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THE ATTACKS OF 26/11 - If you are not moved by this then you might have your heart & mind fitted in the wrong places. (Review by Bobby Sing) (Movies To See Before Your Die - Historical)

28 Feb, 2013 | Movie Reviews / 2013 Releases / Movies To See Before You Die / Historical / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / T

The Attacks of 26/11

The country was stunned with the barbaric terrorist attacks in Mumbai on the night of 26/11. And the film fans all over the country were further taken back when they saw the reports of Ram Gopal Varma visiting Taj after the ghastly event along with Ritesh Deshmukh in an official tour of his father, Late Vilasrao Deshmukh, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra in 2008. But as his answer to all the allegations imposed on him related to that unexpected visit, the veteran director later said that he was there just by chance and had no intentions of making a film on the event at all in the future.
Evidently the famous “Commitment" dialogue from Salman Khan’s WANTED clearly doesn’t fit in here as RGV did make a film on that unforgettable national tragedy after 4 years, contradiction his own statement given at that time, which in fact cannot be appreciated by a die-hard fan like myself. In other words, without supporting this breach of promise to the nation by the maestro himself, I calmed myself and went on to see this latest realistic thriller by RGV, once again expecting a come-back film from the trendsetter as always.
And hardly after 10 minutes into the film, it was really exciting to realize that RGV had just nailed it right this time and the master was back with his own personal take on the bloody attacks of 26/11 with a bang. Moreover as the end credits started rolling I frankly forgot that controversial issue or statement given by the director in 2008 and truly felt thankful to him for making this potent classic in his own unique way, which in fact is a must watch for every thoughtful person living in any part of the world irrespective of his caste, religion or region.
Putting it more bluntly, I felt extremely grateful to both Ram Gopal Varma (along with his team) & Nana Patekar for bringing it on in such an explosive manner on the screen, because in reality, no one else could have thought of making the movie with this vision in the whole industry other than RGV himself. And no one else could have portrayed the role of the helpless Chief of Police so brilliantly other than Nana among all the presently active big names you can ever think of. To be precise I would like to include the performance of Nana Patekar in TAO 26/11 among his 5 Career Best Performances till date wherein you get to see a completely different actor nowhere similar to the one we all love or are familiar with.
Coming to the FILM as they call it, I would like to say that THE ATTACKS OF 26/11 is not at all a film we are used to see in our usual Indian format. The project actually lies somewhere in between the genres of documentary and realistic depiction of such historical happenings. The reason being that it neither tries to show the real life events with some added flavours of heroism, nor does it care about any essential commercial elements to be added to earn some quick bucks in the first 3 days itself at the box office. In honest terms, this is a director’s personal expression or aggression on the screen talking about that deadly tense night and all its subsequent attacks at various places of Mumbai in his own lethal manner, which might not be approved by some selected sections of viewers (as expected).
For many it might be a disturbing take on the bloodshed with too much brutality on the screen continuing for much longer than expected. Few may find many actual known events missing in the portrayal by the director ending on an abrupt note showcasing the recent hanging. A few might be interested in pulling down the film as just another extreme project by the veteran with no conclusion of any sort. And a handful of people may consider it only as a good attempt made without any particular directions.
The Attacks of 26/11But for me it’s not easy to comment upon or rate a film of this stature so casually in just a few lines considering it like any other release of the month in routine. Because to say the truth, we don’t normally make films of this particular genre very often in our Hindi Cinema rising above the vision of the sick 100 crore target at the back of our minds. In the present commercial market, we don’t plan films which have the caliber to make us think about the uncertain world we are living in. The films which boldly question all the negative groups operating in the whole globe, targeting the lives of thousands of innocent victims for their own so called ‘causes’. The films, which give an opportunity to introspect deep within ourselves, about our precious life, which can be taken away by a wandering bullet or a bomb any moment, all of a sudden.
No, we don’t make films like these very often here in our part of the world. And that’s the reason why in my opinion THE ATTACKS OF 26/11 is not less than an insightful achievement made by the innovative director after a long time. Having said that, here we also have a new RGV in picture who has no issues to part with all those trademark camera angles of his and who even daringly points out the system’s incompetence in tackling such unexpected attack on its people, quite loudly. For instance, for the first time ever, I heard a top police official expressing his helplessness on the screen in these superbly written lines wherein he says that,                 
          “In my 27 years of service, the police always used to reach a crime spot after the crime was done with. But here was a case where the brutal crime was being committed right in front of our eyes and was even getting bigger and bigger with each passing moment quite easily. Yet we were unable to control it in absence of any formal training given to face such extreme situations and really didn’t know what was supposed to be done in order to save all those innocent victims.”
Now truthful dialogues like this and the many more in a unique thought provoking sequence on the teachings of Islam, between Nana and Kasaab in the second half were never seen before in a film by RGV (more inclined towards all fictional subjects). So if you are a fan of the maverick, then here is the one product you have been waiting for from pretty long with a new RGV behind the camera willing to take on the issues right from the front.  
THE ATTACKS OF 26/11 manages to shake you hard through its shocking sequences, not only because it has Nana Patekar admirably playing the clueless officer. But also because of Sanjeev Jaiswal who rightly plays the role of Kasaab with the much required hatred, jealousy and vengeance in his eyes enacted strongly. In fact I would like to rate the morgue confrontation scene between Nana and Sanjeev as one of most moving, transforming and disgusting scenes ever witnessed in our Indian Cinema till date.
The film certainly becomes more impactful due to its pulsating background score which successfully sends shivers down your spine while you watch the guns shooting blindly all over the place like a child’s play. Therefore I would suggest to watch it in a theater (instead of TV or Laptop screens) which has a great sound system installed otherwise you might hear distortion more than the sound as recorded. Being a thoughtful viewer you are bound to go silent as the voice of crying child stops with another shot from the gun and your eyes might feel the tears as you see the constable crying loudly seeing hundreds of innocent victims lying dead in front of him at the station.  Undoubtedly the stunning impact on the screen is a result of a fine team work comprising of its writers, cinematographer, art director and editor deserving praises. But apart from that the entire supporting cast also contributes hugely in the narration lead by Atul Kulkarni, Asif Basram, Ravi Kale, Ganesh Yadav and more.
Summing up, THE ATTACKS OF 26/11 made me speechless, it made be numb and I really wish the film is seen by more and more people just for the sake of good cinema to flourish in our part of the world. Further it will be really unfortunate and a sign of hypocrisy too, if we show enough enthusiasm and spirit to applaud similar genre of films attempted in the west like ARGO or ZERO DARK THIRSTY but refuse to praise our Indian film-makers to come up with such well made insightful projects as THE ATTACKS OF 26/11.
In short this is a film, which might teach you that precious lesson that CINEMA is not just meant to be watched for mere entertainment in the weekend holidays. It is a medium of expression which can equally bring forward some burning issues of the society on the lines of fine poetry, painting and literature. So, perhaps such films need to be watched as the food for your thoughts, avoiding the usual munching of your popcorns or burgers in the theaters.
Rating : Giving any Star Rating to the movie, would be like rating the martyrs of our own force, all innocent victims of the attack and its meaningful message. So I refuse to rate THE ATTACKS OF 26/11 out of sheer respect and would like to add this film into my list of “Movies To See Before You Die” right away.

