As the serious butt kicking, no nonsense agent, who stole the entire Kathmandu episode in Baby, this prequel was very much required to carry on the franchisee and the story of the only woman agent in an all boy gang.
Written by Neeraj Pandey and directed by Shivam Nair, somehow, somewhere there seems to have been a disconnect in what was conceived and what was executed finally.
So whilst we all know this is the back story of how Shabana became an elite agent, thrown in with cameos from all her colleagues from BABY and new boss/ handler, Manoj Bajpayee, somewhere we didn’t actually need to spend money in the cinemas to see it, since the good part was already shown in the trailers, just like few earlier films recently.
The film has a lot of questions which only act as glaring holes in the storyline: why was a novice given a top secret assignment, especially when their best agents were vela; was she so good that they could not even wait for her training to be over to send her on a mission; why did the so smart, evil arms dealer suddenly lose it all in front of Shabana?
I have a different take. Obviously the makers were trying to capitalise on the woman centric theme of the film, but then was it necessary to stoop to clichés like an abusive father, death of a submissive boyfriend? They could have given the girl a chance on pure merit rather. Also another thing, which I found silly rather than exploitative was the fact they selected her due to her religion? Tumhare religion ki wajah se hume extra edge milta hai. Humein waha access milta hai jaha otherwise impossible hota humare liye – I mean seriously?
At 148minutes, the film is too long for a spy thriller, even by Indian standards. So besides the poor writing and weak direction, the editing too suffers and makes you suffer too.
Taapsee does fantastic action sequences, but somehow is moving around with only a single expression otherwise. Danny, Anupam are purely okay. Prithviraj is good as Mikhail, but wasted. Bajpayee is purely decent, mouthing filmy dialogues about desh ke dushman etc. Akshay, although in a cameo, somehow seems to be running the show again, like Baby. But the strip fight, could have been avoided.
ALAS, WHAT A WASTE.
Does it have The Y Factor : NO
RATING : 1.5/5