Two reasons why John Abraham should be given a pat. This is a first attempt at explaining Artificial Intelligence and making a whole film centred around it. The courage to go into untried territory gets a thumbs up. John may take a bow because he is one of the producers of the film and has been credited with the story idea too.
The second pat is for carrying off the Super Soldier with credibility mainly because he’s so bone-crunching fit.
An Abbottabad-Osama kind of operation is recreated to establish Arjun Shergill (John Abraham) as an army man with muscle, mind power, much chivalry (he waves away a woman in terror territory) and a touch of humanity as he lets off a young boy who’s been wired as a human bomb.
It also hits the first note of ‘Triumphant India’. Especially when it comes to punching the enemy across the border really hard.
Written and directed by Lakshya Raj Anand, the screenplay (co-written by Vishal Kapoor) makes room for a cheeky-tender romance between Arjun and air hostess Aisha (Jacqueline Fernandez) while a few moments with his mother (Ratna Pathak Shah) make a heart connect. Humour rolls along in the initial scenes where Arjun talks to IRA, the chip in his system that’s his guide. Goodbye, Alexa.
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When terror barges into India, Arjun’s loss is complete. And you need a man who has nothing to lose to be the guinea pig for a cyber breakthrough that could power India’s security.
India’s answer to Pakistan’s terror is signed off with patriotism, Jai Hind and the flag fluttering with pride.
However, while dialogues (Sumit Batheja) like, “The Home Minister is madly in love with the Prime Minister” and “These days our army is showing kuch zyada hi josh” raise their laughs from the viewer, they also clearly spell that this is no ode to the dispensation of the day.
Fictionalising an attack on the Indian Parliament where the Prime Minister is the prime hostage, taking potshots at the josh of the army and Pak terrorists putting down the PM in a verbal exchange with him, make it a slippery kind of ‘whose side are you on?’ patriotism. One doesn’t mean that patriotism must be complimentary to the current government but the audience has begun to take political sides. And it’s curious that while Lakshya’s film goes jingoistic-anti-Pak in flavour (not in dialogue) which does not win favour with a certain section, it can’t help sneering verbally at who’s in charge in India today which the other section won’t take kindly to.
AI and comprehending the many cyber flashes into the Arjun-Aisha romance also have limited appeal and it is an expensive experiment.
But the one-man-army that rescues the entire Parliament has its pluses.
The background score has a rhythm (Shashwat Sachdev) that aids the tempo while the narrative delivers hardcore action with special effects.
Prakash Raj as Subramaniam, an Ajit Doval kind of national security boss, and Rakul Preet Singh as the cyber scientist who ‘chips’ in with her breakthrough to turn Arjun into India’s first homegrown terminator, make their presence felt in and out of Parliament which is the centrepiece of the main action.
But the top vote goes to Afghan-origin, London-based actor Elham Ahsas as Hamid Gul, the terrorist who’s ultimately felled by India’s guinea pig. Ahsas is a fresh face in Hindi cinema and that’s always welcome.
Watch Attack Movie Trailer: