Rohit Shetty's Extended Cinematic Universe may just see a crossover between Simmba, Singham and Golmaal

Pratishruti Ganguly

December 06, 2018 16:45:05 IST

The first song from Rohit Shetty's upcoming cop drama Simmba may have been described by the makers as yet-another-remake-of-a -'90s-hit-number, but for millennials who relate more to "You must have done these things if you are a '90s kid' listicles than with other human beings, Ranveer Singh and Sara Ali Khan's version of 'Aankh Maare' is 50 shades of nostalgia. Whether it be those Mithun-Govinda dance moves, or those Kumar Sanu vocals or the cameo by the good ol' Golmaal boys, the newest version 'Aankh Maare' is  yet another testament to Shetty's incredible talent to sell an old wine in a new bottle.

The cast of Golmaal in Simmba's Aankh Maare. YouTube screengrab

The cast of Golmaal in Simmba's Aankh Maare. YouTube screengrab

The cameo by the Golmaal cast, perhaps more than anything, also solidifies the theory of a crossover project from the Rohit Shetty Cinematic Extended Universe.

For months, rumours have been abuzz that Shetty's Simmba is going to be a crossover action drama franchise that will establish Singh's character in the first film as Sangram Bhalerao and then will continue the series as a buddy cop film, with Ajay Devgn's Bajirao Singham by Singh's side.

Ajay Devgn (left) and Ranveer Singh in Simmba trailer. YouTube screengrab

Ajay Devgn (left) and Ranveer Singh in Simmba trailer. YouTube screengrab

The opening sequence of the Simmba trailer, unveiled on Monday, showed Devgn's police avatar beating enemies to a pulp. In another part of Shivgarh (where both the films are set) is shown a young boy who wants to be like Singham. Cut to several years later, and the black and white exposition scene is saturated with colour, as the now-grown up man (Ranveer) enters the frame in slow-mo. Two minutes into the trailer, when you are half-assured that Singham's character was only introduced into the film to perhaps contextualise it, the theme music of the Ajay Devgn cop franchise stars playing in the background, and a familiar jeep breaks into the scene, as Devgn steps out of the vehicle, ready to aid Simmba in some butt kicking.

Posters opf Singham Returns and Simmba

Posters opf Singham Returns and Simmba

As a Shetty loyalist and a subsequent admirer of larger-than-life colour schemes, one cannot help but notice the similarity between Singham and Simmba as far as their posters are concerned. The posters of both the Singham movies and Simmba use the khakhee and red combination and feature the protagonist at the centre, which might further bolster the theory that a crossover project was impending, if one discounts the thematic correspondence between the films (both are cop dramas, and khakhee is the colour of Indian's police uniform).

With the release of the trailer, Twitterati almost went into a frenzy, some complaining about this hackneyed style of film-making, some lauding Shetty for his Marvel-esque Easter egg references. However, this is not the first time the Shetty has employed such meta-theatrical devices. Chennai Express was one such film that was replete in references, albeit from other filmmaker's works, most notably from Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Case in point: SRK's final words as a voiceover just before the end credits are: “Kyunki dilwale dulhaniya le jaayenge.”

Ajay Devgn doing the signature Singham step in Singham Returns (lefdt) and Golmaal Again. YouTube screengrab

Ajay Devgn doing the signature Singham step in Singham Returns (lefdt) and Golmaal Again. YouTube screengrab

The fourth instalment of his Golmaal franchise, Golmaal Again, saw Devgn breaking into the signature step from Singham during the title track, only to be reminded by his co-actors that he was in a different film. Hence, 'Aankh Maari'  almost seems to be a point of culmination (for now, of course) for Shetty's cinematic world, complete with the cameos by the Golmaal boys Arshad Warsi (who starred in the original song), Shreyas Talpade, Tusshar Kapoor and Kunal Kemmu.

This is probably the first time that Bollywood has stepped into the crossover arena. Shetty, with a filmography consisting of flamboyant money-spinners, is capitalising on the iconic characters that he has created in the past to weave a story that has all the elements, including action, comedy, drama and the opportunity to watch two leading heroes from different generations share the screen space.

Updated Date: Dec 06, 2018 17:01 PM