Critics review The Attacks of 26/11, find it watchable

The Attacks of 26/11 is being appreciated by most critics. Though none of them are saying over the top things about the film, giving it a decent review. Read on to know more about the pros and cons. | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2013 02:26 PM IST

Film: The Attacks of 26/11
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Cast: Nana Patekar, Sanjeev Jaiswal
Plot: The Attacks of 26/11 is a 2013 crime-thriller film, based on the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Directed by Ram Gopal Varma, the film is slated to have a worldwide release on 1 March 2013. The films stars Sanjeev Jaiswal who plays the role of terrorist Ajmal Kasab, with art direction by Uday Singh.

Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV
Rating: **1/2
Ram Gopal Varma, who has been trying to live down a string of recent misfires, manages to dispel much of the doubt in the minds of the naysayers.

He comes impressively close to capturing the agony of the last few seconds of the lives of the victims and the heroism of the uniformed martyrs who laid down their lives to contain the rampage unleashed by ten misguided young men from across the border.

Packing in an overload of detail into the film’s two hours leaves the director with little scope for coming up with the complete picture.

Nana Patekar puts his best foot forward with a measured performance: the known mannerisms are kept on a tight leash.

Debutant Sanjeev Jaiswal in the garb of Ajmal Kasab also makes an impression. He evokes repulsion and that is proof of his success.

Verdict: Ram Gopal Varma is still not back to his best and The Attacks of 26/11 isn’t an unqualified triumph. But it is certainly watchable.

Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama
Rating: ***1/2

Ramgopal Varma's The Attacks of 26/11 is a cinematic interpretation of the barbaric attacks on 26/11, with the maverick film-maker unfolding the attacks on Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Leopold Cafe, Taj Mahal Hotel and Cama Hospital. Also incorporated in this motion picture is the arrest of Ajmal Kasab, the sole attacker who was captured alive, and his execution by hanging at Yerwada Jail in Pune last year.

A 7-minute showreel of how the terrorists infiltrated into Mumbai -- part of the promotional campaign of The Attacks of 26/11 -- was spellbinding enough to generate incredible attention for the film. The challenge that RGV faced was to reconstruct the events, replicating the gruesome acts on celluloid. But, I wish to add, one relives the emotions while watching the horrifying events unfold on the screen -- infuriation, distress, grief, helplessness. It leaves you stunned and traumatized, as if you, too, had been caught in the swirl of events that led to the inexpressible misery and carnage. Also, THE ATTACKS OF 26/11 makes you salute and respect the men in uniform, who fought the terrorists tooth and nail. That's precisely why The Attacks of 26/11 triumphs as a feature film.

Nana Patekar is exceptional. Such restraint and maturity in a performance is a rarity. He is super in the sequences when he disposes before the inquiry commission and electrifying when he confronts Kasab at the morgue. Sanjeev Jaiswal [as Kasab] is so persuasive that you can't help but hate him and his on-screen actions. The brutality that dwells in some humans comes to the fore as Jaiswal intensely enacts the sequence at the interrogation centre. Saad Orhan [as Ismail] is equally convincing. Atul Kulkarni, Asif Basra, Ravi Kale and Ganesh Yadav make cameo appearances.

On the whole, The Attacks of 26/11 is akin to watching the barbaric act in rawest form. The film not only chronicles the terror attacks, but also pays homage to the sentiments of the people of India and especially the heroes and victims of 26/11. - See more at:

Verdict: A powerful retelling of a regrettable event in history. Do not miss this one!

Madhureeta Mukherjee, TOI
Ratings: **1/2

It's evidently researched; yet, we're left as observers, watching the rampage rip the soul of the city. While the thought is poignant, the horror isn't palpable throughout and the execution doesn't cut as deep as the actual tragedy. No hard steel of emotion ripping into your gut stemming from cinematic brilliance. With real facts, figures and even flaws, such is the subject that it shocks, pains and stuns you into silence even now. What RGV's re-appraisal of that injury does, is remind us that the spirit of the city is indefatigable; inspite of still bleeding hearts.

Verdict: Watchable

Vaihayasi Pande Daniel, Rediff
Rating: 1/2

Mr Varma, you had such a large canvas to play out this story. Could you not have done it more sensitively?

Sure 26/11 was a bloody-curdling, horrific chapter in Mumbai’s history. But surely not as blood-curdling and horrific as your film?

You were not making a horror film.

You were making a film about real lives.
Nana Patekar, though quite over the top in places, was really very good. It is a pity he did not get a proper role in a proper film on 26/11.

Jaiswal, who portrays Kasab, is quite good. He is, of course, unfortunately a victim of the exaggerated script. But for a first timer does a handsome job.

But again a question to Varma: Do terrorists really behave like they did in your film — walking around with evil expressions on their faces like a troupe of Draculas and emitting cruel laughs? Was there not some subtlety that could be found? All of us Mumbaikars know that Kasab was merely a brainless puppet, the son of an abjectly poor banana seller, dispatched by a Pakistani terrorist outfit called Lashkar-e-Tayiba [ Images ]. Do we get that sense in the film? Or do we feel he is the son of Satan?

Verdict: I have a headache. My ears are still ringing. The nausea is just about abating.

Meanwhile, caught up with the director to know his expectations from the film.

Read full interview here.

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