Tags : THE ATTACKS OF 26/11 Movie Review by Bobby Sing, TAO 26/11 Review by Bobby Sing, THE ATTACKS OF 26/11 Review, Reviews by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bollywood Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bollywood Movies Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bobby Sing Bollywood Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby
28 Feb 2013 / Comments ( 8 )

Hi Bobby

Thanks for your review :-)

Could we also request your feedback on our new site involving bollywood and twitter .


Login via twitter and check out comments of any movie from your friends and celebrities.


Bobby Sing

Hi Gocinemas,
Thanks for visiting and writing in too.
I will surely log in at your site soon and all the best for its success.


Very aptly reviewed Bobby..Truly its a pathbreaking work in our muddled commercial settings!

Bobby Sing

Thanks a lot for your kind appreciation Dhieraj Mohan and would love to see you here more often with your valuable comments.



Hi bobby,

Long time. Was busy with my HSC board exams. 2 days after exams watched 5 films. The Attacks of 26-11, Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook. All of them were amazing.
On this film, I must say RGV is really back in his elements. Shocking and gut wrenching film. But as you mentioned in your review not many critics have given it a deserving positive nod. According to me RGV himself is responsible for this. He makes 3-4 stupid unwatchable films and then comes with a brilliant film like this which gets overlooked. He should make atmost 1 film per year and get back his reputation.
Also waiting for your review of the above Oscar season movies.

Bobby Sing

Hi Govind,
No doubt this time RGV was surely back in his element but perhaps both the viewers and the reviewers havs stopped caring about even his good work. Anyway its indeed worth watching and I am glad that you liked it a lot.
Will soon try to see all the OSCAR winners of this year and write about a few too.

Till then keep visiting and writing in.

Jayesh Shah

I am amused at the plethora of negative reviews I have read for this film. It has been panned by almost every critic around the world that reviews Hindi films. Indian critics have been especially vehement about their disapproval. Yours is the only review I have read that agrees with my own feelings about this film. I would not go as far as to say it is the best film RGV could have made on the subject but it is far better than what I had expected after reading the various reviews and I am glad I did go to watch the film.

I do not understand why this film has been panned by critics and audiences and I can only surmise that because it is simply unrelenting and hard-hitting it makes for uncomfortable viewing for audiences who appear to favour the drivel that recent masala movies have been serving up. Did the event not warrant a honest film being made of the attack? Of course it did, and the film serves both as a record of what went on during those fateful days as well as a reminder of that we could lose lour lives in a second through situations not of our making.

I suspect RGV is paying the price of experimenting too much and having churned out a few bad films in succession has now resulted in extremely low expectations for any new venture of his. This is manifestly unfair. This was a far better film than, say \'Dabaang 2\' or the latest \'Himmatwala\' which I had the utter misfortunate of being dragged into last night. It is time critics actually watched the film they are reviewing and at least jusge it on it\'s own merits.

I would suggest viewers to seek this out on dvd and watch it at home as you will not find it anywhere out there in the cinemas.

Bobby Sing

Hi Jayesh Shah,
I am glad you liked the film and my review too as it is indeed a film which needs to be seen by one and all for sure.
But at the same time RGV is only one director of the current times whose films get a ratings ranging from 0.5 to 4.5 with a huge contrast.
And that itself is a clear indication that how people are willing to hate him more than loving him as they did a decade back.

However I am always hopefull that the master strikes back strongly with each films of his instead of just churning out some hugley avoidable films in the future.


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