India’s most-wanted gangster ranks second in the list of world’s most-wanted criminals; although, it is not something to be proud of but it undoubtedly makes up a spicy and sassy ingredient for a Bollywood masala-flick. No one knows if the Dawood, who is hailed as the mafia king, is still alive or dead but his stories certainly interest the audience.
Only a few months ago, Shootout at Wadala brought the Dongri boy alive on the celluloid and now it is D-Day embarking on a mission to get him back to India. This 154-minute long crime-thriller is based on the partial truth. Indian intelligence agency R&AW send their two brave officers Zoya Rehman (Huma Qureshi) and Captain Rudra Pratap Singh (Arjun Rampal) to Karachi on a mission with just one aim which is to bring India’s most wanted criminal and terrorist back on the Indian soils. Alive! Joining this mission are R&AW undercover agents, Wali Khan (Irrfan Khan) and Aslam (Akash Dhaiya), already residing in Karachi in the disguise of Pakistani citizens. Together these four espouse this crucial mission and take it to its destination. But things do not go as planned; they are crushed as they face refusal and betrayal which then lands the four in a puddle. How will these four accomplish the mission at the same time getting rid of the traitor tag attached to them, forms the rest of story. These four carry their heart on sleeve all the while standing up for “Honor, Duty and Country”. As mentioned the film’s story is based on a partial truth; such a mission being executed by Indian Intelligence forces to nab Dawood during his daughter’s wedding but as it turned out, our officers failed to get hold of this highly witty guy.
The film has a very tight storyline and is very well-executed. Nikhil Advani who proved his directorial prowess with his debut film Kal Ho Na Ho, levels up with this film by making an absolutely diverse genre film. Although, the film adheres to a serious topic but has the ability to touch the audience’s hearts and make them smile, laugh and clap. The language used in the film brings out the essence of the film. It is ripe and healthy. The dialogues are hard-hitting and wilful. You’d especially remember Goldman (Rishi Kapoor’s) dialogues – “Darr dikha kay dukan khadi ki hai, darr gaya toh dukan nahi rahegi”, “Yeh mulk meri maa hai aur Mumbai meri mashuka” – which is a key element to enlighten this particular character. The film is action-packed, there is bloodshed but the weak-hearted will live through. The film is closer to reality yet fictional which makes it fun to watch. Laughter will pierce through the theater walls as the celluloid version of Indian PM says into the phone “Ji Madam ji”.
Another great element of the film is its music. If we thought Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy did a fabulous job with Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, we were yet to hear their next creation. The music of the film has a sufiyana and qawwali touch owing to the setting of the story. It is endearing and heartwarming. The film has a remix of celebrated song “Mastakalandar” which is sung by Mika and a ghazal “Ek ghadi aur” sung by Rekha Bhardwaj. The picturization of these songs also plays a significant role in bringing out the flavor of the music. You’d definitely be touched by the way ‘Alvida’ is filmed.
The lyrics are equally emotive and the credit for such affectionate lyrics goes to Niranjan Iyengar.
Khilte phulon ka fasana to bas bahana tha
Bujhte sholon ki daastaan abhi baaki hai
Ek ghadi aur theher ke jaan baaki hai
The star cast of the film is rightfully strong. Their performance is top-notch. South superstar Nassar, Marathi film superstar Sandeep Kulkarni, veteran theatre actor-director K.K.Raina and actor Chandan Roy Sanyal will be seen in pivotal roles. Shruti Hassan, who portrays the character of an unnamed prostitute and a love interest of Captain Rudra Pratap Singh, does not have very much screen presence yet her role doesn’t seem vague.
In spite of all the superfluity, the story has its share of flaws. At one point it confuses duty with emotions, cluttering up the storyline in the process. It doesn’t really justify as to how a man can survive two bomb blasts and come out of it unharmed. The climax may confuse the viewers just a wee-bit.
Nonetheless, the film is an entertainer churning out a patriotic aura. By the time the movie is over, you will definitely feel like giving it a standing ovation.