Can’t recollect of a prequel being made in Hindi cinema, that clearly makes Naam Shabana first of its kind. Baby being a great commercial success had set some expectations from Naam Shabana and they are fulfilled largely.
Naam Shabana is all about Taapsee Pannu. Film starts with telling us about her, slowly going into flashback telling a bit more about her and eventually how she landed in mission Baby. Initial part of the move is slow and offers very little substance. At some point you even regret your decision to watch this film. But as the film progress it grabs your attention and you are into the film with Taapsee Pannu. Since its the Baby prequel almost all the characters from Baby are here including Murali Sharma as Minister’s PA. It doesn’t matter for how long we see them on screen but their presence in Naam Shabana adds a lot to the film. The writing of the film is slow at places, somewhere lazy but overall strictly below average. This somehow is the major flaw of the film but then there is enough in the film to ignore this flaw.
Taapsee Pannu is a good actress but somehow in Naam Shabana her performance looks comparatively below the mark. She is great at action but strangely struggles to emote. When she cries she is just not convincing enough, when she says a dialogue with a straight face something seems missing in her performance. Apart from her no one else has a substantial part in the film but they manage to impress us. Akshay Kumar takes over in all his scenes and whistles and claps at his entry should not come as a surprise. Anupam Kher, Danny Denzongpa are refreshing in their very little screen time. Manoj Bajpai is very monotonous but he is Manoj Bajpayee the actor class apart so you enjoy seeing him do whatever he does in the film. The man who steals the show is Prithviraj. His track is very well written and the most gripping portion in the film. He literally makes you forget everything else and you enjoy Prithviraj the most, he takes the film in an altogether different zone.
Shivam Nair is strictly average with his direction. He does not brings that intensity which is required for a thriller. You are hooked to the screen but are not on the edge of your seat. Music in the film is totally unnecessary. Not even a single song adds anything to the film. The compositions are not even worth keeping in your collection. Background score on the other hand is very uneven. In initial plcaes its way too good but the mediocre scene does not do any justice to the score. It is surely over the top but it somehow helps in enjoying the film. The theme from Baby gives you a different high. Editing of the film is good but could have been better. Film takes lot of time to progress.
Overall Naam Shabana makes for a one time watch.