'India's Most Wanted' Review

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Back in the ’70s and ’80s Indian filmmaker Ravikant Nagaich was known for making a series of spy thrillers. In the recent times we have witnessed a major revival of sorts in the espionage genre as far as Hindi cinema is concerned. More so we are witnessing an offshoot of a strong nationalistic fervour that seems to have captured the youth’s imagination as evident from the success of films like BabyRaaziUri, etc.  The trend continues with India’s Most Wanted. The Raj Kumar Gupta-directed film tells yet another patriotic tale involving brave Indian men and Islamic terrorists. The film is inspired by true events revolving around a series of bomb blasts that shook our country around the year 2008.

India’s Most Wanted stars Arjun Kapoor in the role of an IB officer who must trace an unknown call in order to nab a dangerous undercover terrorist. The lead takes him and his team all the way to Nepal where they must accomplish their task without revealing their true identities. In the absence of any official assistance from India they are on their own in Nepal. They must deal with the local network of criminals while dodging the ISI, Nepalese authorities and their own officers in order to zero in on their faceless target. The rest of the film plays out like a cat-and-mouse game set in a treacherous world where no one can be trusted.
A major strength of India’s Most Wanted is its closeness to reality. Most of what we see in the movie actually took place. Also, the performances are solid all around with Arjun Kapoor delivering one of the better performances of his career. The film is mostly shot across Kathmandu and some of the locations are absolutely breathtaking to watch. The use of aerial and wide angle shots offers a greater sense of reality to the action unfolding in front of us.
Now, one of the major problems with India’s Most Wanted is its convoluted plot. There is so much happening that sometimes one looses the track of things. The pacing is so fast that there is hardly any breathing space and so often one is forced to play the catching game in case we fail to process a piece of detail or information. And I don’t mean it in a good way. For the most part it appears that the writer is consciously trying to outsmart you for the sake of it. As a result the narrative fails to flow naturally like one expects in a spy thriller. However, despite a few hiccups the film ends on a good note.
Rating: 5/10
A version of this review was first published in The Sunday Guardian.
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