They say you should write what you know, and I know plenty about Netflix. For example, I know it’s my favorite thing since microwave popcorn. Its beauty is two-fold: unpredictability and accessibility. So the most recent episode of this season’s hit show might not be online, but you can find everything from documentaries to your favorite 90s sitcom and watch it as fast as your internet connection will allow.
Hidden beneath the typical insta-queu fare are also some hidden gems that you might not happen upon except by happy accident. That was the case with this week’s pick: Singham.
Singham is a 2011 Bollywood action movie, which sounds intriguing enough even before the first physics-defying fight scene. It’s the story of the honorable and gloriously-mustachioed Bajirao Singham, a cop who fights police corruption and crooked politicians with the swift fist of justice. The film opens with the suicide of a police officer framed for taking bribes, but don’t be fooled—this movie isn’t some grim exploration of morality in a flawed judicial system. Singham is an intentionally campy good vs. evil story sprinkled with slow-motion car flips, fight scenes so silly they’re practically slapstick and a few random-but-beautifully shot musical sequences.
And in case you thought this movie didn’t have everything, there’s even a romance between Inspector Singham and Kavya, the mischievous daughter of an important business man from Singham’s village. I’ll be frank: I tend to roll my eyes at these movie love stories that appear to develop over less than a week. Yet somehow, when Singham admitted his love to Kavya after a couple days and one love song, I found myself squealing with delight instead of smacking my forehead in disgust.
Granted, this movie isn’t for everyone. Unless you’re fluent in Hindi you’ll be reliant on subtitles for the entire, intimidating two and a half hours, and there are a few jokes that are lost in translation. Some scenes are just plain silly, like when our hero rips a light post from its stand to confront a group of the villain’s henchmen. Singham leaves realism at the door, but I can’t oversell how genuinely I enjoyed this film. It manages to be a goofy comedy, manly action movie and romantic musical all at the same time. I may or may not be listening to the soundtrack on iTunes as I write.
So if you’re new to Bollywood or just looking for something to watch for a few hours when you should be doing homework, I’d definitely recommend Singham. I went in expecting to laugh at a cheesy, poorly made throw-away flick, and instead I got one of my new favorite movies.