India’s Most Wanted: Keeping in with the mood

Not as taut as you would expect a thriller, this ‘let’s catch the terrorist’ drama is devoid of too much of chest beating.

By Author  |  Published: 24th May 2019  4:06 pmUpdated: 24th May 2019  4:11 pm

It is in keeping with the mood. Hopefully, people who inked their fingers for the national cause will rush to the theatres and the footfalls will increase once the theme is known. The film is timely and pushes the envelope celebrating the ‘hum ghar mein ghus ke marenge’ theory with substantial justification and backdrop. This is the time to salute the brave and celebrate those who risk their lives and loves for the honour of the nation and the safety of the citizens.

The dreaded terrorist Yusuf is on the prowl. Numbers are given of the multiple bomb blasts across India and the casualties. Those in the high echelons at North Block get an ear full for their failure to arrest the crime and the criminal. They are clueless and helpless. While standard replies that the terrorists and the mastermind are holed up in Pakistan and Dubai cuts no ice, the list of attacks is on the alarming increase.

Enter a group of five headed by Prabhat (Arjun Kapoor) with Manish (Pravin Sisodia) Pillai (Prashant Alex) Bittu (Asif Khan) and Javed (Devendra Mishra). The committed group of personnel working for the forces have a history of rebellion but are still encouraged by their immediate boss Rajesh Singh (Rajesh Sharma). Without the required permission and in spite of being told to not undertake the search operations, they are led by an anonymous caller whose credibility is blindly followed. Soon the team is in Kathmandu with leads pointing to the presence of the dreaded terrorist and ‘India’s Most Wanted’ in the nearabouts.

While most members in the group with the additional assistance from a local team are suspicious of the veracity of the informer, Prabhat instinctively goes with him. A good part of the narrative moves on the predictable lines of suspecting the bonafides of the informer and the wild goose chase. Also, the mandatory bad guys chasing the good guys and the proverbial slip between the cup and the lip takes us through some slow but well executed scenes to a pale finale.

The script does not pump too much adrenaline into the narrative and also eschews jingoism. On the other hand, the two-hour narrative is terse and deals a lot more with the face and physique of the protagonist. The tepid search for the dreaded terrorist is reduced to a few chases and runs. Perhaps it is the script that lacks enough flesh to tell a story of how a team of bravehearts brought home the enemy and adverted looming disaster.

Raj Kumar Gupta who has written and directed the film fails with the former task. Amazing cinematography by Dudley scripts its relevance while canning Bhutan and Patna. In the midst of all the planning, the script permits some lighthearted moments well enacted by Asif Khan and Devendra Mishra. Rajesh Sharma also has a decent screen space and does predictable justice. Centerpiece to the tale and the film is Arjun Kapoor who carries the right morose expression.

Also, he still continues to carry a bit of an award style a la Abhishek Bachchan that adds credibility to the role. He is sincere and does his very best to lift the film. Not as taut as you would expect a thriller, this ‘let’s catch the terrorist’ drama is devoid of too much of chest beating. If the climax is a tad too tame, it is both the strength and the weakness of the film. Go for it without too many expectations.

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