Singham opens with an honest police officer in Goa, Rakesh Kadam (Sudhanshu Pandey), committing suicide because of false accusations of corruption filed by Jaikant Shikre (Prakash Raj), a don and politician in Goa running various rackets like kidnapping, extortion and smuggling. Kadam's wife Megha Kadam (Sonali Kulkarni) vows revenge but cannot find any support or help from the police or Minister Anant Narwekar (Anant Jog).
The story moves to Shivgarh, a small village near the Goa-Maharashtra border. Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn), an honest Maratha police inspector like Kadam, is in charge of the Shivgarh police station. He resolves most of the problems in his town informally and without filing charge sheets, thereby gaining much reputation and love from the villagers. Gautam Bhosle a.k.a. Gotya (Sachin Khedekar) is an industrialist and a friend of Singham’s father Manikrao Singham (Govind Namdeo). He comes to Shivgarh with his wife and daughter Kavya (Kajal Aggarwal). Eventually Singham and Kavya fall in love with each other. Their courtship takes place through a series of comic events where she initially hates him and then has a change of heart when she sees his honest and simple nature.
Everything seems to run smoothly until Jaikant, who is given a conditional bail for a murder he had committed, is required to travel to Shivgarh to sign the bail every fortnight. He, instead, sends one of his allies to do the formalities, much to the fury of Singham who demands Jaikant sign the bail in person. Humiliated, Jaikant reaches Shivgarh but is unable to take any revenge on Singham fearing the wrath of villagers, who threaten to finish him off. Using his political contacts, he gets Singham transferred to Goa to take revenge.
Singham, unaware of Jaikant’s hand behind his transfer, joins Colva police station. His co-workers, Sub-Inspector Dev Phadnis (Vineet Sharma), Sub-Inspector Abbas Malik (Ankur Nayyar), Head Constable Savalkar (Ashok Saraf) hate Jaikant for his crimes but are unable to take any action because of Jaikant’s political powers. DSP Patkar (Murli Sharma), Singham's senior, is on Jaikant's payroll and takes care in concealing and eliminating the evidence of Jaikant’s crime from the eyes of the law. Singham tries to take this to the notice of DGP Vikram Pawar (Pradeep Velankar)) but it turns out to be of no use as there is no evidence against Jaikant and Patkar. The local minister Anant Narvekar (Anant Jog) does not help Singham and in turn, he warns him to stay away from Jaikant's case. Defeated Singham wants to return to his hometown but is stopped by Kavya and Megha Kadam, who encourage him to fight against the evil and not run away like a coward.
Being mentally tortured by Jaikant, Singham arrests Jaikant’s top lieutenant Shiva Nayak (Ashok Samarth) in a fake case of illegally smuggling alcohol. He thwarts off DSP Patkar in full view of the public when Patkar, bounded by his duties to Jaikant, tries to protect Shiva. Meanwhile, Megha Kadam, after being ridiculed by DGP Pawar and minister Narvekar for her innocent husband’s death, seeks help from Singham to absolve her late husband from the corruption charges . Jaikant kidnaps Kavya’s younger sister Anjali (Sana Amin Sheikh) for ransom. Rescuing her, Singham successfully traces the origins of the kidnapping racket to Jaikant but is unable to arrest him as he wins an election and is set to become a minister of Goa Govt.
Jaikant sends transfer orders to Singham to go back to Shivgarh within 24 hours. That night at a police function organized for the officers with their family, Singham confronts the officers for not abiding by their duties and being dishonest and unfaithful to their profession by protecting Jaikant. At first, the officers disagree with Singham, but filled with guilt, the officers decide to help Singham fight Jaikant. Soon, the entire Goa Police Force reach his home to kill him, with DGP Pawar and DSP Patkar, now in support of Singham. Jaikant eventually escapes but after running through the city, he is arrested by the police the next morning. They bring him to the police station and shoot him dead on the same chair where Inspector Rakesh Kadam had shot himself. Then they threaten Shiva to change his statement. Jaikant and Minister Narvekar are proved guilty. At a media conference, DGP Pawar and Singham clear late Kadam of all corruption charges.
