Writing is an intricate process. It’s like ironing. One goes over a piece, a script, a dialogue, a setting multiple times to get rid of the wrinkles.

This is not to say that Jimmy Shergill’s latest film Collar Bomb is a badly written screenplay. If you’re feeling lazy and you’re not in the mood for something classic which leaves you in a reflective mood, then this could be a weekend watch.

At the core of the screenplay is the story of a cop (Jimmy Shergill as Manoj Hesi) who’s held in high regard but his past is playing catch up with him. We surely can’t say it’s a new concept for it’s an oft repeated formula, straight out of Bollywood’s laboratory.

Shergill plays the lead with a strong supporting performance from Asha Negi as a young policewoman who’s hell-bent on doing her duty even if that involves pulling collars of high-level colleagues.

The film opens with a ritualistic drone shot of a hill station as Shergill and his son Akshay (Naman Jain) try to settle if Muhammad Bin Tughlaq was the Sultan of Delhi or the Emperor of India. Akshay has been offered a seat at the city’s top tier school but he soon finds out it’s not his merit but his father’s reputation that has gotten him the admission. All this is interrupted by a kohl-eyed, young suicide bomber who has a bomb on his vest with a ticking timer. What follows is the chase against the clock as Shergill tries to accomplish the tasks laid out by the bomber.

Sparsh Srivastava, playing Shoaib the terrorist who is holding people hostage at the school, tries to deliver an honest performance. However it’s the same jittering hand, the same nervous stutter and rather weak attempts at intimidation, making it not easy to buy.

Thrown in are a bunch of characters from different stratas of society – an opportunist politician, the Indian Reserved Forces led by a diligent commander and a Chief Minister who sips his morning tea even as the tussle continues. Like this, there are other attempts to add satire, depth and give body to the film but the treatment of the settings and the characters isn’t different from what one has already seen before.

Shergill is a dependable actor and you can trust him for a comfortable journey as he takes you through the film but the film itself packs entirely too much in its limited running time.

Directed by Dnyanesh Zoting, Collar Bomb is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.


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