Opinion | ‘Indian Police Force’ Shows What Makes Rohit Shetty Popular – News18

Written By: Biswadeep Ghosh
Last Updated: January 21, 2024, 16:45 IST
New Delhi, India
Rohit Shetty’s fans do not expect to see a realistic web series like Pataal Lok or Khakee: The Bihar Chapter from the maker of mass-friendly entertainers.
Rohit Shetty fans do not expect to see four stars on the critic’s report card for any of his films. History, however, shows that the masses have gravitated to the theatres to watch most Shetty films. The director has experienced a significant failure with Cirkus, a 2022 period comedy, but that is a rare setback for the man, whose filmography’s highlight is the number of winners at the box office.
After the news of Indian Police Force, Shetty’s OTT series on Amazon Prime, appeared in the media, many asked an obvious question. Will the director, who makes larger-than-life actioners, change his approach to create a show of the same genre made exclusively for the small screen? As it turns out, he has deviated from his path, but not by much, and offered a seven-episode drama with many of those characteristics his actioners are known for.
The newest addition to Shetty’s Cop Universe, IPF, which has been co-directed by him along with Sushwanth Prakash, begins with serial blasts across New Delhi. Cops spring into action, and the need for capturing those responsible for these blasts increases by the day. The central character of SP Kabir Malik (Siddharth Malhotra) does not carry the weight of the entire plot on his shoulders like Shetty’s protagonists Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn), Sangram Bhalerao ‘Simmba’ (Ranveer Singh) and Veer Sooryavanshi (Akshay Kumar) do in the Cop Universe films.
Kabir, a gutsy cop known for breaking protocol, is at the centre of the plot. But, the focus shifts from him from time to time. The prominent supporting characters are Kabir’s senior Vikram Bakshi (Vivek Oberoi) in the early part of the series; Tara Shetty (Shilpa Shetty Kundra), the Gujarat ATS Chief who later takes charge of Special Cell; and most importantly, the main negative character Zarar/Haider (Mayyank Taandon), whose story has a life of its own.
Shetty’s fans do not expect to see a realistic web series like Pataal Lok or Khakee: The Bihar Chapter from the maker of mass-friendly entertainers. Handsome and perfectly attired as he might be in some big-budget action flick, the protagonist Kabir’s personal life is far from perfect. He lives with his widowed mother, having lost his wife to a ‘rare disease’ at a young age. The character has a song sequence with his wife, which is Bollywood-like, but their relationship is a minor subplot in the seven-episode series. IPF’s writers (Sandeep Saket, Anusha Nandkumar) know what most viewers of OTT content might want: that is, a well-defined focus on the main plot instead of distractions such a lengthy romantic subplot. Although the story springs no major surprise — the man responsible for such acts for terror must be caught, and he is — the events that unfold keep the viewer interested.
The cops are after Zarar, the villain of the story. He is not a fierce-looking man with an imposing personality who barks orders and seems evil at first glance. Instead, he is a determined, intelligent and dangerous man who melts in the crowd easily. Far from being an obscure subplot, his backstory explores his life in detail. As a young boy growing up in an ordinary family, he had seen his factory go up in flames and his uncle’s death during a riot. Brainwashed and radicalised, his actions are remote-controlled by a middle-aged mastermind. He falls in love with an educated and innocent girl, who becomes pregnant after marrying him and faces the consequences of his actions in the long run. Zarar’s story is the highlight of the series. Had it taken up less screen time, the series would have lost much of its appeal.
Seen in its entirety, however, IPF aspires to be a mass-friendly entertainer with a more detailed plot that justifies the need for seven episodes. The plot takes the viewer to several places, such as Jaipur, Goa and Dhaka. The cops Kabir, Tara and Vikram are smartly attired, and it seems they spend a significant amount of time in their respective gyms. Cars fly off the ground during a chase sequence on the streets of Dhaka. A luckless two-wheeler rider suffers a similar fate. Kabir displays a typical action hero’s fighting skills in action sequences — although he has to act differently to subdue a stronger opponent on one occasion. Malhotra does well in these sequences, and so does Shilpa Shetty as Tara, who contributes her bit effectively
IPF is interspersed with emotional moments that make the heart feel a little for the characters on the screen. The relationship between Kabir and his mother is not shown at length, but one sequence shows their bonding beautifully. A young mother breaks down after her husband gets killed during an encounter with terrorists. A mother refuses to take the dead body of her terrorist son home because of what he has become. She cries as she shares her decision with the cops, and slowly walks away from the scene along with her husband.
The episodes are short, which ensures that the average viewer does not get disinterested. Is it good for binge-watching on a weekend? It is, for those who enjoy films as different as a Rohit Shetty action drama and Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday.


Leave a Comment