IMDb Rating:- 5/10 Genre:- Action, Drama, Sport Director:- Girish Malik Star Cast:- Sanjay Dutt, Nargis Fakhri, Rahul DevMovie Story:- At an Afghanistan refugee camp, A man rises from personal tragedy to lead a group of children from a refugee camp to victory, transforming their lives through the game of cricket.
REVIEW:- Even after all these years, the pangs of separation are so intense that Dr. Khan sits at Delhi airport – all set to fly to Afghanistan when the authorities announce his name for final boarding – but the dejected man in him lies to the ground staff, saying, “I have lost my boarding pass,” as the torn piece of paper sits comfortably next to him. Such is his fear of the place and the melancholic memories attached to them. His wife and son were blown up by a suicide bomber in Kabul, where he held a post at the Indian Embassy –who also happened to be a 10-year-old child. Despite the trauma, he visits the adoption function of a refugee camp dedicated to kids who do are burdened by misfortune and despair at a tender age and takes it upon himself to change these helpless individuals’ fate through the game of cricket.
When communal disharmony and terror-torn cities are cherry-picked as the central theme with the subtext of sports enthusiasts serving as a solid ground for a human interest story that is sure to resonate, you expect the cinematography to pierce through your heart. Unfortunately, that is not the case with Hiroo Keswani’s work behind the camera in this crime drama. Art director Martand Mishra erects a set far from what a war-torn region looks like – underwhelming. Not just that, the emotional turbulence that the former doctor experiences during the course of the film do not feel real and relatable – a sneak peek into his life before tragedy struck would have done the trick. Director Girish Malik makes a feeble attempt at portraying a strong sense of community in the face of adversity, but the smaller characters were complete misfits and did not render any depth to their individual roles. The time-worn undercurrents of hyper-nationalism and patriotic rants are too feeble to save a movie that needed a drastic makeover, and not just creative lifting.
As an older man whose flickering hope is the less fortunate children of Afghanistan, Dutt goes to painful lengths to save the movie from becoming another run-of-the-mill endeavor highlighting the tragedy that is humankind. He fails. Nargis Fakhri is the courageous NGO worker Ayesha, and although she gets the look of her character right, it is her acting chops that required some serious honing. As the leader of a certain terrorist organization breeding children suicide bombers, Rahul Dev is not one bit scary – we are not even sure if that was the intent at all. Both Fakhri and Dev struggle with their caricature-ish Pashto accents, adding to the sorry condition of the narrative.
A film on such a delicate subject, and with a veteran actor like Sanjay Dutt, could have created a marvellous cinematic experience for all those tearjerker loyalists out there. Sadly, it ends being a ho-hum story lacking gravitas.