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Naam Shabana movie review: Peerless Taapsee shines as fearless Shabana
'Naam Shabana' is a spin-off from the 2015 Neeraj Pandey directorial 'Baby'. It's a story of how a girl named Shabana makes her way into an intelligence agency. Basically it's a 148-minutes-long spy thriller.

No one could have done a better task of penning the tale of the trails and tribulations of being Shabana except Neeraj Pandey. He is indeed the master of this genre with films like 'Baby', 'Special 26' and 'A Wednesday' behind him. This time too he has penned another gem.

And Shivam Nair, who had earlier directed 'Ahista Ahista', 'Maharathi', and 'Bhaag Johnny' has definitely come out with yet another good performance as director. He is gradually attaining the distinction of being a director's director as he had previously done complete justice to Imtiaz Ali and Vikram Bhatt's scripts.

Some of the characters and scenes in Naam Shabana definitely remind you of sequences from the film 'Baby', making the fact more believable that Naam Shabana traces the story of Shabana before she became part of 'Baby' – a covert team of Indian intelligence agents formed to eliminate terrorists – as Neeraj has put in dialogues like "Sir, BABY project ka kya ho raha hai?," clearly suggesting that Naam Shabana is kind of a prequel to 'Baby'.

Taapsee Pannu is maturing into a fine actor day by day and has outperformed her previous best with this stellar show. It's in fact difficult to imagine anybody else in Shabana's role other than Taapsee. Be it in her martial art practice or her fight sequences, Taapsee is totally convincing as a female spy. If you go through her career graph, a sheer appetite of excellence will catch your attention and probably that's why she's got films like 'Baby', 'Pink', 'The Ghazi Attack' and now 'Naam Shabana' under her belt within a short span of two years.

Actor Manoj Bajpayee plays the second lead and as usual delivers a good performance worthy of his reputation as a fine actor. After playing a police officer in 'Aurangzeb', this time south actor Prithviraj Sukumaran features in a negative role in Naam Shabana. However, veteran actors Anupam Kher and Danny Denzongpa have little to do in the film with their small roles, while Akshay Kumar has been given an extended cameo in the movie. Actresses Elli Avram and Shivani Dandekar also feature in small cameo roles with some groovy steps in the song "Baby Besharam".

Action sequences of the film are very well measured. Just like 'Baby', this time also Cyril Raffaelli of 'The Transporter' fame has been chosen for action choreography. Cinematography is very neat and clean as Sudhir Palsane, who had earlier tied up with Neeraj Pandey for 'Baby' and 'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story' well complements the visual needs.

Music of the film is very good as 'Paani Da Rang' and 'Attrangi Yaari' fame Rochak Kohli and Meet Brothers have composed the songs while Manoj Muntashir and Kumaar have done a commendable job. It's a good effort to recreate one of the yesteryears remarkable melodies "Zooby Zooby", earlier composed by Bappi Lahiri for the film 'Dance Dance'.

"After this spin-off the franchisee will continue its run and you definitely will see a sequel," said Neeraj Pandey while attending the premiere and when asked about why he personally did not direct Naam Shabana as it was his brainchild, he then replied that since during that time he had been working on his project 'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story', it was not possible for him to work on two projects simultaneously.

'Naam Shabana' is a film which will show you the real power of love. The film is a must watch for the peerless Taapsee as the fearless Shabana, who goes after the murderers of the man she loved.

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