March 09, 2013 | By: Vidyanath Aarvi

The Attacks of 26/11

Cast: Nana Patekar, Sanjeev Jaiswal

          As much as I want to say Ram Gopal Varma has made a very good movie after a very long time, it’s hard to call “The Attacks of 26/11″ a ‘good’ film because of what is about. As much as RGV may have wanted to direct with the story he couldn’t do it, so he painstakingly gathered all the information and has presented the chilling facts of the 2008 terror attacks. The Attacks Of 26/11 takes you with Mohammed Amir Ajmal Kasab and his cohorts from Pakistani seas to what they did in Mumbai as narrated by Joint Commissioner Rakesh Maria. Unlike other RGV movies The Attacks Of 26/11 doesn’t give a chance to the director to shake his camera or throw in an item number but Ram Gopal Varma does manage to get a couple of actors to overact. Sanjeev Jaiswal plays Ajmal Kasab and while he seems to remain true to the character of the brainwashed Lashkar-E-Taiba terrorist for most part, his post-interrogation impudence is hard to digest. Nobody (and certainly not Ajmal Kasab) could be cheeky after being slapped by Mumbai cops. Most people would lose their sense of hearing in that chosen ear, so yeah.

Nana Patekar, though, remains in fine form throughout the film. As the stunned Joint Commissioner who is clueless as to how to save his cursed city as the damage unfolds and gets bigger before his eyes, and later as the composed cop deposing in court, Patekar does full justice to his role. RGV too should be commended for gathering all the data and statistics and portraying a detailed account of the attacks without indulging himself as he is wont to.

          He recreates the attacks on CST, The Taj Lobby, the blast at Santacruz, the killing of the then ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar and ACP Ashok Kamte as well as the shooting at Leopold Cafe Gripping is the manner in which he shows the terrorists calmly walk through the fishermen colony to hail cabs to their various destinations, backpack in tow. It was as if they were on a picnic.

          The film helps one understand the complete crumbling of intelligence and the state of our policemen on beat, most with just laathis. One scene at the Leopold Cafe highlights this with two cops lobbing stones into the cafe after the terrorists have moved on. They have just their laathis with them. A stark display of how unarmed and vulnerable our policemen are. Ram Gopal Varma needs a standing ovation for his Guts. Hats Off!!!

          The Attacks of 26/11 is a film that will shock and anger you and even leave you questioning how safe you are. While plush hotels now take all the necessary precautions, imagine how protected you will be if a unit of men opens fire at the pub you and your friends are downing drinks at. Think of what will happen if a suicide bomber blows himself/herself up at the railway station while you’re waiting for the damned train to show up.

That’s right – be angry, and ask that question.