Saturday, December 24, 2011

Phil goes Bollywood: Phil watches SINGH IS KINNG (2008)-December 21, 2011

Welcome back to my Bollywood adventures! Tonight's film came to me as recommendation form one of my buyers from work. Happily to receive his list of favorites (one of them was JAB WE MET), his second pick for me was SINGH IS KINNG, a slapstick comedy about mobsters, family, and falling in love with your soul mate who's engaged to the wrong guy.

Theatrical Indian Movie Poster (2008)
Happy Singh (Akshay Kumar) lives in a small village called Panchayat in Punjab. Even though he means well (by being kind and helpful to others), he ends up causing more harm than good. But when the community gets news that one of their residents, Lakhanpal Singh, is an underworld don in Australia, they chose Happy to counsel him, but the main reason is so to get rid of him. Due to a mix-up, both Happy and his escort end up in Egypt, where he meets Sonia (Katrina Kaik), a criminologist who prefers to have criminals killed than reformed. Both friends do find their way to Australia, where they locate Lakhanpal (Sonu Sood), but he isn't to kind of them so he sends them away. Luckily Happy befriends a boutique owner and end up living in her house.When rival goons attack Lakhanpal, Happy rescues him, and gets him hospitalized. Lakhanpal does recover, but is paralyzed. His goons comically misunderstand that he wants Happy to be Don, and he undergoes a transformation and moves in to live a wealthy lifestyle in Lakhanpal's mansion. When the boutique owner's daughter returns home along with her fiancé Punit, Happy plans a charade to make her believe that the mansion belongs to her. However Happy's life is turned upside down when the daughter turns out to be Sonia herself. Knowing of Sonia's dislike for criminals, he will have no option but to plan a lavish wedding for her, while rival gangsters, and even some of Lakhanpal's goons, plan to get rid of him.

While the film tries to implore several different genres (action, comedy, romance and gangster films), the execution of all these ingredients doesn't blend fully. While Kumar and Kaik have great chemistry together (both starred in 2007's NAMASTEY LONDON), the film is a little all over the place and doesn't gel altogether. Now the film isn't a bad film: it contains some great and catchy songs and the dancing is incredible. My favorite song/dance scene is when they are in Egypt and we see them sing and dance among the ruins of the pyramids. To me this was entertaining because we see two different cultures acknowledging one another. Also there are some fine acting in the film, but to me, it felt a little off. It was a slapstick comedy with not much slapstick in it. It was a romance film that had it but wasn't too believable. It had the rules of a gangster film: a family with a Godfather who controls everything, his kids and goons serve him without question, loyalty and family are a must. And director Anees Bazmee keep the film light, fun, and entertaining, it felt flat. Maybe it's me. Maybe because I've watched so many Bollywood films as of late, the previous film all had elements to them that made me stand up and take notice. With this film, I didn't really care. Yes it has the happy ending like most films in Bollywood, but it was anticlimactic.

Also known as S.I.K. the film was released to theaters in India on August 8, 2008. The film did very well at the boxoffice (earning $23.73 million at the boxoffice on a budget of $9.5 million). It is the 16th highest grossing film in India at themoment. It also did record breaking business in Delhi, Rajasthan and East Punjab whereas the rest of India it did good business. Here in North America it grossed $1.1 million in the first weekend while over in the UK, it grossed approximately $1 million.

SINGH IS KINNG isn't a bad film, nor is it a good film. It's just there. Whether I like it or not, you should watch the film for yourself as come up with your own conclusion. I encourage all of you out there to have your own opinions. I'd like to hear them.

SINGH IS KINNG is currently available on DVD and can be purchased at your local retailer or at the Amazon website. To purchase a copy visit

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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