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The Attacks of 26/11 – Movie Review

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Ram Gopal Varma’s attempt to present the screen version of the real time incident that had taken place on November 26, 2008, in Mumbai through ‘The Attacks of 26/11’ is an average endeavor if compared to accuracy of the real events, but as a fiction, Varma has created some nice scenes, if some flaws will be ignored. The director, who often makes current issue based movies, is back with the crime-thriller film.

There is no need of discussing the script of the film, since everybody knows the incident quiet well. But yes, we should note here that the director has not taken the whole incident, but tried to frame in the tale of Kasab in the movie.

Thus, the film lacks accuracy to a bigger extent, if compared with the real happenings on that unfortunate day. Okay, for your reference, here is the brief plot – 10 armed and trained men from Pakistan, in their early 20s, headed by Ajmal Kasab, entered Mumbai through water-way and executed coordinated attacks across 12 prominent venues of Bombay. The city was held to ransom for almost two and half days killing around 166 people and injuring many.

Yet, in the movie, attacks on all of the venues have not been taken up and it only portraits four main venues of the attacks: the Taj Hotel in Colaba and the cafe Leopold near it; the VT station and the hospital Cama. It is basically the portrayal of the episode that took place in about three hours of that frightful night.

Review – It was not a horror film like RGV’s other flicks. But in execution of the script on many occasions the film seems more like a horror movie then a real live incident. Sensitivity part is somewhere missing. Hence, we can see that research is missing. Like, the humanity scenes which actually had taken place that night, were great topics, which could have been shown on screen to make the viewing more memorable, but all of those were missed. We understand the time limitation, but still, it could be a great idea.

This story is told through Bombay’s JCP (Joint Commissioner of Police), played by Nana Patekar and surely well told, since the veteran actor has left no stone unturned to do justice to his role.

A lot of bloodshed has been shown in the first half, while the second half runs in a slow pace finally leading to the hanging of Kasab. The long conversation between Maria (Nana Patekar) and Kasab was fair for taking so long, but equally it was the most captivating part in the film.

Coming to acting, Nana Patekar, though quite over the top in places, was as usually superb. But his role could be more interesting.

Sanjeev Jaiswal who portrays Kasab is quite good as a first timer. He is also unfortunately a victim of the real incident.

Cinematography of the movie deserves kudos. There are many memorable and striking shots, so many to name actually.

Music is average. Of course, as first requirement for the music is to match to the sequences, and when the scenes are horrific, music does have very little scope for being soothing, but still music as well as back ground scoring is okay.

Art Direction – The Hotel Taj set that had been constructed in 2.3 crores had created a buzz beforehand. It was good enough, but not at par with the high cost invested for it. Regarding other sets we would like to call it average.

As a whole, the movie can be termed as a unique screen presentation from RGV, but certainly can be blamed for being far from accuracy and so it falls to the ‘one time watch’ category. But if you’re a bigger fan of Ramu, you’ll love to hit the theatre even more number of times.

TNI rating – *** (3) out of 5.

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