Rating – ****1/2 ( 4.5 / 5 )
Here’s a movie ,so taut,so gripping,and with a plot so unpredictable that it stands out as a most outstanding espionage thriller, amongst the best made in India in this genre,if not the best! The AGENT VINODs and EK THA TIGERS appear as poor brothers of BABY. Neeraj Pandey in his third outing after A WEDNESDAY (one of the best neo- patriotic films made in India) and ,SPECIAL 26 (a very special heist thriller) excels in his craft…he has a great story to tell and the lead actors ,especially Akshay,exceptionally supported by Danny and also Anupam Kher( in a brief but effective role) and the ensemble cast-makes this one very,very special. The length of the roles ,notwithstanding, Rana Duggabati, Tapsee Punnu ,Shashank Singh and Murali Sharma perform their characters with class and aplomb. The biggest surprise is Pakistani actor Rasheed Naz,as the menacing,manupulative terrorist think tank-never has a terrorist character looked more real in Indian movies.Mikaal Zulfikar as “deep asset” in Saudi, Ashfaq, is good-looking,restrained and very apt. The handsome Hasan Noman as Saudi police chief is the final heart-stealer with his all-knowing smile and gesture.
The locales are breathtaking and,the way Neeraj sees the cities (whether it is Istanbul or Delhi,or Kathmandu or Saudi Arabia)is unique.The camera work is imaginative and most effective. The patriotism is of a brand where no one shouts from rooftops to be labeled patriotic ,yet make us all feel a flush of adrenalin and a sense of pride …!The action is very different from that seen in our movies and each punch,kick or forceful slap that Akshay delivers stands out as ‘wow’. The subtle humour is class apart and gives a unique flavour to the characters and proceedings. “BAS MARNA MAT”….is the request of the wife ,a few times, when the protagonist sets out on his missions(aka conferences). “ARE WE TAKING GOOD CARE(in terms of compensating them for their daredevilry) OF THEM (the eccentric patriotic officers who like to live for their country )”? -asks the minister. “NO SIR. BUT THE BEST PART IS -THEY DONT CARE(about the compensation)..!”..replies Feroz, the head of these brilliant officers.
Full marks for the screenplay and crisp dialogues. This movie is a must see! When a movie like this rakes crores and sweeps popular awards at the year’s end, a true blue film-goer is bound to feel a sense of relief and fulfillment.
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