Directed by: Nikhil Advani
Starring: Irrfan Khan, Arjun Rampal, Rishi Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Shruti Hassan
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing
Being neither Pakistani nor Hindustani I cannot really judge if the film was hurtful in sentiment, but truth to be told I did not feel like either side was made heroes or villains. In fact both sides are shown as showing no mercy or thinking twice about sacrificing lives of common folk while going after their goal – which is what they believe will secure their country. I don´t think anyone should imagine their country is not doing these things.
Inspired by the foul deeds of Dawood Ibrahim, D Day is about an attempt of four RAW agents trying to capture a man behind terrorist attacks from Pakistan, where he is hiding with the approval of local authorities, and to escort him back to India. Carefully planned and almost successful operation „Goldman“ takes place during Dawood´s son´s wedding. Unfortunately things go wrong and the four agents find themselves trapped in the streets of Karachi, pursued by both Dawood and their own Hindustani agency, who has quickly decided to give up on them and terminate them as unwanted evidence. How to lure them out though? Maybe some of them have weaknesses. Maybe some of them have families.
D Day is a skillfully crafted picture and possibly the best action thriller coming out of Bollywood last year. I was positively shocked to find out Nikhil Advani, the man behind the whiny glycerine-fest Kal Ho Na Ho, was the director. The pace was really good, even if it slowed down a bit in the second half, the work with numerous flashbacks seamless and effective. There are quite many characters and all are given at least some backstory - Irrfan´s is the best explored since it moves the plot. I was hoping to see more of Huma and Arjun´s past and relathionships, but that never happened, possibly because it would slow the film down too much. I think the weakness of the story was the fact that way too many things happen seemingly without reason. For example - why kill off the prostitute? And why does one of our protagonists suddenly decide to blow everything up, even though there is really no need for such drastic measures? And when did Irrfan and Arjun made that last bit of a plan up??? After a little stale bit we spent with our protagonists in hiding, the renewed tempo of the climax is refreshing, superb and again the whole scene very well edited, switching between thrills and emotions.
Actors do a solid job, with Irrfan being (not surprisingly) the best among them. Arjun Rampal as a silent, expressionless soldier without past fits the role and so does well, Huma Qureshi screams a bit too much from time to time but you believe her at any given moment. Shruti Hassan has a small role, is lovely to look at and in beautiful song Alvida her eyes steal the show by telling a story on their own. Her dialogue delivery sucks - something 90% of young actresses these days struggle with. Rishi Kapoor is brilliant. There is really nothing you can complain about when it comes to him. His mannerism and command over voice are remarkable.
I truly enjoyed the movie. It had just the right mix of mystery, thrilling stuff and emotions, it didn´t feel too stretched out of reality at any point, it was very "human" without any emotional blackmail involved. It was dark and rough, but not graphic. Definitely one of the better films of 2013. I repeat, I cannot say if it was politically correct or not. But strictly as a film, it was well made.