‘ATTACK’ REVIEW | 1 April, 2022

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Pen Studios, JA Entertainment and Ajay Kapoor Productions’ Attack (UA) is the story of a one-man army, who fights a dreaded terrorist and his team with the help of AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Arjun Shergill (John Abraham) is a brave armyman whose girlfriend is airhostess Ayesha (Jacqueline Fernandez). However, he becomes wheelchair-bound when he is hit in his spinal cord by a bullet in a terrorist attack. He is the chosen one to flush out dreaded terrorist Hamid Gul (Elhaam Ehsas) from the Indian Parliament building where Gul has held the Prime Minister and hundreds of Parliamentarians captive. For this, a chip is inserted into Arjun’s brain by Dr. Sabah Qureshi (Rakul Preet Singh) who has developed the AI technology. Since there are limitations to what AI can do, there are many moments of tension when it fails at crucial junctures.

John Abraham’s story is fairly nice as it at least offers something new to the audience because a drama which has AI as its base to such an extent has not been seen in too many earlier Hindi films. However, the screenplay, written by Vishal Kapoor, Sumit Batheja and Lakshya Raj Anand, is below the mark. At times, it gives the audience the feeling that the drama has been oversimplified. But even this oversimplified drama would not hold the interest of a section of the viewers because it is too technical. A technical drama of this kind needed to have at least three or four strong sub-plots or side-tracks to give the technical proceedings a break. But except for a brief romantic track of Arjun and Ayesha, there is not much else as a diversion for the audience. An enjoyable comedy track is conspicuous by its absence, making the drama tension-ridden all through. Light moments are sought to be created by showing a fickle-minded home minister, which actually dilutes the impact of the drama because it evokes laughter at the wrong places (during scenes of absolute tension). The romantic track is brief. Emotions are missing. Why, even the patriotic flavour has not been played up enough.

On the plus side, there’s plenty of action for the masses and lovers of action dramas. The novelty factor (extensive AI) is another positive point of the drama but it comes with its limitations, as mentioned above. Dialogues (Vishal Kapoor, Sumit Batheja and Lakshya Raj Anand) are average when the requirement was of punch-packed and patriotism-filled dialogues.

John Abraham does fairly well as armyman Arjun Shergill. Jacqueline Fernandez is quite nice as airhostess Ayesha. Rakul Preet Singh is reasonably good in the role of Dr. Sabah Qureshi. Elhaam Ehsas is alright as terrorist Hamid Gul. He neither acts menacingly nor looks terrifying. Prakash Raj is earnest as V.K. Subramaniam. Rajit Kapur is not very convincing as the home minister, thanks to his weak characterisation. He comes across as a home minister who is always at sea and can’t take crucial decisions. Kiran Kumar has been wasted. Ratna Pathak Shah also gets very little scope as Arjun’s mother. Serena Walia’s voice acting (as IRA) is appropriate. Nimish Desai (as the Prime Minister), Habib Aidroos (as terrorist Rehman Gul), Mir Mohammad Mehroos (as young Hamid Gul), Jaimini Pathak (as the negotiator), Yogesh Suman (as V.K. Subramaniam’s assistant), Babrak Akbari (as Mustafa), Ashish Nijhawan (as Hussain), Shahnawaz Bhatt (as Saqlain), Vikas Tomar (as the home minister’s assistant), Ranjit Punia (as the CRPF officer at Parliament checkpoint), Ranjeet Singh (as the RAF officer at Parliament checkpoint) and Karan Mehat (as Shahid) are ordinary. The rest provide routine support.

Lakshya Raj Anand’s direction is fair. He has not been able to make a wholesome entertainer as he has excluded even some basic and necessary elements like patriotism, sentiments and comedy from the narration. Shashwat Sachdeva’s music is quite nice. His background music ought to have been more impactful. Lyrics (Kumaar and Girish Nakod) are fair. Vijay Ganguly’s choreography is average. Camerawork (by Will Humphris, P.S. Vinod, Soumik Mukherjee and Debojeet Ray) is good. Franz Spilhaus and Amritpal Singh’s action and stunts are quite exciting. Garima Mathur’s production designing is okay. Aarif Sheikh’s editing is alright.

On the whole, Attack is a dull entertainer. It will be patronised by the masses but will not be liked by the classes, womenfolk and families.

Released on 1-4-’22 at Inox (daily 5 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay by Pen Marudhar Cine Entertainment. Publicity: very good. Opening: dull. …….Also released all over.