After a month-long sustained campaign on social media, the first official trailer of 'Gabbar Is Back' was released on Monday evening. Starring Akshay Kumar, the makers have been promoting the film by putting out teasers for a few days, with Kumar's voice imitating the delivery and cadence of one of Hindi cinema's most iconic villains, dacoit Gabbar Singh (played by the late Amjad Khan) from Ramesh Sippy's 'Sholay' (1975).
Also starring Shruti Haasan, Gabbar Is Back looks like a clear attempt to cash in on the popularity of the character by subverting it somewhat. From this trailer, it looks evident that this Gabbar, rather than being a villain, is a vigilante who is fighting corruption. His opening line — '50 50 kos door jab koi rishwat leta hai, toh sab kethe hain mat le, warna Gabbar aa jaayega' — is a direct reference to one of Sholay's most famous scenes.
However, the concoction looks uneasy, combined as it is with the worst of present-day, Southern film-industry aesthetics. The action scenes look forced and familiar, while the portrayal of Gabbar as some sort of real-life superhero who is also a goody-two-shoes may be too hard to swallow for die-hard fans of the character.
Watch the trailer below.