The film ends with Singham and other police officers saluting Mrs.Megha Kadam.Ajay Devgn as Inspector Bajirao SinghamPrakash Raj as Jaikant ShikreKajal Aggarwal as Kavya BhosleSonali Kulkarni as Megha KadamMurali Sharma as DCP Satyam PatkarAshok Samarth as Shiva Naik, Jaikant Shikre's right handSachin Khedekar as Gautam Bhosle / GotyaAshok Saraf as Head Constable Prabhu SavalkarSudhanshu Pandey as Inspector Rakesh KadamGovind Namdev as Manikrao Singham, Bajirao's fatherVineet Sharma as Sub-Inspector Dev PhadnisAnkur Nayyar as Sub-Inspector Abbas MalikVijay Patkar as Havaldar Ramesh KelkarSuchitra Bandekar as Suchitra Bhosle, , Kavya's motherSana Amin Sheikh as Anjali Bhosle, Kavya's younger sisterAnant Jog as Minister Anant NarvekarBesant Ravi as goon in cinema theatreHari Bala as NanduPradeep Velankar as Vikram Pawar, DG Police, GoaHarish Shetty as Vitthal DalviMeghna Vaidya as Lata Singham, Bajirao's motherJayant Sawarkar as Kamlakant Bhosle, Kavya's grandfatherSuhasini Deshpande as Suhasini Bhosle, Kavya's grandmotherRavindra Berde as Zamindar ChandrakantAgastya Dhanorkar as Nitin Kadam, Rakesh's sonNeeraj Khetrapal as Advocate
After the success of the Tamil film Singam, directed by Hari in 2010, the film's remake rights were sold by the producers for Hindi and Kannada versions. The co-producers of the Tamil version, Reliance Big Pictures purchased the Hindi remake rights and announced in November 2010 that the version would feature Rohit Shetty as director and Ajay Devgan in the lead role. Prakash Raj was signed on to reprise his role as the antagonist from the original, whilst reports emerged that Asin and Anushka Shetty were being considered for the female lead role.
In mid February 2011, Kajal Aggarwal, actress who predominantly features in South Indian films was signed in as female lead.
Singham went on floors in November 2010, with its scheduled cast. The first schedule began in early March 2011 with action sequences shot in Goa featuring technicians from South India.
A scene with Prakash Raj and Ajay Devgan was shot in Goregaon in Mumbai with around 500 junior artists as villagers. Another scene was shot at Vagator in Goa for which 100 police jeeps were called. Shooting was stalled by the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) members who demanded ₹45 lakh to be paid to the workers when it was being shot in Film City in Mumbai.
Reliance Entertainment released Singham on 22 July 2011 in 2000 screens worldwide with 1500 prints excluding overseas.
The film's DVD was released on 23 August 2011. The Delhi High Court, upon Reliance Entertainment's request, issued an order to all Indian ISPs to block file sharing sites to prevent unauthorized sharing of Singham.
Based on 93 reviews, review aggregate site desimartini.com gave the film the verdict, "A shout out to yesteryear masala movies, Singham is an out and out action entertainer with Ajay Devgan reminding us of his old action films, while Prakash Raj gives another solid performance. If masala movies amuse you, go for it!" The site's average audience rating is 3.0/5.
Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India gave it four out of five stars and stated "Singham is over-the-top retro kitsch, spilling over with high-voltage stunts, slow-motion action cuts and fiery dialogues delivered in high decibels. It is meant for all those action buffs interested in time travel to the angry young 1970s and 1980s when cinema was larger-than-life and totally unrealistic. But then, retro is currently chic, isn't it?" Komal Nahta of Koimoi gave it four and a half stars out of five stars and said "On the whole, Singham is a powerful action-emotional drama which boasts of equally powerful dialogues and absolutely power-packed performances. It’s a super-hit and will be loved by the masses and the classes, the men and the women, the young and the old, the rich and the poor. It is the kind of film which consumes the viewer and gives him the feeling that he was part of the fight against corruption! The film has immense repeat-value. Its business in Maharashtra will get a further boost because of the liberal use of Marathi in the dialogues. Kaajal Aggarwal acts with effortless ease. Her performance is good."
Suparna Sharma of The Asian Age gave it two out of five stars and stated "Singham is a primitive, archetypal Genre piece, and it is a hit. Rohit Shetty taps into the sentiment of the moment – emasculation, frustration – and gratifies it. But endowing a cop with nobility doesn’t ring true, especially not when he is neither Chulbul-charming nor when the target of his anger and lashing is generic sleaze… Singham is vigilante cop let loose on all things foul. I felt fluctuating connect with Singham, but mostly he made me queasy." Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the four and a half stars out of five and said "Singham pays homage to the action films of 1970s, which was known for the heroism, death-defying action sequences and pulse pounding thrills. It's an acknowledgement to one of the most successful genres of Bollywood – action movies – known for the trademark good versus evil themes and well choreographed stunts." Saibal Chatterjee from NDTV also gave four out of five stars and said "Singham is an old-fashioned but rousing Hindi commercial film that pretty much restores one’s faith in this often-maligned brand of cinema. It has super-duper hit written all over it. No matter how dismissive you might be of films that have no space for shades of grey, chances are that Singham will disarm you, if only for a bit." Dailybhaskar gave a score of three stars out of five and said "The action takes over the romance in the film. Go for it, if you want to catch one hell of an action flick! "
Sukanya Venkatraghavan from Filmfare gave two stars out of five and said "Singham is a film that will invoke wolf whistles and applause from its audience. It is gloriously massy. The movie knows its job and does it well. It does nothing out of the box to grab your attention and yet it does. Pretty easily. Watch it for its robust potboiler personality. With extra masala as garnish. Ajay Devgan pulls out all stops for this one. He is fierce and impactful. This is his show all the way. His quirky forte for comedy too comes forth in the ubiquitous ha ha sequences with leading lady Kajal Aggarwal who looks pretty and has done what she has been told to, but probably deserved a meatier debut." Kaveree Bamzai from India Today gave three out of five stars and deemed that "Mr Devgn tries hard, growling like a singham, and acting like a superman, but I was more interested in Prakash Raj's two tone Al Capone shoes." Raja Sen from Rediff gave one and a half stars out of five and said "All I can personally say about this trend of remaking one-note Southern hits as a viewer is that it's an exhausting one. It is in the tiny victories that we must seek refuge after a film like this: I'm just glad the hero, so eager to peel off his uniform, left his pants on." Sudhish Kamath from The Hindu said "The original wasn't the best film around but it had a few smarts, pace and fury, and worked despite its cheesy visual effects purely because of Suriya who made the corniest lines sound good. Devgn does exactly the opposite. He takes some half-decent lines (by Farhad and Sajid) and makes them sound cheesy."
