabana (Taapsee), who did a brilliant cameo in the movie. Now, it’s the prequel Naam Shabana, which is focused exclusively on Shabana’s story. The movie tracks her life, all the way from her childhood to the time she grows up and transforms into a cold-blooded, merciless assassin. There’s also the part where love blossoms for Shabana, which reveals her delicate side. However, the crux of the movie relates to the secret assignment that Shabana is entrusted with, while working as a special agent. The movie picks up pace, as Shabana chases dangerous arms dealer (Prithviraj) across half the globe in order to assassinate him, as ordered by Indian Intelligence agencies.
Taapsee Pannu has effectively displayed all the shades required for her role – someone who carries unpleasant memories of the past where one had to deal with an alcoholic father who abused her mother; the promise of love, which blossoms in youth; and the transformation into a true human being who is relentless in the pursuit of goals assigned to them. All other actors have also done well, including Akshay Kumar, who plays a cameo in the movie.
If you are going to watch this, go with an open mind, as the movie has its own merits.