Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Cast: Nana Patekar, Sanjeev Jaiswal
b! Says: *
‘The Attacks of 26/11′ is not just a bad movie – it’s criminally awful. Not only does Ram Gopal Varma deliver a film so bled dry of pathos, its unintentional hilarity is bound to rub people the wrong way. A subject like this begged for sensitive handling but what you get instead is a movie so grossly Bollywood-ised, it’s hard to watch after a while.
‘The Attacks of 26/11′ is narrated as a flashback by Joint Commissioner Rakesh Maria (Nana Patekar), who is facing inquiry for mishandling operations in the control room on the night of the attacks. We see how Ajmal Kasab and his nine mates hijack Kuber, make their way to the Indian mainland and wreak havoc at Leopold Cafe, Taj hotel, CST station and Cama hospital. The other attack sites (Oberoi hotel, Nariman House) are plain ignored and are made mention of in only a few lines, before the action shifts to the interrogation of Kasab (Sanjeev Jaiswal).
Watching ‘The Attacks of 26/11′ could be compared to trying to see a 3D film without the special glasses. The Kuber hijack sequence, in particular, is a shaky mess and enough to make you seasick. However, the jerky frames aren’t this film’s biggest problem. Nana Patekar earns the dubious distinction of taking longer than even Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson in the Twilight series) to finish a sentence. A good actor like Atul Kulkarni is completely wasted and there’s a tasteless cameo by the owner of Leopold Cafe. Jaiswal as Kasab looks and sounds constipated for most of the movie. Some scenes are overly dramatized (Tukaram Omble’s capture of Kasab) while others are not done enough justice to. There are factual errors aplenty and when the source material is as sensational as this, tacky flourishes passed off as creative liberty are hard to pardon.
Poorly acted and amatuerly captured, ‘The Attacks of 26/11′ is hardly the kind of film the victims, heroes or Indian audiences deserve. Until a better filmmaker does 26/11 justice, stick to documentaries (we’d suggest Surviving Mumbai).