Being a cinema nerd, I have grown up on Hindi films and while I love the typical Bollywood masala films with all my heart, it just makes me all the more excited whenever a filmmaker attempts something new and unique. Before the teaser of John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez and Rakul Preet Singh-starrer Attack was unveiled, I wasn't much aware of what the film is about and thus my expectations also weren't as high. But they got built up more and more with each teaser and trailer that the makers released. So, when I entered the theatre yesterday to watch the film, I was pretty excited with huge expectations and I must say, the film lived up to it and maybe even more.
Check out the trailer of Attack here:
Directed by debutante Lakshya Raj Anand, Attack: Part 1 is the story of an army officer named Arjun, who suffers a mishap during a terrorist attack in the city and is eventually selected for India's first human experiment for a super soldier program. How this super soldier protects the nation single-handedly from the biggest terrorist attack the country has even been under forms the crux of the story, and the team of Attack has done a commendable work in bringing that out. The film is presented by Dr Jayantilal Gada, John and Ajay Kapoor.
Things that I liked:
- Attention to detail
If there is one thing that the Hindi cinema has struggled with in sci-fi or superhero genre movies is to make the setting believable and credible in the Indian backdrop. But here the makers have worked on not letting it be the cause of disconnect for the audience. For every scientific move and everything that happens in the film, there is an explanation shown that helps you believe that maybe it isn't all fiction.
2. The integration of science and technology
One thing that I really loved about Attack is that if they are showing a super soldier program, it isn't based on some ill-explained technology. The whole science behind the process is explained and how it works. Even if it is not possible in real life, the makers have done it with such conviction that it all seems possible in the world that the director has created. The scenes between Ira and John's Arjun have to be some of my favourite ones and what I loved about them is that they never go over-the-top even with all the chances of doing that.
3. The action choreography and the camerawork
The action of this film is its USP, it's completely international level and will give you an adrenaline rush, making you jump out of your seat. It's so beautifully choreographed and executed, especially by John. We have seen the actor attempt some unbelievable action sequences as a normal human being in several of his films. Here, when he is a super soldier and has the liberty to go all out and do crazy things, the director has still practised restraint, and while the sequences are to marvel at, they never go beyond the realm of what seems plausible even in that world.
4. The characters and performances
I had huge expectations from John as a super soldier and he lived up to them and how. However, after Satyameva Jayate 2, where he was shown with super-human strength even as a cop, a farmer and a politician, I was a little skeptical about him going overboard here, but he didn't even in a single frame. As a super soldier, the director could have shown Arjun as a man of steel, but they kept him human who has his weaknesses, and that's what makes him relatable. The characters are so perfectly etched out that you feel connected to them. Even Ira, the A.I. assistant feels like a character in the film, and that's a huge win. Rakul is a big surprise in the film as she plays her role of a tech expert to the T. She is practical yet empathetic, someone who sticks by her morals and she has done a brilliant job at it. Jacqueline has more of an extended special appearance in the film but nowhere does her character or her scenes seem unnecessary. The supporting cast is amazing too with Prakash Raj, Rajit Kapur and Ratna Pathak Shah living up to the credibility of their experience. Elham Ehsas as the antagonist grows on you.
5. An amazing base for an action franchise
Attack: Part 1 doesn't go all out with it's action even though Ira is shown as an A.I. who can download and implement any kind of combat mode from anywhere. Rakul's character Sabah in the film iterates it many times that the technology and Arjun aren't fully compatible yet and the director has kept that in mind. It has also given a scope to make things bigger and better as the makers go ahead in the franchise. There is a lot left to be explored and this film serves as a perfect origin story for the super soldier. I would love to see an army of super soldier in the next one.
Things that could have been better:
- The music
It's not like the music of the film is bad, but it doesn't add much to the story. The songs are sweet to the ear but it isn't something that you will take home after you are done watching the film. It's pleasant to hear but not one of the strongest suit of the otherwise amazing film.
2. I wanted more of Jacqueline
Rather than a drawback, it's more like a personal request. I love the presence that Jacqueline brings on screen and while I loved seeing the courtship period between her and John in the beginning and all the scenes she had later on, I just wanted to see more of her, and that is more of a personal bias.
There is a dialogue in the film that says we Indians have 'gori chamdi syndrome' as we find it cool when someone tries something unique internationally, but we can't digest it when someone in India does that. And that holds so true in relation to Attack. This film is a marvelous attempt at something new and unique, something that Indian cinema has either never attempted or struggled at whenever they did. It might not be revolutionary cinema, but it does pave way for more films to come in this genre. For the commendable effort that the makers have put in the film to bring out this new genre to Indian cinema, I have to give them an extra half star.