Nikhil Advani’s D-Day is full on thrilling action film that stars Rishi Kapoor, Irrfan Khan and Arjun Rampal in lead roles. It is a film that is loosely based on the story of India’s most wanted man, Dawood Ibrahim. Ibrahim remains one of the most deadly terrorists, who is accused of organising terror attacks against hundreds and thousands of Indians. D-Day follows the story of four men and their attempt to capture the most wanted terrorist alive. Advani gifts his audience an intelligent film that is patriotic to the core, in that he focuses exhaustively on the countries interest first and foremost! But does he do enough to make audiences feel the same way? And do the action we have read so much about live up to its promise? Read on to find out more!
To set the scene we have Iqbal Seth or aka Goldman (Rishi Kapoor) who is the most wanted terrorist alive. Set amidst the locales of Karachi, Goldman is heavily protected by the ISI thus obtaining information about him or getting to him becomes increasingly difficult. However, three brave men- barber shop owner Wali Khan (Irrfan Khan), Ex Army Officer Rudra Pratap Singh (Arjun Rampal), explosives experts Aslam (Akaash Dahiya) and one strong, assertive woman- Zoya Rehman (Huma Qureshi) are in fact undercover spies working for the RAW intelligence agency. Their only mission-to protect the country.
While the four members of RAW execute Operation Goldman to obtain means to the powerful underdog, their mission fails miserably. It is, however, post the failure of this mission the films story unravels. Nikhil focuses his attention towards the four dutiful heroes of India. Their stories, their struggles, their pain, their separations. By way of gaining a perspective into the characters lives, audiences have the opportunity to uncover reasons as to why Operation Goldman failed.
Wali is a man who feels complete when surrounded by his loved ones. Although an undercover agent serving his country, audiences will see he is also a man almost always torn between his personal and professional life. Rudra on the other hand, comes across as a man disinterested in relationships- arguing they make one become too weak. Whilst he uses a prostitute (Shruti Haasan) for his sexual desires from time to time, he does finally realise that his relationship with her is more than mere sex. As with Zoya, she leaves everything behind to devote herself to the mission. But ultimately we realise that detaching ourselves from relationships can be quite the impossible, and as this became increasingly difficult for them they could not complete the task set out. Whether Goldman is finally captured alive remains the plot to the rest of the film post interval.
As far as their acting goes, Rishi Kapoor yet again performes fantastically. Everything from his baritone voice, powerful dialogues and overall look (including those red tinted shades) have served to add so much more depth and charisma to the character that I think he did justice to the role. Both Irrfan Khan and Arjun Rampal are an absolute pleasure to watch. They are both characters portrayed with so much pain and agony, but know exactly how important this mission is, which is well executed through their awe-inspiring acting. Huma Qureshi and Aakash Dahliya also deliver great performances and are convincing in their respective roles.
The striking action scenes, unsteady camera techniques and use of non-diegetic drumming to create a sense of uneasiness work well to add to the brewing tension. The music of the film also works wonders keeping some action packed scenes alive and will undeniably move audiences (e.g Alvida).
D-Day does, however, come with some minor flaws. Some scenes of the film are rather lengthy and you can sometimes almost predict how the scene will end quite early on. Whilst some scenes are just as thrilling as they are exciting to watch, the interval did not pause the film on such a note, which I think was very much needed.
Overall, D-Day is a powerfully executed story that delivers what it set out from the very beginning. Protecting the country from organised crime and violence means protecting the killings of innocents to build a new India. As much as it is hard-hitting it is emotionally patriotic. I went with a 3.5 but it is heavily leaning towards 4 stars. Go catch it at a theatre near you!