The setting is that of a wedding, Rajpal Yadav crooning to Mast Kalandar in his booming voice. The backdrop is established for the world's most wanted man Iqbal (Rishi Kapoor) who will be present there for it's his son's wedding. There's ample commotion with a surge of people out to capture the gangster. Cut to parking lot of the hotel where the wedding is happening, Rudra (Arjun Rampal) has Iqbal at gun point but Wali Khan (Irrfan Khan) doesn't want him to shoot. What follows is a loud gun-shot, a bomb blast and a black out. Is Iqbal shot? Who are those four people? Watch the film to find out.
Known for exaggerated melodramatic family sagas or romantic fairs like Kal Ho Na Ho or Salaam-E-Ishq, filmmaker Nikhil Advani marks a major shift in his filmmaking as he makes this taut espionage thriller D-Day. The film is about four RAW Agents Rudra, Wali, Aslam (Aakash Dahiya) and Zoya (Huma Qureshi) who are set out on a mission by RAW director Ashwini Rao (Nasser) to capture the most wanted man and bring him back to India. But each of them have their own personal baggage to tackle with as well, while Wali gets a wife and a kid whom he adores during his undercover stint in Pakistan, Zoya leaves behind her fiance for this mission.
Nikhil Advani attempts a tight and gripping story about undercover agents pretty much like Hollywood's Zero Dark Thirty. However, it's the stress on the emotional angle of every character that gets in the way making the film appear prolonged. But that doesn't take away the fact that he still gets a startling drama which will make you sit at the edge of your seat for most parts.
It's the story-telling technique of Nikhil in the first half that deserves to be applauded. He proceeds to the crime scene within the initial 15 minutes and rewinds the incident giving it an edgy and pacey build up.
His strength also lies in his casting. Right from having Rishi Kapoor for a fashionably loud, and volatile Iqbal Seth who breathes life into his character to Irrfan Khan who can literally sleep walk into any character under the sun, every character is impactful. Arjun Rampal has excelled himself by leaps and bound and makes a commendable effort of an ex-army man turned RAW Agent delightfully. South actor Nasser fits the bill perfectly and brings the much needed weight to his character. Chandan Roy Sanyal as Iqbal's bhanja (nephew) is extremely impressive.
There are certain scenes in the film which are exceptionally shot and demand a round of applause. Especially the song sequence over the crime scene of Shruti Haasan who plays a prostitute from Pakistan sheltering Rudra. The cinematography work throughout the film is brilliant as it convincingly establishes the coarse background of Karachi, the gangster stables etc.
Had it not been for a jingoistic speech towards the end and the highly melodramatic familial sagas of each and every character along with predictable turn of events, D-Day could have been a flawless nail-biting thriller which it was throughout the first half. But despite its flaws, the movie still deserves a watch.
Critic: Mansha Rastogi
(3 / 5) : Good