Latest release 'Naam Shabana' is a story of Shabana Khan played by Taapsee Pannu, how she is approached by a national security agency and her journey to become a spy.
The idea of describing the journey of the girl named 'Shabana', girl from Neerja Pandey's directorial action-thriller film 'Baby' seems novel but is that just enough for the audiences to go and watch the movie.
According to our trade analyst Taran Adarsh, the movie could've been an edge of the seat thriller, but misses the bus. The film lacks in writing and direction. The only saving grace for the film is Taapsee delivering some knockout punches and cameo of Akshay Kumar who comes in support for Shabana and rules out with his moves. The film loses its spark in the first half but somehow manages towards the end. Let's see what others have to say about it
Times Of India : It reminds you how women are no longer helpless when teased by a bunch of drunken louts; or when brushed against accidentally in crowded spaces. They have enough and more in their DNA to give back as good as they get.The first half indulges the protagonist and her love interest, Jai too much. It is only post-intermission, especially the last 35 minutes in which proceedings pick up. Sticking to a typical-action drama narrative that jumps from Mumbai to Goa, Vienna to Kuala Lumpur, with the arms dealer and the ISI agents playing a cat-and-mouse game, the film, is more an escapist fare than a realistic one. The men here (Manoj Bajpayee, Akshay (cameo) and other characters from Baby) are almost spoon-feeding Shabana.Taapsee delivers some knockout punches and is sincere enough. Manoj is brilliant, though he has just dialogue-baazi and no action to support him. As for Akshay, he is happy to lend his superstar-presence and bask in the girl power. So go ahead and salute his spirit.
India Today : The surprise package of Baby, Taapsee Pannu, kicking some serious butt, Akshay Kumar's one-liners and lots of thrills - Naam Shabana looks full of crowd-pleasers on the surface, and if in doubt, there's always Bharat Mata Ki Jai. The problem is that the trailer gave it all away, which, by default, makes the first half of Naam Shabana a drag. While in Baby, the climax is almost nail-biting, Naam Shabana makes it all too easy to get rid of the bad guy. If you want to watch Naam Shabana, do; just make sure you don't go in with the expectation of watching a riveting action-thriller like Baby.
Indian Express : What does come as a surprise, however, is just how much of a drag the film is. Except for a few stray sequences in which the limber Pannu faces up to the bad guys, and the ones in which co-star Akshay moves in to demonstrate how the big boys do it, there is nothing either novel or interesting about the film. A tiny exchange about Shabana’s ‘religion’, which could have become meaningful and sharp, is dulled by dull repartee.The other problem is the plot. Or, more precisely, the lack of it. There’s a great deal of to-ing and fro-ing, from cool European cities to tropical desi locations, as the gang of spies, headed by Manoj Bajpayee’s chief, goes after a global arms kingpin who is also involved in trafficking and drugs. But you are left looking for a pulsing storyline in a film which is meant to focus upon the smarts of its leading lady, which, instead, gives us such unintentionally hilarious lines as: ‘women are born spies’. Or words to that effect. Naam Shabana leaves you with a niggling question: why create a heroine in the action hero mode, with both mind and heart, and then give her a big bro to ‘help’ her out?
Firstpost : Pannu is first-rate in Naam Shabana’s many fight scenes, Shabana is half-baked and her acting off the mark. In the effort to portray a woman who suppresses her feelings, Pannu ends up delivering a bland performance except when she is indulging in fisticuffs. When she is throwing punches, she is captivating. When she is not participating in a tournament or bashing up some evil wretch, she is dull. Still, Naam Shabana is a better film than Baby. It has a more polished appearance, and the idiotic bad guy here is at least less idiotic than the amateurs in the earlier film. Here is a thought. Next time you make a film centred around a woman, please do so because you have a great story to tell, not because women-centricity is a hot current trend. And next time you wish to make a prequel to a hit, again, please do so because you have a substantial story to tell, not because you want to cash in on a successful brand.