3 out of 5 (60%) reviewers would recommend
Taapsee Pannu, Manoj Bajpayee, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Akshay Kumar (special appearance), Anupam Kher
Naam Shabana is an upcoming 2017 Indian action spy thriller film directed by Shivam Nair and produced by Neeraj Pandey and Shital Bhatia under the Friday Filmworks banner. The film is a spin-off to Taapsee's character from the 2015 film Baby.
Mar 31, 2017
Shabana Khan (Taapsee) is the special agent who is entrusted the task of assassinating a deadly arms dealer(Prithviraj) by the Indian Intelligence Agencies.
Blame this prequel on the media. Most critics who saw Neeraj Pandey's action-drama, Baby (2015) praised agent,Shabana's cameo in it. Her brisk action-sequence in a Kathmandu hotel room, when accompanying Ajay Singh (Akshay Kumar) on a mission, provided the required adrenaline-rush. Taking the praise to their heart, this time around, the makers dedicated 148 mins, (really?) to the spunky agent. Sorry, but the running time is the film's first inherent flaw. Frankly, Shabana shone in Baby because she was in a cameo. Someone missed the point, guys. That be as it may, empowering women has merit. So we will go along with the maker's thought process in giving us this offering. Only wish Pandey (credited with story-screenplay-dialogues) hadn't over-simplified proceedings. Here, the men (Manoj Bajpayee,Akshay (cameo) and other characters from Baby) are almost spoon-feeding Shabana. Such contrivances apart,when viewed as a stand-alone film, Shabana has some definite merit. Straight away it reminds you how women are no longer helpless when teased by a bunch of drunken louts; or when brushed against accidentally in crowded spaces. They have enough and more in their DNA to give back as good as they get. Also a quick look at Shabana's back-story. Growing up she was scarred by an alcoholic father, who abused her mother. And she has spent time in a juvenile correction facility for accidentally killing her father. Instead of allowing this to mar her future, Shabana moulds herself differently from your average Seeta,Salma or Suzy. The first half indulges the protagonist and her love interest, Jai too much. It is only post-intermission, especially the last 35 minutes in which proceedings pick up. Sticking to a typical-action drama narrative that jumps from Mumbai to Goa, Vienna to Kuala Lumpur, with the arms dealer and the ISI agents playing a cat-and-mouse game, the film, is more an escapist fare than a realistic one. Taapsee delivers some knockout punches and is sincere enough. Manoj is brilliant, though he has just dialogue-baazi and no action to support him. As for Akshay, he is happy to lend his superstar-presence and bask in the girl power. So go ahead and salute his spirit.
Shabana Khan (Taapsee Pannu) and her mother live in a middle class area in Mumbai. They are extremely close. Shabana shares all her secrets with her mother. She also goes to college and attends wrestling and kick-boxing training. She is a bright student. Her friend in college, Jai (Taheer Shabbir Mithaiwala), is attracted to her. On his birthday, he asks Shabana to go to dinner with him. She agrees. After Jai and Shabana finish dinner, they are riding back on his motorbike, when an open jeep with some drunken boys stops ahead of them forcing the couple to get off their bike. Shabana, who is a brave girl, goes ahead and tries to defend herself against the boys who are misbehaving. Jai stays behind. During the fracas, one of the boys attacks Jai with a baseball racket and kills him. Then the cops and the ambulance comes on the scene. The miscreants run away. Shabana accompanies Jai to the hospital,where he dies. She is heartbroken. Jai's mother blames her for the death. The elderly lady slaps Shabana. Shabana tries her level best to get to the bottom of the case. She wants to track the culprits and bring them to task. However, they seem to have disappeared from the face of the earth. One day she gets a call from a mystery man (Manoj Bajpayee) who tells her that he can help her get even with the boys who killed Jai. The mystery caller also tells her that after her personal mission is accomplished, she has to do some work for him. Shabana agrees. She goes to Goa, traces the whereabouts of Jai's killers and kills the main guy. She may have been caught in a situation but is rescued by Ajay (Akshay Kumar) and taken safely back to Mumbai. In Mumbai Shabana is now told by the mystery caller that she has been chosen by the Intelligence Agencies to eliminate a dreaded arms killer, Tony (Prithviraj Sukumaran). Shabana undergoes several forms of training and then gets ready to travel to Malaysia to kill Tony. Some other Intelligence agency guys also try to kill Tony but they fail. Shabana is the final hope. She reaches Kuala Lumpur and here she meets special agent Ajay. Both of them lay a plan to go to the hospital where Tony is supposed to undergo a plastic surgery to change his looks.
Taapsee Pannu's film 'Naam Shabana' grossed Rs 6 crore on its first Saturday taking its total to Rs 10.75 crore, as reported by Boxofficeindia.com. The film that stars the entire 'Baby' cast including Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Kay Kay Menon, Rana Daggubati, Danny Denzongpa besides new entrants Manoj Bajpayee and Prithviraj Sukumaran had opened at Rs 4.75 crore. According to the producers, 'Naam Shabana' minted Rs 6.37 crore on Saturday taking the cumulative total to Rs 11.49 crore. Directed by Shivam Nair, 'Naam Shabana' marks to be Hindi cinema's first spin off, a concept that is widely explored in the west. Despite the presence of the huge star-cast including Akshay Kumar,the film has the spotlight on Taapsee who plays a spy in the film. The actress was trained in mixed martial arts and Kudo along with Krav Maga for her role in the film.