Mission Istanbul

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Posted on July 28th, 2008 in Movie Reviews

Indian cinema is truly going from strength to strength. Our makers are exploring newer genres by the day and also discovering and utilising new styles of film making, and the perfect example of all the above is the Apoorva Lakhia’s latest venture Mission Istanbul.
08july mi001 Mission Istanbul
Apoorva Lakhia had promised to deliver ‘the’ action flick of the year and now its judgment day. Did he succeed you may ask and we say, absolutely! The movie is action packed with a gripping storyline that has you glued to the screen through out.

Mission Istanbul tackles the very current and horrific issue of terrorism in its own style. It’s a story predominantly based in Istanbul (as the title suggests) and deals with the media and how they can utilise their power in this age of terrorism.

The less said about what you can expect from the movie will make it all the more enjoyable when you go to experience it yourself. So in short, the plot is centered around Vikas (Zayed Khan) who is one of India’s most well known and acclaimed journalist. He never fails to deliver the best and the most intriguing news to his channel. When he transfers to Istanbul to join a new television channel, Al Johara, he stumbles upon what perhaps is the biggest and darkest secret of the world’s leading terrorist organisation. The rest of the story is a thrilling non-stop roller coaster ride that has twists, turns, action and more action.

Perhaps the most important question to ask when reflecting upon such a movie is that does the maker succeed in making a movie that is not only action packed but also backed up with a strong script, and the answer is yes. Usually you will find that directors tend to go overboard with the action, special effects and stylisation however Apoorva Lakhia does not neglect the story one bit throughout the movie. Sure there are bomb blasts, battling guns and flying cars in every other scene however, all this has been incorporated very cleverly and stylishly with a gripping storyline.

Mission Istanbul is one of the rare movies that you can see has been made with a lot of research. This is a habit that a lot of Indian film makers need to get into, which is researching thoroughly when making this type of film. Apoorva Lakhia and writer Suresh Nair definitely did their homework for this project and they go all out to display that on screen, of course having production houses such as Popcorn and Balaji backing up the project probably did make this task far more doable.
08july mi002 Mission Istanbul
Now so far so good but sooner or later we had to mention the flaws. The first one comes in the form of songs. In an action packed drama songs can either pump up the energy or turn into speed breakers, depending on how they are utilised. We are sorry to inform you that in Mission Istanbul it is the latter, they definitely do kill the speed of the movie. You’re intrigued to find out what Vikas will uncover next and how will he get out of this mess but wait you have to watch Abhishek Bachchan with an item girl for a few minutes before you get on with your journey! If the songs were interestingly picturised than no one would be complaining but they are nothing but mediocre picturisation that really do kill the flow of the movie. The second flaw comes in the form of what you would say is a blooper in the script. You’re expected to accept that a journalist can turn into a hero overnight shooting guns, flying from buildings to helicopters and battling enemies at every step. As much as all of this highly entertaining to the eyes the brain does stop to wonder for a bit. Some may disregard this saying that he’s a journalist whose been reporting on horrific crimes his whole life and others may still questions the transformation. Thus this is a two faced dilemma. Thirdly, another flaw is in the form of unrealistic situations that are here and there. For example when two guys and a girl are running from a huge group of terrorists that are planning the attack of the century, they stop to enjoy a can of Mountain Dew. Yes, that is not a joke but in fact a scene from the movie. Call it stylish or call it heroic but we say, not realistic. Lastly the biggest defect in the script is the insertion of a really cheap comic sequence based around George W Bush. Till you get to this scene you think the movie is intelligent and stylish however when this particular sequence comes on screen only two words cross your mind, cheap and unnecessary. All of these tiny flaws add up to take a huge toll on a movie which would have been rather flawless otherwise.

So now that we have gotten past the unpleasant side of the analysis, lets move onto more pleasant things and that would be the performances. Zayed Khan delivers what would be counted as one of his most credible performances till date. The actor is confident and has improved quite radically with his dialogue delivery. If one were to go back and see his debut movie Chura Liya Hai Tumne they wouldn’t hesitate in saying that he has indeed come very far. Vivek Oberoi makes a come back on screen with a bang after a whole year of depriving us of his presence. He portrays the character of the mysterious Rizvaan Khan with style and grace indeed to prove that no role is impossible for this fine actor to carry out. Shweta Bhardwaj gets what most heroines would say is a dream debut. Even if she doesn’t get a huge chunk of screen space, she doesn’t carry out any of the normal heroine tactics that most actresses do but instead is a powerhouse with action packed sequences. Shriya Saran unfortunately is wasted and barely there. One hopes that she will make Apoorva regret casting her in such a role in the future when she gets the role that gives her talent the justice it deserves. Nikitin Dheer and Shabbir Ahuluwalia both leave a very strong impact from powerful performances. One finds it hard to believe that they are both only two movies old.
08july mi003 Mission Istanbul
The main reason why this script works regardless of many flaws is because of the way the action sequences have been edited. They are not dragged out, with the exception of one or two, and keep you engrossed throughout. This proved to be a very big asset to the movie as we all know how boring long car chases and combat sequences can get. In addition, the cinematography by Gururaj R. Jois is a credible contribution to the movie and it is what makes the action sequences so impressive, elaborate kicks and punches are rather useless if it is not brought up on the screen correctly. Lastly, none of this would have been possible by the brilliant action direction by Javed, George Aguilar, Ejaz Gulab, who made the film such an amazing experience.

To sum up the experience of Mission Istanbul we’d call it a non-stop thrilling roller coaster ride! It’s thoroughly entertaining and keeps you engrossed. Audiences are most likely to ignore the minor flaws and enjoy the movie. As for our recommendations, do check this one out, it is definitely something you don’t want to miss!

Our Rating:

Kuch Toh Bolo!

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