'Naam Shabana' Review: Seven reasons that make the film a must watch

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Naam Shabana is a spinoff based on Taapsee Pannu's character 'Shabana Khan' from Neeraj Pandey’s 2015 blockbuster film Baby. Naam Shabana costars Manoj Bajpayee, Akshay Kumar, and Anupam Kher with both Kumar and Kher reprising their respective roles from Baby. The film is an espionage thriller that tells the story about the making of a spy

1. Taapsee Pannu’s gritty performance

Taapsee doesn't seem to pushed really hard, leaving no stone unturned to make a strong case for her character Shabana. Here is a kickass female lead who doesn't get intimidated by anybody. And she achieves it by been irresistibly feminine. Riding the success of Pink, Taapsee clearly is in no mood to throw away the momentum. Naam Shabana proves that she is here to stay.

2. Akshay Kumar’s extended cameo

Akshay is the only superstar in the country who does as many as 4-5 movies in a year and sometimes ever more. And yet his box-office report card is impeccable. He had carried Baby single-handedly on his shoulders and here in Naam Shabana his presence proves to be a great asset. His 35-minute-long extended cameo in the film should ensure that the film ends up doing solid business at the box-office.  

3. Prithviraj’s Chilling Performance

Casting Prithviraj as Tony was certainly a great choice. Not only is his a worthy nemesis to the Agency but he also brings with him a menacing, chilling quality that we often associate with great villains. Prithviraj is particularly superb in the fighting sequences and looks the part he is playing every time he appears on the screen. The end fighting sequence between him and Taapsee is an absolute treat to watch.

4. Fast-Paced Narrative

Those who used to watching Hollywood spy thrillers would really enjoy Naam Shabana thanks to its fast-paced narrative.  Also, it would serve as a good introduction  for the Hindi cinema viewers.

5. Anupam Kher’s guest appearance

Anupam Kher’s character in Baby Om Prakash Shukla was an instance success. Shukla ji already seems to enjoy a cult status, thanks to his wry, sarcastic jokes and of course his super-tech skills. In Naam Shabana, we hardly get to see him for about 10-15 minutes or so but he does succeed in making his presence felt.

6. Propagates women empowerment

Naam Shabana's biggest USP is its female action icon that Hindi cinema has been missing since the days of the Fearless Nadia. While Shabana is no Nadia (make no mistake, no one can come close to matching Hunterwali's larger than life persona), her astounding ability to take the fight to men twice her size proves that she has all the makings of a female action icon in contemporary Hindi cinema. While Shabana is not capable of carrying men on her shoulders or throwing them away like some piece of carcass, her martial arts skills (a combination of Krav Maga and Kudo) make her a force to reckon with.

 7. Twists and Turns

Naam Shabana has twists abound and barring a few predictable moments one is kept guessing throughout. The constant brewing tension is released occasionally with quick bursts of comic relief.  

Rating: 7/10

A version of this review was first published in Wittyfeed.

Naam Shabana Trailer (YouTube)

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