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A still from ‘D-Day’ (A still from ‘D-Day’)
A still from ‘D-Day’
(A still from ‘D-Day’)

Film Review | D-Day

The Dawood Ibrahim hunt that will never be

Hollywood has Black Hawk Down, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, which draw heavily from real events. Bollywood has a fecund imagination that can come up with any solution to any scenario, be it the destruction of the habitat of the scaly anteater or the threat of nuclear war. So what if India hasn’t yet been able to extradite Dawood Ibrahim, the underworld overlord and one of the principal accused in the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, from his alleged hiding place in Karachi in Pakistan? Nikhil Advani’s action thriller D-Day suggests that since Indians don’t have a good record of prosecuting criminals and terrorists holed, Bollywood will have to come up with its own law enforcement strategy. The writers of D-Day (Advani shares credit with Ritesh Shah and Suresh Nair) offer a tantalising wish fulfilment fantasy that unfolds as a prescription for action for the Indian government or a voter’s manifesto, depending on which way you look at it.

The “D" in D-Day, of course, stands for Dawood, even though Rishi Kapoor’s character is nicknamed Goldman. Kapoor’s hammy villain, who sports Rooh Afza-coloured glasses throughout, is about the only link to reality in Advani’s nail-the-bastard chimera. D-Day sets aside logic in favour of momentum. The 153-minute thriller is shot and edited at a rapid clip, with the kind of frenetic intercutting between different actions and locations that makes The Godfather look staid in comparison.

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Arjun Rampal in a still from the movie

It’s preposterous at the best of times but nevertheless very watchable despite a stretched denouement, song interludes (a couple of tunes, especially Mika’s rendering of Duma Dum Mast Kalander, are adroitly woven into the storyline) and redundant scenes of intimacy and family bonding. D-Day is pulp that is brought to life with the kind of swagger that is only capable in a Hindi movie. Advani marries the influence of Hindi spy and gangster thrillers from the seventies and contemporary reality-inspired search-and-rescue dramas from Hollywood, creating a uniquely local cocktail that is baggily based on fact but mostly driven by fiction.

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Irrfan Khan in a still from the movie
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