Let's be fair here - we all know that Ranveer Singh's Simmba was to have a cameo from Ajay Devgn's Bajirao Singham. That news was broken months ago. Rohit Shetty, who has directed both Singham and Simmba, did a smart thing to make a connection between the two movies. He set Simmba's story in the same universe as Singham, a fact that was set in the first few frames of the Simmba trailer. It is a very innovative idea for a Bollywood film, and shows that our filmmakers can also play with universe-building. But then, this is Bollywood and we don't do things without trumpeting about it. So they had to throw in an Ajay Devgn cameo towards the end. Ah well! Simmba Trailer: Ranveer Singh and Sara Ali Khan's Cop Film Gives Off Major Singham Blues, With a Spoilerish Ajay Devgn Cameo Thrown In Too - Watch Video.
The idea of making Simmba a sort of Singham spinoff is a good idea to make sense of the many similarities between both the films, right from the feel to how similar the protagonists look. It also gives the promise that we can get a future movie featuring both Simmba and Singham (which depends on how well Simmba performs at the box office). An exciting idea for sure! Ranveer Singh's Simmba, Shah Rukh Khan's Zero- 7 Movie Trailers That Ruined Cameos For Us.
Universe-building is a very cool idea, made very popular with Marvel with its cinematic universe, that had panned over 20 movies to date. The Singham-Simmba universe is a very novel attempt in Bollywood though we have teased with the idea of universe-building before. Like Rahul and little Anjali of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai turning up in Salman Khan's Har Dil Pyar Karega, or Shakti Kapoor playing Mr India's Mogambo's nephew in Andaz Apna Apna. Or Rajinikanth's Chitti turning up in Shah Rukh Khan's Ra.One.
However, building a universe should be smartly done, woven subtly into the narrative, like with the MCU or M Night Shyamalan surprised us with a Unbreakable universe by having a secret cameo of Bruce Willis in last year's Split, which is now giving us interesting superhero flick in the upcoming Glass. Glass Trailer: Bruce Willis Faces The Dangerous Teamup of James McAvoy and Samuel L Jackson in This Unusual Superhero Film - Watch Video.
But when the universe-building is heavily used in the promotions like they did with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Tom Cruise's The Mummy etc, it doesn't go down really with the audience.
So I have no issue with Rohit Shetty wanting to expand the universe of Singham with Simmba, with the first few frames establishing it nicely. The argument here is whether you really need to add that Ajay Devgn cameo in the end. There is no doubt that it is the best part about trailer, which has little else to stand out on its own. But that cameo also does a lot of damage to the confidence of a viewer for its lead star, Ranveer Singh.
This is Ranveer Singh's first attempt to play a masala hero. However, by bringing a senior star like Devgn and making Simmba a Singham clone, the makers are giving out vibes that they are not exactly confident with Ranveer Singh pulling off the film on his own, and this is a man who was the best part about this year's Rs 300 crore hit, Padmaavat. To add insult to the injury, the Ajay Devgn scene had him save Ranveer's Simmba from getting killed!
Like I said before, I am all for a Singham-Simmba crossover, but the universe-building should have been rather hinted at, instead of being on your face. But then we are talking about Rohit Shetty here, and the man is not exactly known for subtleties in his movies.
Also, while we are at it, which Singham are we going to see in Simmba? The one from the first film or the one in Singham Returns? After all, both the movies had behaved as if they are two different entities, instead of Singham Returns being a proper follow-up!
So what do you say, readers, did Ajay Devgn's cameo take away the spotlight from Ranveer Singh in the Simmba trailer? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
(The opinions expressed in the above article are of the author and do not reflect the stand or position of LatestLY.)