Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Movie Review of " THE ATTACKS OF 26/11 "

The first thought to cross my mind after watcing movie was to lodge a missing person's report of RAM GOPAL VERMA. I've grown up watching RGV'S cult pathbreaking cinema in the form of Shiva, Rangeela,Satya,Sarkar ...but lately his signature style has vanished from his flicks.The  moment i saw the promo of this movie i thought RGV's come back in his elements but Alas it was not to be.To take a surreal, unforgettably, mind-boggling event like the attacks on Mumbai on 26 November 2008, and turn it into a movie of dramatic power is, in one sense, pure exploitation and titillation.The immediate reaction on reliving it aside, the thin storyline lapses into banality.Half an hour into the film, I began twitching with embarrassment at having to watch it.

SCRIPT & SCREENPLAY                    :              RAM GOPAL VERMA & ROMMEL RODRIGUES share the credit of being the script & screenplay writers for this movie and this the weakest point which can lead to debacle of this movie. Undoubtedly 26/11 is this nation’s collective tragedy. There is really no reason to relive those agonising three days. RGV’s film takes us back, and once again arouses all those emotions, anger and thoughts, Yet it’s problematic in what it chooses to focus on and what it leaves out. The joint commissioner, who sips green tea while narrating what happened on the three fateful days to the Pradhan Inquiry Commission, pauses ever so often to philosophise on the brutality of man. As we cut from the inquiry room to the police control room, it’s clear that the cops were totally out of their depth. 26/11' shows Mumbai Police ill equipped in weaponry and training, but it’s projected as a force that more than made up for the lacunae with its love of duty and nation.A large part of the film’s second half is devoted to a conversation between the joint commissioner and Ajmal Kasab, where Kasab first tells Maria why he did what he did, and then the joint commissioner, in between abuse, slaps and kicks, tells him how deranged and immoral his “Aaka” and his version of “jihad” is.. The film imagines Kasab repenting, saying sorry to the people he killed. I don’t know if that’s true, but I’d like to believe that it is.'The Attacks of 26/11' ends on the sea shore with the sun either rising or about to set to the gentle strains of Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram.I feel instead of focusing on the gruesome killings & blood splattered all across the screenplay should have  stressed on what was going in power corridors of Delhi as well as some heroics of our TV Channel reporters who risked themselves in order to cover it live. 

STARCAST                           :                                             RGV has used the fresh and unknown talent to depict this tragedy on-screen. NANA PATEKAR has put in his heart and soul in portraying the character of  RAKESH MARIA, who was Joint commissioner of Police at that time. Its a treat to watch him portray more patient, subtle character with ease. But it is SANJEEV JAISWAL who steals the show with his immaculate performance as KASAB and stuns you with his raw expressions. Amongst noticeable faces ATUL KULKARNI makes a short appearance as cop stationed at Rly Station, so does GANESH YADAV as captain of the trawler which these killers hijacked to reach Indian shores.

TECHNICAL ASPECTS                            :                      RGV has used multiple music composers for the soundtrack of this movie that includes ROOSHIN DALAL,KAIZAD GHERDE,VISHAL & SUSHIL KHOSLA & AMAR MOHILE which still fails to impress. AMAR MOHILE has composed the background music which is not only thumping and ominous but also threatens to destroy your sound senses. Cinematography by HARSHRAJ SHROFF & M. RAVICHANDRAN is very inconsistent as in some scenes you get the feel of watching a home video and next shot looks classically cinematic. If the inconsistency is intended, the storytelling does not support or justify it. Varma’s frames and composition, usually masterly, are unintentionally ordinary. Editing is by SUNIL WADHWANI but i feel some of the shots depicting apathy of victims especially ladies n kids smeared with blood should have been edited. RGV fails as a director as he chooses to give one man mythical proportions for the sake of, I imagine, cinematic gratification.  26/11' lacks depth. It doesn’t attempt to figure out why this massacre was allowed to happen, and pretends there was no aftermath. It plays very safe and is just not political enough. So its intent remains suspect, and troubling.

WOW MOMENTS                                        :                           In its run-time of 116 minutes i personally liked only two scenes which i'll feature here. One is when Kasab vents out his catharsis while he is being interrogated by Nana and second is when Nana vents out his catharsis on Jihadis as he takes Kasab to the morgue for showing him dead corpses of his accomplices.

OVER THE HEAD                                            :                       The magnification of  the tragedy with respect to each location and its horror with slow motion frames with ear deafening ominous score puts you off big time. I 'm sure most Indians went through the trauma when these horrific incidents happened & would not like to revisit or remember those memories shown in a more gruesome way.

CONCLUSION                                                    :                    I personally felt very uncomfortable watching this movie as this movie made scars of those ghastly killings come alive in front of my eyes. So in all it was a disappointing fare for me but it might appeal to the ones who have a penchant for raw violence coupled with blood smeared bodies lying across the floor.

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