In November 2008,world’s most feared terrorist group of 10 gunman were sent to Mumbai to kill and keep killing until they die. Ram Gopal Verma(RGV) presents the inside story of the attacks on 26/11 in a heart thumping yet a bit too dramatized way missing some very important Heros and tragic events.(railway announcer Vishnu Zende who diverted many of the incoming trains to another platform,Of Jillu Yadav who fought off the terrorists fearlessly with a .303 rifle ,Of the nurses and doctors in Cama Hospital who delivered babies even as Kasab and his accomplice were stalking the corridors beyond locked doors etc. and events at The Trident and Nariman House are also missing.). Infact, Role of media and politicians is completely latent.
The Attacks of 26/11 starts with how the terrorists arrived on a highjacked fishing trawler “Kuber” when the crew was killed and the captain was kept alive to navigate. The Joint Commissioner of Police played by Nana Patekar narrates the story. Massacre at CST,at The Taj Mahal Hotel, at Leopold Cafe, in a taxi and Cama hospital and the heart-wrenchingly indiscriminate firing of bullets leaving not even the men, woman, cops, nurses but even the patients and babies shot dead. RGV attempts to touch the sensitive issue of how the Mumbai police was ill equipped in weaponary and training but sacrifised their lives to protect the people. The Attacks of 26/11 is a tribute to all the forgotten and unforgotten heroes and their sacrifice.
26/11 was a blood-curdling, horrific chapter in Mumbai’s history. People were brutally fired killing 164 people and wounding at least 308. No mercy towards kids,women or even foreigners. Except a few gory scenes where the captain was killed mercilessly by slitting his throat (halal), RGV has pictured all the devastation from a distance . So,it won’t be a bad idea if you plan to watch the movie along with your friends to re-memories the fear and terror and to know what set the base to the attacks and how they were executed. Most of the movie frames were really close to the original events and would be worth a watch.
A replica of Taj Hotel was created with the cost of INR 4 crores under the art direction of Uday Singh. Varma auditioned 500 applicants and selected Sanjeev Jaiswal to play Ajmal Kasab, the prime accused terrorist in the 26/11 attack on Mumbai.He has a striking similarity with real life Kasab himself and hails from Jharkhand. He has been a theatre artist for many years and finally deserves appreciation on the big screen too. The film is restricted to the night of the incident and has focused on the happenings between 9 pm to 1 am when Kasab was caught. The shooting of the film completed on December 10, 2012 with last shot of the massacre at CST station. The owner of Leopold Cafe plays himself in the film.
When you look at the movie with the knowledge of the real events, you would ask yourself if the movie is based on real incidents of 26/11 or a biased biography of Kasab.The movie is a decent attempt by RGV but misses out to bring the real effect of the Mumbai terror attack. To cut short ‘Attack of 26/11‘ lacks depth. Though Movie point outs to how Kasab was merely a brainless puppet manipulated by Lashkar-e-Tayiba but more than the attacks and the rescue operations the movie focuses on Kasab and his hanging. A large part of the film’s second half is devoted to a conversation between the joint commissioner and Ajmal Kasab where Kasab tells Maria his motive of bloodshed, and then the joint commissioner (Patekar), in between abuse, kicks and slaps,tells him how deranged and immoral his “Aaka” and his version of “jihad” is. The climax is Ajmal Kasab’s hanging and is shown with so much emotional intensity. ‘The Attacks of 26/11‘ ends on the beautiful mumbai shores with the gentle strains of Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram.
To conclude, movie has the potential to be on your must-watch or to-avoid list depending upon your curiosity to know the execution of Mumbai attacks and love for the real Heros. There is a scene when a constable finally gets hold of Kasab by risking his life, which gives you goosebumps. If you are planning to watch the movie to connect with the people who suffered, not the reason behind Kasab’s life, you would be disappointed. RGV failed to direct a movie which inspires you but he succedded in making a bollywood drama from the real incidents of 26/11. The movie might not cover all the facts but instills the sense of pride of how the forces managed to get hold of the situation. Watch it for the real Heroes and the rising star Sanjeev Jaiswal.