Shubha Shetty Saha from MiD DAY gave the film a score of two stars and deemed that "Nothing turns director Rohit Shetty on more than cars meeting mid air. We all know that by now. And this film has some breath taking action sequences, too. That's about it is." Meenakshi Rao from The Pioneer describes the film as "the David Dhawan of action, or for that matter the Golmaal of fights. To keep the audience engaged all through such unending babble needs some kind of acumen which normal people do not always have and through which people like Rohit Shetty get to make a whole lot of money, if not sense." giving it seven out of ten stars. Kunal Guha from Yahoo! Movies gave two stars and says that "The film's assumption that mispronunciation is funny makes us endure words like honest (with a loud 'h'), clean cheet (clean chit), noun-saans (nonsense) and sooocide (suicide). The dialogues are spouted with immense enthusiasm but the words defuse the intensity and make them seem trivial. Devgn does a fair job and conveys sufficient conviction and humility through his character. Kajal Aggarwal makes an unobjectionable debut and her eyes would surely inspire a few compliments."
Singham started extremely well at single screens with occupancy around 90% and was average at multiplexes with 50%–60% occupancy, In the first four days, the film collected ₹350 million (US$5.5 million). After five days, the earnings were around ₹407.5 million (US$6.4 million) without any drop. The opening week gross collections were ₹442 million (US$6.9 million) in India and ₹35 million (US$550,000) from overseas to fetch a total opening week gross of ₹477 million (US$7.4 million), thus putting the nett weekend collections at ₹475.7 million (US$7.4 million), including ₹120 million (US$1.9 million) in Mumbai area alone. In the second week, it collected ₹263.4 million (US$4.1 million) nett to take the total two-week net collections at ₹777.4 million (US$12 million). The film is currently the sixth highest second week grosser. The third weekend collections were estimated to be ₹82.0 million (US$1.3 million). After three weeks, the nett collections amounted to ₹861.7 million (US$13 million). It collected ₹65.0 million (US$1.0 million) in its fourth week bringing its collections to ₹926.7 million (US$14 million) in four weeks. Singham earned ₹980.0 million (US$15 million) nett in India, at the end of its theatrical run.
The film grossed over ₹1,400 million (US$22 million) worldwide.
The music of the film is composed by Ajay-Atul with lyrics penned by Swanand Kirkire.
The album was panned by music critics. Joginder Tuteja of Bollywood Hungama awarded the album two stars out of five and said "Singham turns out to be a fine album though one does feel that there could have been much more than just three songs here. While 'Saathiyaa' is the pick of the lot and has the potential to play on beyond the theatrical run of the film as well, title song "Singham" brings in the right mood despite its setting. However given the fact that the film is not quite a musical and the focus would be primarily on pushing its action flavour, the album would find it tough to make much of a mark commercially." Tanuj Manchanda of Planet Bollywood gave the album five and a half stars citing that "Ajay-Atul produces a satisfactory soundtrack, after their first attempt in Virudh and shows their versatility in a short span of 3 songs. One looks forward to their forthcoming venture My Friend Pinto which will be their second Bollywood film as composers. Overall, the songs are decent and have the ability in them to become a success. It will help in enhancing the film's narrative."
Singham had been removed from cinemas in Karnataka while some cinemas had cancelled the shows following pressure from various groups protesting against derogatory statements against the Kannadigas. Various organisations raised voices against the anti-Kannadiga dialogues in Singham and the film which was released faced problems in continuing with the shows. There was a demand to remove such scenes from the film and the filmmakers contemplated on the next course of action.
Singham commenced in Karnataka after the removal of some "objectionable" dialogues, a day after disruptions in its screening.
Director Rohit Shetty announced his plans for Singham 2, and that it was expected to start filming soon after the release of his directorial film Chennai Express (2013). The filming went on to begin and complete, and the film was released on 15 August 2014, under the title of Singham Returns, with Ajay Devgn reprising his title role from the prequel. The sequel received mixed response from both critics and audiences, though managed to get an excellent opening at the box office, crossing the first week collection's of Singham during the opening weekend itself.