In the week when Will Smith will take over the world over as the blue genie in Alladin, here comes a sobering film that tells us why the world needs to rid itself of the looming threat of terrorism so that we can all go back to enjoying Alladdin without wondering if we will get home safe with our families after the film. Here are 5 reasons why we welcome Arjun Kapoor’s India’s Most Wanted.
1. Because it’s directed by Rajkumar Gupta, the imperturbably skilled director from Jharkhand who started his career with the beguiling terror-thriller Aamir. The entire film was shot as through CCTV cameras capturing the movements of the scampering hero, Rajiv Khandelwal, with a brief case, as he was given sinister instruction from a mysterious voice on the phone. This was Costa Gavras reborn.
2. Then there is Rajkumar Gupta’s No One Killed Jessica, a stylish yet real and raw take on the slaying of the unfortunate Jessica Lal (played by the lovely Myra Karna who is now Mrs Rajkumar Gupta). Among the many huge virtues of this unforgettable film was the singular honour of watching two of the finest contemporary actresses Rani Mukherjee and Vidya Balan, together in a duel under the stunned. Please note: no other director has pulled off such a casting coup. Rani, please reunite with Vidya.
2. Rajkumar Gupta last directed Raid. Set in a real raw politically simmering world of corruption and the bureaucracy it had Ajay Devgn as a real-life income-tax officer in Lucknow who raided a powerful politician, entirely at his own risk. For me Raid proved one thing once and for all. Ajay Devgn can move effortlessly from Golmaal to Raid. Rajkumar Gupta can’t. His goofy Ghanchakkar was a big flop.
3. Rajkumar Gupta’s Ghankchakkar didn’t create the impact it was meant to. But grant Gupta the fact that he made a rare film that cast a female actor Vidya Balan in a comic role. As a bullying overambitious housewife Ms Balan nailed it. I’d describe Ghanchakkar as an honourable (and enormously amusing) failure.
5. India’s Most Wanted is not about the stereotypical super-heroic intelligence officer, the kind that Akshay Kumar plays , chasing down a terrorist in fancy cobbled lanes, but a common man pledging to nab a terrorist on the crowded streets of (my city!) Patna and Nepal.. Again, the film has a raw wounded feel to it. And Arjun Kapoor plays the role that I suspect will be a game-changer in his career.
Well-made films countering the scourge of global terrorism are never unwelcome. I hope the film releases in both India and Pakistan. Because both the countries are fighting a common enemy.