20 (Brutally) Honest Thoughts About Bobby Deol’s ‘Class of ‘83’
The film has premiered today on Netflix.
Based on Hussain Zaidi's book of the same name, Netflix's latest offering Class of '83 follows (surprise, surprise) one man's mission to single-handedly fix the system. Starring Bobby Deol in the lead, Class of '83 is directed by Atul Sabharwal, written by Abhijeet Deshpande and produced by Red Chillies Entertainment. Considering Netflix India's recent track record, I didn't have too many expectations to begin with but even then I was disappointed on multiple levels. Read on to know why.
Class of '83 begins with a Plato quote so this could either be really good or...really bad.
Personally, I am SO tired of watching these desi chor-police type films. Do we even need any more of this stuff? Anyway, let's see how this one is different.
Of course, Bobby Deol's entry scene involves him punching people in the dead of the night.
Meanwhile, me at my laptop...
I don't know if it's just me.. but I really can't tell one Police Academy student from another. They all look like really bad junior artistes who should not have been cast in an ambitious Red Chillies Entertainment production.
At 19ish minutes, there's a joke that (1) does not land and (2) literally belongs in 2005 (Anil Kapoor's "Be Positive" joke in No Entry). I'm not going to explain this further because if you know, you know.
Wow, 30 minutes into the film and I've honestly never seen such a dearth of female characters on screen (in the recent past). The only women so far have been - two token female students in the Police Training Academy and one dying woman (duh).
The first 30 minutes of the film are supposed to be about Dean Vijay Singh (Bobby Deol) mentoring these 5 loser kids from his first batch. Except that there's not a single scene where he seems to be selectively mentoring them.
I am not exaggerating when I say this - Bobby Deol looks like he's attending one long funeral in this film. Doesn't matter if his character is sad, angry, happy, in love, or joking - he has the same expression. I'm sorry but I've seen brown-coloured brick walls more emotive than this Khaki-wearing cop.
Okay, sorry, I take it back. There's a reason Bobby Deol looks like he's attending a funeral. He has been sent to the academy as a kind of 'punishment posting.' He is wildly unhappy. But even unhappy characters can have more than one expression, na?
They're talking about forming a special squad of 'encounter specialists' and obviously, I, the audience, am the only one who realises how and why this could go terribly wrong in the future.
Bobby Deol even says - "The institutionalised killing of gangsters by policemen."
Um??? I have some major issues with the politics of this film but never mind for now.
I'm sure Class of '83 by Hussain Zaidi (the book this film is based on) is an excellent, immersive book about encounter specialists. But sadly, the writer-director of the film have just not been able to capture that on screen.
Which is odd, because this genre can be so easy to sell (if done well).
Okay so Class of '83 is set in Bombay. I get it. What I don't get is the need to randomly insert shots from IRL 80s Bombay after every 15 minutes of the film????
Although I have to admit, it's nice to be reminded of the outside world.
Bobby Fans, prepare for a mountain load of disappointment because we don't really get to see *a lot* of Bobby-in-action in Class of '83. He's there for a bit in the first half and a bit in the second half and a few random scenes in the middle, that's it. Sir ka lead role hai ya cameo?
Can Bobby Deol STOP with his preachy monologues and ACT a little, PLEASE??
For a crime thriller film, there are surprisingly very few gory scenes in Class of '83. Actually there's only one really violent/bloody scene that slaps but even that's kind of cringe.
(For those who have seen it, it's the one after the chain-snatching incident)
There's certainly a lot HAPPENING in this film - I can feel the potential. But it's just a bad experience at this point that I would not recommend.
I am not a big fan of movies longer than 135 minutes but I'm wondering if maybe this one deserved those extra minutes.
The pace of this film is similar to the flat heart rate that ruins a Grey's Anatomy fan in every episode. Just like Grey's Anatomy, I might be crying while watching Class of '83 also, but for entirely different reasons.
Not to be dramatic - but each minute of this 1 hour 30minute long film has felt longer than every single minute of lockdown.
Me pausing the film to give myself a pep talk:
I am almost nearing the end of this film and am still not really invested in any of the characters. Wow.
It's over! In conclusion, I would like to say that Netflix needs to introspect. Just a little bit. For the collective good and entertainment of its Indian subscribers.
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