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Class of ’83

‘90s heart-throb Bobby Deol shines as Encounter Specialist

Cast and crew

  • Star Cast: – Bobby Deol, Joy Sengupta, Anup Soni, Bhupendra Jadawat, Ninad Mahajani, Hitesh Bhojraj, Sameer Paranjape, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Hans Dev Sharma, Prithvik Pratap
  • Director: – Atul Sabharwal
  • Producer: – Gauri Khan, Gaurav Verma
  • Writers: – Abhijeet Shirish Deshpande
  • Streaming on:-Netflix
  • Release date: – 21 August 2020

As a form of punishment, a cop gets posted as the dean of a police academy. He wants to fix the corrupt bureaucracy and its criminal allies. For this, he selects and trains five policemen from the academy, forming a secret ‘suicide squad’. He trains them to become lethal assassins and wants them to follow orders blindly. But after some time, his plan back-fires.

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Set in Bombay of the 1980s, Class of ’83 is based on the book ‘Class of ’83: The Punishers of Mumbai Police’. The book is written by Hussain Zaidi, a leading crime journalist, and was published in 2019. In the 1980s, the hold of the underworld on Bombay was strong and quite hard to be broken down. From politicians to high-rank police officials, journalists to film stars, businessmen to local gang leaders, all had links in the underworld. The mill strikes had rendered any men jobless. They had few choices left and hence, joined local criminal gangs.

Because of his dedication and passion towards his job, and for being better than the system and his colleagues, Vijay Singh (Bobby Deol) gets laid off as punishment. He gets transferred from Bombay to Nashik as the dean of a police training academy. Singh had a record of busting many ferocious gangsters of Bombay. He attempts to commit suicide as he fails to withstand losing his job as a cop.

He later understands that the only way to clean-up the flawed system from the inside is to filter the corruption. While training the officers at the academy, he notices that five of them, Verde, Shukla, Khan, Jadav, and Surve, had been performing low constantly. After having a chat with them, Singh notices something extraordinary about them and undertakes the strenuous task of training them into hardcore encounter specialists, who plans to use to clean the system. The training bears fruit and they start working under different jurisdictions as a squad.

The movie is based on true events of the life of one of the first encounter specialists. It portrays how a cop-turned-trainer conspires against the corrupt system for the good of society. He executes his plans smartly, without leaving any evidence behind, until corruption hits his own team. He achieves it all by remaining inside the system and following the necessary rules and regulations that his job demands. A twist enters the movie when there is an ego clash among the team members, which breaks up their bond for some time. Ultimately, their mentor’s entry comes as the last ditch-shot. 

The director, Atul Sharma, has focused immensely on creating the credibility of the film, which makes it a good movie. But some scenes in the movie feel a little stretched. Instead of focussing more on the character development of the five young officers, it focusses more on the political and social climate in the ’80s. One fails to connect much to the characters due to a lack of detailed information about their character. All we get to know about three of the five members is that one is a son of a laid-off mill worker, another one is a masturbation addict and the third one has a family.

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Moreover, the film displays more philosophy than action. The climax of the movie is a hush-hush affair and could have used a better narration. Another shortcoming of the film is that it lacks consistency as it keeps showing flashbacks repeatedly. Nevertheless, there are three impressionable characters in the movie as well- Vishwajeet as the sports instructor of the academy, Anup Soni as the politician Patkar, and the character of Shukla. 

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