Story: Class of ’83 traces the journey of a dejected top cop, who uses grim circumstances to his benefit, and trains a secret squad of young cadets to unearth one of the biggest mafias in the history of Bombay.
Review: True to its title, the cop drama is set against a backdrop of the ‘80s, at the Police Training Academy in Nashik. The SRK production, Red Chillies Entertainment, introduces Bobby Deol in a mature, restraining light as he portrays the role of Vijay Singh is a top cop who gets “a punishment posting” as the Dean of the academy. Singh’s a middle-aged man, who’s wading through the curveballs – personal and professional – that life has thrown at him. He fails to find purpose in his new role, but soon discovers that all is not lost when he sees the potential in five ‘poor performers’ in the Class of ‘83– even when nobody else does. The novices with a spark are essayed by newcomers Sameer Paranjpe, Bhupendra Jadawat, Hitesh Bhojraj, Joy Sengupta and Vishwajeet Pradhan who manage to create an impact as they compete with each other to prove their finesse in the limited screen space.
Singh decides to tread upon a rather risk path in pursuit of an unfinished dream – he forms a “secret squad” of sorts. What follows is him personally training these young cadets to fulfil his vision: to bust the corrupt nexus that intertwines politicians and the underworld, and gun down a mafia that’s out to explode Bombay in shreds.
While the young men seem to learn the ropes quite well, Singh’s plan isn’t one that is destined to take shape easily. Turns out, the Deans ‘picks’ are smarter than Singh envisioned – they graduate and join the Mumbai Police Force and develop their individualistic perspectives about law, order and the grey area. The inevitable differences and the soaring ambitions among the five young men turn an ugly turn. Largely because, things have changed a lot from when Singh stepped down from action in the Maximum City. The “conflict in interests” gives rise to ugly brawls and face-offs among the “truth chasers” themselves.
The movie has a retro vibe to it, and there certainly are convincing bits in the movie – the training sessions and the deep-seated rivalry among young cops for instance. On the downside, the Netflix movie barely invests in the newcomers as there seems to be an overemphasis on the subject rather than its actors.
Class of ’83 roughly runs for approximately an hour and a half, yet is far from crisp and loses its charm midway. There execution fails to evoke any sense of thrill, despite interesting reveals that show Singh suggest how he’s ‘too good’ to be a part of a sector that’s doused in politics and corruption.
Verdict: The Bobby Deol starrer suspense drama fails to back a punch, despite a convincing storyline, coupled with the promising performances by the newcomers. The movie lacks a personal touch, and has a muted, non-linear tone to it. Watch it if you’ve got a thing for a movie that depicts Bombay in the 80s in its true, raw spirit. Nothing more, nothing less.
Name of the series: Class of ‘83
Cast: Bobby Deol, Bhupendra Jadawat, Hitesh Bhojraj, Anup Soni, Joy Sengupta, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Sameer Paranjape,
Director: Atul Sabharwal