Cast – Vidyut Jamwal, Adah Sharma, Gulshan Devaiah, Angira Dhar
Directors – Aditya Datt
Producer – Vipul Amrutlal Shah, Aashin A. Shah
Where there’s Vidyut Jammwal, there’s bound to be action galore. Young director Aditya Datt doesn’t let you down on that score or with the story that he’s got in store.
The Indian intelligence has picked up two pieces of information. India is going to be the target of a massive terror attack and vulnerable Indian boys are being converted to Islam and brainwashed into believing that terror has the sanction of Allah.
Enter Karan Dogra with the ponytail, the one-man army who can find and destroy the mastermind behind the plot who’s been radicalising youth in India.
Darius Yarmil’s screenplay is smartly commercial as Karan not only flexes muscle and crunches bones but also exercises his grey cells as he hunts down mastermind Buraq Ansari in London. What keeps it engaging is that the brain behind the terror plot is equally shrewd. In fact there’s one sequence where Karan and Buraq track each other down using brainwork more than brawn. It gives chessboard cleverness to the cat-n-mouse game between the terrorist and the commando. It’s a battle between an atankwadi and a Bharatwadi, as Karan calls himself.
It’s the simple story of a commando foiling a synchronised terror attack by radical Islamists to create havoc in different parts of India. But villain Buraq is interestingly sophisticated. He speaks English with a touch of a firangi accent and has a little son who is his weakness, though the menace even when he’s garnishing a biryani, is quite chilling.
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Apart from making Buraq a refreshing change from routine bad men, the writing also maintains an obvious balance to ensure that all communities are on board and nobody’s sentiments are hurt. There is a chilling introduction of Islamic terror where your heart pounds for a calf that’s about to be slaughtered. But there’s also Karan’s introduction where he smashes an akhada full of Hanuman-worshipping wrestlers who wear langots and tease little schoolgirls in skirts. Pehelwani skirt mein, Karan sneers as he tears off his shirt, and takes them on bare-chested.
That’s cheesy commercial but Junaid Wasi’s dialogues work in the ambience that’s created.
Making it even more politically correct, there’s space made for two lady officers Bhavna Reddy and Mallika Sood to also throw a few mean punches when they’re not vying for Karan’s attention. It makes them kind of silly but I guess it’s meant as time off from the intense action.
In the tale of a patriotic Indian commando, the British sometimes come off as incompetent and sometimes even soft on terror. But Aditya has brilliant action pieces, emotions which connect and an assortment of characters to keep it going.
Vidyut Jammwal is of course tailormade for the role of Karanveer Dogra, his action sequences a thrill each time he hits out. Adah Sharma as South Indian officer Bhavna and Angira Dhar as her British counterpart are happily comfortable in their roles. Gulshan Devaiah provides the ideal package of menace, meanness and single-mindedness in his jihad against India.