Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma is known for psychological and horror thrillers, underworld gang warfare films, politician-criminal nexus and experimental films. His last two releases Department and Bhoot Returns bombed at Box Office. The director, who often does movies based current issues, is back with a crime-thriller film The Attacks of 26/11, which is released in Telugu as 26/11 India Pai Daadi.
Ever since Ram Gopal Varma announced it, 26/11 India Pai Daadi has been creating a positive buzz because the movie is based on the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which had left the whole world shocked. Much have been written and shown on various TV channels about the terrorist attack that has taken place at the Taj Hotel and Nariman House on November 26. Now, RGV has brought the same real and raw events on screen without much commercial values, which makes it an interesting watch.
Ram Gopal Varma's beautiful screenplay is the main strength of the film 26/11 India Pai Daadi. Besides lead actors superb performance, Rooshin Dalal and Amar Mohile's amazing background score, wonderful cinematography, brilliant artwork are other highlights of the movie. The slow-paced narration in the second hour is the main drawback of the film.
The movie 26/11 India Pai Daadi is restricted to the night of the incident and has focused on the happenings between 9 pm to 1 am when Kasab was caught. The film shows that Ram Gopal Varma has done extensive research before starting it. The movie is not a complete visual portrayal of the brutal attack. Rather it brings a few portion of the terrorists act and then movies on depiction of Ajmal Kasab's trail, which might disappoint the audience.
In the first half, Ram Gopal Varma chronicles the events about how the terrorists came and attack the various buildings in the city and it is very interesting to watch on screen. But the second half and the climax turn out to be a test to viewers' patience with the slow and dragging scenes between Nana Patekar and Sanjeev Jaiswal.
The movie opens with Joint Commissioner of Police, Rakesh Maria (Nana Patejar) narrating the shocking events of 26/11 to a committee. He reveals how the terrorists hijack a boat, enter the city, their plans to attack various buildings and kill innocent people. The story heads towards the acts of Ajmal Kasab (Sanjeev Jaiswal). Rest of the story is all about how the police force fights back and regains control of the city.
Sanjeev Jaiswal bears striking resemblance to Ajmal Kasab and he has delivered wonderful performance. At times, he seems to be overplaying his role, but that is due to RGV's characterisation. Nana Patekar has a tailor made role in the movie 26/11 India Pai Daadi. As the Joint Commissioner of Police, he has delivered a fitting and convincing performance. Atul Kulkarni, Ganesh Yadav and others have also given brilliant performances and done justice to their respective roles.
Rooshin Dalal, Amar Mohile's background score is the main highlight in the technical front and it helps the director to elevate the intensity of firing and merciless killings. Their song compositions are also good and surely add to the narration of the film.
The camera work is another highlight in the technical front and Harshraj Shroff has nicely captured the scenes featuring the brutal terrorists' attack and killings. The replica of the Taj Hotel, which has been created with a cost of Rs 2.5 crore, is brilliant and commendable.
Overall, Ram Gopal Varma has done a very brave attempt and his movie 26/11 India Pai Daadi is a best presentation of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. But this does not mean that he has not committed any mistake in it. Of course, the movie has several minor drawbacks, which you can ignore and watch it.