Sensitive Chronicle of Pakistani Terrorists Attacking India: RGV's The Attacks of 26/11 (2013) Hindi Film Review

The Attacks of 26/11 (2013) Wallpaper (Poster)

Kolkata, Mar 2, 2013 (Washington Bangla Radio): Mumbai, the business capital of India, has gone through many agonizing wounds inflicted by anti-Indian terrorists who have planted bombs and killed scores of innocent men, women and children on several occasions, just as they have done in many other cities across the country. But the most audacious of all was the mass butchering of innocents by ten trained terrorists from Pakistan who entered the city through the seaway on the night of 26th November 2011. Known infamously as the Attacks of 26/11, the attack saw the terrorists tormenting the city for three days until security forces killed or flushed them all out on the morning of 28th November. The well-planned and coordinated attack in which many prominent places of Mumbai were targeted left 166 people dead and over 300 injured.

Director Ram Gopal Verma has recreated the terrible night in his latest film ‘The Attacks of 26/11’. The facts are not new to the audience as memories of those terrible nights are still fresh. The film opens with Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police (Nana Patekar) reporting the incidents of the night to an enquiry committee.

The film then goes into a flashback to show how the terrorists captured a Indian fishing boat named ‘Kuber’ in deep Arabian sea and entered the Mumbai coastal region. On the way they brutally killed the four men on the boat. After landing at the Macchimar colony of Mumbai, the ten terrorists hailed cabs and split up in different directions. A couple of the attackers went on a rampage at the famous Leopold café while two more (including Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist who was captured alive) went on rampage at Chattrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus, one of the busiest railway stations of the world and considered a life-line of Mumbai.

The film has no deviations from facts and it has portrayed the exact movements of the terrorists that night. After the rampage at the rail terminus the terrorists moved to Cama Hospital, killing staff members and cops when confronted by them. Next they regroup with two others to enter the famous Hotel Taj, one of the best hotels in Asia, and initiate a bloodbath.

As the film is about an incident the minute details of which are known to all, execution was important. Ram Gopal Verma is known for his display of cold blooded violence and shocking bloodshed on film, and has naturally captured the brutality of the attacks in his own style. The oozing blood, mutilated bodies and the lifeless eyes effectively portray the magnitude of the atrocities by the attackers.

Ram Gopal Verma has also captured the expressions of the attackers in close up shots during their acts and managed to bring out expressions of Satanic pleasure portraying how much they enjoyed killing innocent people.

The film, perhaps intentionally, stays away from portrayals of heroism by first responders and law enforcement personnel. Their courageous acts deserves to be celebrated. in this film. But for the most part, the film remains just a documentation of the heavy bloodshed. There is no coverage of operation Black Tornado carried out jointly by the NSG and Mumbai Police.

The conversation between the top Mumbai cop and the captured terrorist Ajmal Kasab during the latter’s interrogation is a high point in the film. How innocent young people are doctored into picking up arms and turned into murderers has been captured in the sequence. The sequence in the morgue where Kasab is thrown in front of his dead group members is another one to watch out for.

Nana Patekar in the role of the Joint Commissioner of Police is expectedly brilliant, and so is Sanjeev Jaiswal as Ajmal Kasab. The film rides mainly on the acting performances of these two.

The film is immaculate on minute details. Overall, it is another documentation of bloodshed, and is a must-watched especially for those who missed another brilliant documentary on this subject by a high-profile international television channel.

Watch The Attacks Of 26/11 (2013) Official Movie Theatrical Trailer (Youtube)

- Jyoti Prakash Mandal (