Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 28th August, 2015
Time : 136 minutes
Director, Co-Writer : Kabir Khan; Co-Writer: Parveez Sheikh, based on a novel Mumbai Avengers by Hussain Zaidi;
Music : Julius Packam
Starring : Saif Ali Khan, Katrina Kaif, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty
Despite an emotive topic, you struggle to feel anything. Especially for the characters – portions of the blame can be assigned to the script, casting, dialogue and editing – you just kind of go through the motions on this one, till right at the end, where you begin to root (a little bit) for things to go as planned.
Based on the book, Mumbai Avengers, this one is seriously wishful thinking about avenging the 26/11 blasts. About finding someone to go about killing those responsible for those blasts wherever they may be – vigilante justice, American style. A RAW think tank, headed by Sabyasachi and powered by Zeeshan, dreams this mission up, finds the right people and goes ahead without government permission.
They settle on disgraced soldier, Saif. Living in isolation in icy wilderness. Who finally says yes. And then goes about pursuing his assigned targets across the globe. Aided by Katrina Kaif, a London-based information source for RAW. And an inept ISI (they really do make someone who regularly conducts operations against India with ease, look like bumbling buffoons).
For starters, Saif isn’t really believable as tough guy on a suicide mission. And it’s not just his fault, as the script doesn’t build him up or point out why he’s the right guy, apart from telling us he was court-martialled. Katrina, she of the famous pout, just doesn’t look plausible firing assault weapons. She doesn’t move or behave like she’s in the counter-intelligence business. And her front, a medical organization (something like Medecins Sans Frontieres), again doesn’t make sense, one minute she’s in London, next in Beirut, then in Syria and then in Lahore, almost as per her desires, going around with heavily armed men. Even the villains aren’t built up well enough – you know a little bit about them from news reports – but if they’re so easy to access (especially the first target), then you really do wonder why India isn’t doing something about it
This one is a little bit of a flatline, despite the exotic locales and the jingoistic plot. Struggles between trying to keep it real or filmy, succeeds at neither and even at the end, when things do pick up it’s just patriotism which eggs you on, aided by lots of Bollywood masala and dialogues, rather than anything substantive.