‘SANAK’ REVIEW | 15 October, 2021

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Zee Studios and Sunshine Studios’ Sanak (A) is the story of a hospital which is under attack from terrorists, and how a young man, Vivaan Ahuja (Vidyut Jammwal), rises to the occasion and saves not only his wife, Anshika Maitra (Rukmini Maitra), who was to be discharged from the hospital the same day, but also the other patients and staff members of the hospital.

Anshika is diagnosed with a serious problem in her heart, necessitating urgent and major surgery. The surgeon successfully operates on Anshika who is due to be discharged from the hospital. When Vivaan goes to pick up his wife and bring her back home after the surgery, he is shocked to see that a group of terrorists, led by Saju (Chandan Roy Sanyal), has laid siege on the hospital to free criminal Ajay Pal Singh (Kiran Karmarkar) who has been brought to the hospital by the police in a serious condition. Top police officer Jayati Bhargav (Neha Dhupia) is handling the case. She has an additional tension to deal with because her young daughter, Aanya (Adrija Sinha), is held captive by the terrorists (who do not know that she is Jayati’s daughter) and strapped with bombs on her body. Luckily, Vivaan has got hold of the bag containing the detonator which would be needed to blow up Aanya and, therefore, the hospital. How Vivaan kills the terrorists one by one forms the crux of the drama.

Ashish P. Verma’s story starts on an exciting note but it soon deteriorates into a mundane drama which tests the audience’s patience. His screenplay lacks the excitement of a thriller which the film is, because it moves at an unbelievably slow pace. Many characters in the film, including Anshika, although they’ve been held captive by the terrorists in the hospital, behave as if a game of hide-‘n’-seek was going on, so casual is their approach and so flat are their expressions. The writer gets into the details of each plan of Vivaan or the terrorist whom he is going to attack, as a result of which the thrill of the drama is lost. In fact, the pace of the drama becomes so slow that it irritates the viewers. Even the police officers seemingly remain silent spectators as the terrorist drama unfolds in the hospital, making it even more unbelievable and weird. Ashish P. Verma’s dialogues are routine.

Vidyut Jammwal acts well. His stunts, as always, are extraordinary. Rukmini Maitra makes an average debut in the role of Vivaan’s wife, Anshika Maitra. Chandan Roy Sanyal is alright as Saju, the leader of the terrorists. Neha Dhupia hardly has anything worthwhile to do in the role of top police officer Jayati Bhargav. Kiran Karmarkar gets very little scope as Ajay Pal Singh. Adrija Sinha is quite good as Aanya. Sunil Palwal (as Raman), Chandan Roy (as Riyaz Motlekar), Daniele Balconi (as Yuri), Ivy Haralson (as Taira), Alois Knapps (as Maksym), Tanguy Guinchard (as Gunnar), Sefa Demirbus (as Jesper), Felix Fukoyoshi (as Andy), Du Tran Au (as Chad), Dimitri Vujicic (as KP), Igor Tjumenzev (as Vic), Shreyal Shetty (as Pasha), Kshitij Gera (as Boga), Moni Rai (as police inspector Tyagi), Harminder Singh Alag (as Zubin), Neha Pednekar (as Anuradha), Sanjay Kulkarni (as police officer Godbole), Karthikesh (as Parma), Asif Ali Beg (as Dr. Pajwani), Arjun Ramesh (as Aditya), Sudhanva Deshpande (as Dr. Sinha), Bhagyashree Choubisa (as the nurse in the pre-natal ward), Karan Verma (as Raghav Chaturvedi), Anand Alkunte (as assistant superintendent Rakesh Jadhav), Jacqueline Fernandes (as Anshika’s mother), and the others lend fair support.

Kanishk Varma’s direction is dull. He has not been able to make a drama which can involve the audience and give them edge-of-the-seat thrills and chills. Music (Jeet Ganguli and Chirantan Bhatt) is melodious. Lyrics (Rashmi Virag and Manoj Yadav) are meaningful. Adil Shaikh’s choreography is functional. Saurabh Bhalerao and Suyash Kelkar’s background music is so-so. Pratik Deora’s cinematography is very good. Andy Long Nguyen has choreographed the action and stunt scenes wonderfully. Saini S. Johray’s production designing and Ramcharantej Labani’s art direction are appropriate. Sanjay Sharma’s editing is quite sharp but the inherent slow pace of the film is, of course, a dampener and a major minus point.

On the whole, Sanak is a dull fare which will not find much appreciation.

Released on 15-10-’21 on Disney+ Hotstar.