The trailer and the promos announced that this film is loosely based on Hussain Zaidi’s book with the same title on the emergence of encounter specialists in Mumbai. Films based on Mumbai gangsters and underworld have been a plenty in Bollywood, some very well made. If this is going to be another addition to this genre, the basic requirement was that it is different and well made.
I had read Zaidi’s book some time back and even then I had realised that it was classic Bollywood film material. The book which chronicled the rise, fall and finally the redemption of encounter specialists like Pradeep Sharma and Vijay Salaskar was an interesting read. However, in adapting the material to the big screen, the film falls flat with its lackadaisical screen play.
Bobby Deol makes a come back to the big screen as the officer heading the Police Academy and is made to brood most of the time having faced back to back professional and personal setbacks. Even while brooding, he plots a strike back on the underworld which essentially is the idea to form a team of encounter specialists who are learnt to pay the law breakers in their own coin. The method of selection of the members of the team even by Bollywood standards is amusing.
In a pre-mobile phone era, it is interesting to see how crimes were committed and cracked. What works for the film is the setting. The Bombay of the 80’s is re-constructed well with detailing, some great camera work, lighting and post production filter effects. The casting is not bad. The choice of Bobby Deol for this role is intriguing but since the role is less demanding, he passes the test. The supporting actors who form part of the team do their parts well.
As I mentioned, the script is a big let-down. For a subject like this, it is lacks the pace and is bereft of any significant moments. This could have been made into a more gripping tale of how the encounter specialists to a large extent broke the back bone of the underworld in Mumbai. But that is not to be.
The film is short (less than 2 hours) and for a change you wished it was made longer with the addition of few interesting scenes.
Streaming on Netflix, you can give this a miss.