When Gabbar Singh enters the lawless village of Kondaveedu, the villain stops his criminal activities and instead starts living in perpetual terror. It is because our hero turns a self-styled law-breaker himself, hating to be called a hero and loving to describe himself a villain, ever so trigger-happy from the word go, living up to the image of 'All-India Hyper Singh' every bit. With due respect to Salman Khan and at the risk of offending his fans, let us say this: If Sallu bhai watches Pawan Kalyan in Gabbar Singh, he might be tempted to remake this movie! In the last decade, only one director knew how to bring out the innate excellence in the actor - that is Vishnuvardhan, who helped Pawan deliver a restrained and mature performance in Panjaa. Six months after that neat act remained under-rated, Harish Shankar unleashes a different Pawan, every inch new, domineering and majestically massy. In his career's first full-fledged mass entertainer, Pawan bottles up arrogance, style and class in the way he walks, talks or expresses.
For this film, everything seems to have fallen in place. From the dialogues to the cinematography, music and the dances, everything helps the hero deliver a dekko acting output that promises to create Box Office history. Jayanan Vincent's camera stands at the right range to capture the hero and his terrifying policing. Harish puts the right words into his hero's mouth from the first scene. "Peru, gothram cheppadaaniki nenaimainaa gullo poojaarinaa", he poses before bashing up the bandits. Continuing the match, he says, "Charitra gurinchi, chetta buttala gurinchi nenu aalochinchanu." And when it is songs time, Pawan comes across as a revelation. Watch out for the title track and Pilla number, these songs will leave you spell-bounded.
Drawing from the original, the movie offers a package of masala heroism, interesting sentiment, romance and zealous villainism, everything in the right proportions. It is all about how a self-styled CI becomes the saviour by taking on the blood-sucking villain, Siddappa Naidu (Abhimanyu Singh). He undermines Naidu's hold on the market, and threatens to destroy his bastion. Left with no option, Naidu desperately tries to enter politics so that he can tame the cop, but this causes discomfiture to Rao Ramesh, a Minister, who glorifies our hero, saying, "Kondaru dabbulu unna intlo pudatharu. Kondaru power unna intlo pudatharu. Gabbar Singh following tho puttadu."
Cut to the second half, we know that Gabbar Singh has been on good terms with the Minister, who now wants to finish Naidu and so gives a free hand to the cop. Before long, the hero enters the party, dances with the chic before spoiling the villain's 'Kevvu Keka' moment.
In its colourful and boisterous feel, the film means oomph for the front benchers. Pawan makes his way into their hearts without speaking vulgar dialogues or spouting self-massaging lines. He looks mellowed, shows innovation in dialogue delivery, facial expressions and, above all, the dances. He strikes a beautiful chemistry with Shruthi Hassan, gets the emotions right in the scenes with Nagineedu and Suhasini, and, of course, shows a good comic timing with Ali.
As for Shruthi, she gets under the skin of the character and looks sparkling in the duets. May the 'Iron Leg' tag be removed forever.
Abhimanyu Singh gets good space and he does justice to his role. Ajay and Nagineedu are at their usual best, while it is vintage Suhasini all the way. Rao Ramesh's body language and baritone fit his role of a politician. 'Happy Days' Gayathri as the heroine's buddy does a good job. While Ali doesn't seem to be important, Brahmanandam as 'Recovery' Ranjith Kumar is just ok. Kota is convincing. Malaika Arora Khan sizzles the screen when she comes dancing.
Technically, Jayanan Vincent's cinematography, Brahma Kadali's art work (which makes the proceedings look full of pep), and Ram-Lakshman's fights (that are neither lengthy nor ridiculously impossible), and, not to forget, DSP's superb music and BG, all work in the film's favour.
All in all, GS is a treat to Pawan's fans, but it has not been made for the first week audience alone. This one will be a genuine hit, registering repeat audience for sure.
Released on: 11th May, 2012