In Director Nikhil Advani’s latest movie, D-Day, released this Friday, the D-day is for india’s most wanted and notorious gangster, seated in Pakistan, Iqbal aka Goldman (inspired by Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, played by Rishi Kapoor).
D-Day or Dooms-Day refers to the day when US army landed in Normandy( France) during Second World War. In English language, the phrase is used to represent “The last day of the world’s existence”; and in Christian belief “The day of the Last Judgment”. In short, the Day when the God decides on humans’ balance sheets, is the D-Day.
In Director Nikhil Advani’s latest movie, D-Day, released this Friday, the D-day is for india’s most wanted and notorious gangster, seated in Pakistan, Iqbal aka Goldman. The Indian Intelligence Agency clinically hatches a covert operation, called Operation Goldman, to assassinate the gangster (inspired by Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, played by Rishi Kapoor); and the movie is about how the various operatives, from both side of borders, are pitted or affected by the operation. The entire operation takes place in some dimly lit Pakistan city.
From the standpoint of the plot, which is mostly fiction, with some creative freedom here and there, the movie is well made and perfectly executed. For most of the movie, the situations are believable and the characters real. Here director Nikhil Advani must be praised for choosing a subject which is so complex that he could have easily get derailed from the main thread. But thankfully, with an occasional stray here and there, the movie’s plot remains on track.
Talking of the creative liberty, the movie has moments where an intelligent viewer can easily relate it to US marine Operation called Zero Dark Thirty for assassination of osama Bin Laden. But to add to the twist, the mission of Indian spies in D-Day (read RAW agents) is to kidnap iqbal alias goldman alive, bring him back to india , run trial and give punishment for his misdeeds.
Spies are not always, swanky guys and gals, moving in best of places OR living in the best of neighbourhoods. Not always, Spies are bodybuilder types, who are laden with machismo. That said, female spies are not always hot zero size svelte creatures. In contrast, spies at most times are least noticeable people, living and moving at seedy locations. The portrayal of gangsters and spies, as lanky guys with no visible muscles, first perfected by director Ram Gopal Verma, is visible in D-Day.
Another notable departure from the usual Spy flicks from Bollywood, is not falling into the temptation of showing the Indians Spies too white, and the rivals at pakistan too dark. Knowing well the frailties in Human character, director Nikhil Advani gave its key characters a bit of human weaknesses. So you will see in the movie not only dishonest, unfaithful Indians, but also passionate Pakistanis. Indian Spies are shown in all their understandable weaknesses — where they are players & victims at the same time to internal RAW politics, cat-and-mouse games not only with their foes, but also with each other; and visibly having feet of clay. An example here will help: When in the movie, a Spy pledges his commitment to “honour, duty and country” above all else, another Spy refers to these virtues as three of their biggest weaknesses.
What Stands Out:
The performances of irrfan ( a raw agent, living in pakistan in disguise for 10 long yrs working as barbar), Huma qureshi ( a Spy, named Zoya, a married woman from Britain working in welfare programme in Pakistan, sacrificing her marriage for her country) and Rishi Kapoor is something to look out for.
Unfortunately the performance of Arjun Rampal (playing Rudra, a disgruntled suspended army officer) and Shruti Haasan (playing Suraiya, a sex worker with a scarred face at Karachi Red light area, in who Rudra found much needed solace) appear somewhat dull. Arjun Rampul, with a deep baritone voice, must know there’s more to acting than voice. As far as Shruti Hassan is concerned, a better script for her would have upped her character and performance. But, since the Rudra and Suraiya (Rudra’s muse) chemistry appeared ancillary to the main plot; the director couldn’t have given her better lines.
Performances of Akash (playing the role of Aslam, a criminal turned raw agent) and Raj Kumar Gupta (lending his voice only and playing the husband of Zoya, desperately trying to reconnect with her), fairly convey the drama. KK Raina (playing Pakistan General) is convincing as always.
What drags the movie down:
At times, the multiple plots and characters appear overwhelming. Some plots like that between Arjun Rampal and Shruti Hassan, look unnecessary. The presence of such derailments could have been justified if the plot is upped by good performances. But as happens with most ancillary plots, they appear shoddy.
Another thing which slows down the plot is Director took so much time to establish characters. This makes the First half slow and less entertaining. In the second half, movie is much pacey and background score helps story to progress. Over all, the Editing should have been more crisp to hold the interest in characters.
Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars
The movie script is well researched and the movie is well executed. If you like Spy thrillers, this can be a one time movie.