The climax of the movie India’s Most Wanted has director Raj Kumar Gupta trying to pull off his version of Argo. As some parts of it did work for me, I left the theater with a disappointment that this was a movie that had the potential to be a genuine espionage thriller. The dilution in the script to deliberately evoke the patriotic sentiments make the movie look really dull and flat in a major chunk of its runtime and that climax which was kind of good was not enough to leave a great impression about the film.
An intelligence officer named Prabhat gets info from his source that he has got a source that has seen India’s most wanted deadly criminal in Nepal. Prabhat tries to convince his senior. Even though the senior was okay with the decision to go after the terrorist, the Delhi heads weren’t in favor of the mission. So our hero and his group of ordinary officers in IB are on this unaided mission to capture this man. What happens in that unauthorized mission is what India’s Most Wanted showing us.
In the promotional interview with Rajeev Masand, Arjun Kapoor said this movie doesn’t follow the usual pattern of showing that hero introduction scene of him doing some heroic stuff not related to the central subject. But to my disappointment, that turned out to be an absolute lie. The hero does have an introduction scene and what happens in the first half of the movie is far too predictable, mainly because of the familiarity in modus operandi. Gupta goes after melodramatic representation of the backdrop of the main characters in the film. The lack of an emotional layer you felt in the trailer sort of continues in the movie as well. Simply put, as a viewer I wasn’t getting that agony the characters were going through.
Arjun Kapoor has surrendered to the script. His performance is earnest, but sadly, he isn’t that actor who can add layers or depth to the flat patriotic dialogues Raj Kumar Gupta has written. Rajesh Sharma as the quintessential father figure senior officer was really effective. Barring these two, there are no other actors here in this film that has got a credible space to perform. I was looking forward to seeing the performance of Alexander Prashanth and to my disappointment, he was lost in the crowd. SPOILER ALERT: Malayalies would have already guessed who the title protagonist was and Sudev Nair isn’t really tested here as his actual screen time is very less (but his voice sounded deadly).
I kind of get a feeling that Raj Kumar Gupta is losing his grip over the craft by each film. His last film Raid was a letdown for me. The director, who has an eye for really peculiar incidents, is not showing any interest in presenting it in a nuanced way. India’s Most Wanted is definitely not a jingoistic film. But the patriotism that gets presented here is depending on dramatic dialogues and cheesy glimpses to establish it. The dullness in the narrative in those initial portions was a drawback. The Nepali and Pakistani characters are largely caricatures. And I hated the cuts in some of those initial portions, pointlessly disturbing the calmness the movie required at those areas. The cinematography is average and honestly, the movie doesn’t really need any songs.
As I said in the beginning, India’s Most Wanted is an idea with potential as there are no gunshots and fights involved in it. But the sheer dullness in the writing along with the predictability ruins the movie and that seemingly-good climax deserved a better buildup.
The sheer dullness in the writing along with the predictability ruins the movie and that seemingly-good climax deserved a better buildup.