BY RUBY CHINGU
Directed – Nikhil Advani
Written by – Ritesh Shah, Suresh Nair
May I begin the review by saying how much I love the year 2013? The year has given us so many great and truly enjoyable Indian films to the point that I have somehow turned into a film addict, a happy and satisfied one at that. D-Day, most fortunately, is one of them.
Ahhh, how I would miss the year… The year the three chinguz started our review blog and the year I got mercilessly hooked to Indian films. And spazzing and ranting about them. The year I discovered Dhanush, Sushant Singh Rajput, Varun Dhawan and many more.
Back to D-Day… The premise of the film began with a team of intelligence officers from RAW (India’s external intelligence branch) stationed in Pakistan attempting to capture India’s number 1 most-wanted criminal (and no. 2 in the world) named Iqbal Seth a.k.a Goldman. The operation was known as Operation Goldman. As they carefully planned their actions up to the execution day (thus, the D-Day), the team members had to face the gruesome effect of their national duties towards their personal lives. Upon the failure of their mission, the four agents found themselves betrayed by their own country as Iqbal Seth’s men and the Pakistani police were hunting them down.
I spent two and half hours trying to find a fault in this film and truth to be told, I failed. Is it not a bit over-dramatic to say that a film can be flawless? But D-Day is, in a most unexpected way. It is a film of the action genre. However, the director and writer successfully injected the film with a profound sense of humanity. No matter how cold-hearted, slick and brutal the intelligence officers are, the damage caused by their jobs towards their personal life and emotional state is huge.
The turning point in the movie is the aftermath of the operation’s failure. The four agents, whose secret mission would never be admitted by the Indian government, was wanted by the mafia and the Pakistani police. The worst thing, however, is when the Indian intelligence also wanted to kill them as a cautionary measure to avoid them being captured by the enemy. All of a sudden, the country which the agents had sacrificed everything for turned its back on them, abandoning them to fate’s mercy.
Irrfan Khan played Wali Khan, a RAW agent who had been stationed in Karachi for the past 9 years. He had a caring wife and a loving son whom he lived his life for. This devotion clashed severely with the duty to his country. He wanted to fulfill his mission yet at the same time was not ready to let go of his family and undertake any risk necessary to accomplish it. His dilemma is the film’s strong point. Fuck shit man, Irrfan Khan is AMAZING! WHAT A GOOD ACTOR, GOD!! Without much words, Irrfan Khan is an actor who is always able to convey his emotions – confusions, sadness, rage – through his eyes. And the final scene where he drove towards the Pakistani guard post, sacrificing himself for his country as he was recalling the happier moments with his family is one of the most heartbreaking scenes ever.
He is officially one of my favourite actors of all time… on the same level as Abhay Deol and Manoj Bajpai. Can’t wait to see him in The Lunchbox as well. Please, film, come quickly!!
Arjun Rampal played Rudra, a suspended soldier/intelligence officer/occasional assassin. He had this mysterious masculine image around him. Arjun or the Sex God, as Palah calls him, played the bad boy of the good side masterfully. Naturally gifted with intense facial expression and a fiiiiiiiiiine heavenly jaw, he scares and attracts the audience at the same time into his character. During the mission, he stayed at the brothel and had a brief yet passionate love affair with Suraiya, a prostitute whose name he did not ask. Nevertheless, the feelings they had for each other are genuine to the extent Rudra killed the men who tortured her.
Huma Qureshi who played Zoya, an explosive expert is great. She acted well despite her young age and there was that maturity beneath that beauty of her as she had to sacrifice her marriage in order to devote herself to the operation.
Rishi Kapoor, I think, is experiencing a renaissance in his career. I feel as if I’ve seen him in almost every films I watch, playing an unbelievably wide range of characters. In Agneepath, he blew my mind away with his bipolar yet ruthless Rauf Lala character. in Shuddh Desi Romance as the funny mischievous wedding planner and in many others. Very committed to his roles, Rishi has the ability to transform himself – from good to evil, funny to serious. That fat old cute man, let me tell you, is here to stay. A great actor like him should never retire.
There are so many touching scenes in this film, particularly the ones with Irrfan Khan…. Amaigad, I want to fucking cry! Judging from the poster, who would’ve thought the story would move me? Arghh… But my favourite had to be when Rudra pictured how his lover, Suraiya, was raped and tortured by Iqbal Seth’s man at the brothel as the sad love song, Alvida, was playing in the background. Suraiya killed herself as the rape happened by slashing her wrist.
All in all, this is a must-see film. Despite its seemingly action-based premise, it is a film about love, loyalty, patriotism and complex human emotions. Between love and duty, happiness and pain, which should prevail? I don’t think there is ever an answer to that question.