Movie review: The Attacks of 26/11

You don’t learn your lessons well, do you? After the attacks of Department and Bhoot Returns, if you still want to know how The Attacks of 26/11 is, then you deserve to watch the film. And suffer. 

Although there are no excruciating crotch shots this time, there is enough blood spurting and extreme hamming to make it feel almost like an assault.

In a most childish way, Ram Gopal Varma’s rendition of the 26/11 terror attacks takes sweet pleasure in the visual of the crime, showing people falling face down to their deaths or shuddering with their injuries, children crying helplessly besides dead bodies. There must be at least a dozen shots of dead bodies in a pool of blood staring at the camera, exactly like in Not A Love Story. Even the actors, who play terrorists, smile with great glee and shamelessness at their own handiwork.

Anyway you already know the plot, how it was done and whodunit. Why would you want to watch a badly produced re-run of the same scenario then? Only for the body count?

The film starts with the Joint Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria (Nana Patekar) narrating the fateful incidents that night to a committee of some sort. 

For some reason, Nana delivers this narration in low, sedated, snoozy tones with long, strange pauses.

Sanjeev Jaiswal as Ajmal Kasab in The Attacks of 26/11
Sanjeev Jaiswal as Ajmal Kasab in The Attacks of 26/11

Through Maria’s constant chai and water-sipping voiceover, Varma just reconstructs one night’s events at the Leopold Café, Taj Mahal Hotel, Cama Hospital and CST Station and subsequent police inefficiency with lurid wonder. But the film ignores completely the attacks on the Trident Hotel and the Nariman House, which stretched out over almost 72 hours and were as horrific.

Neither does the film, apart from glowing about the audacity of its strategy, offer any new insights or analysis into the terror plot or any of its culprits. Nor does it explain the complete intelligence and police force failure and political inaction that further worsened the situation.

Instead, it immaturely focusses on the media-fed image of Kasab as the chief perpetrator of this heinous crime and looks at his hanging as justice of some sort.

This subject needed reflection, discretion, and introspection. Instead, The Attacks of 26/11 wallows in unnecessary melodrama and jingoism proving to be a great disservice to everyone who suffered from it. 

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