Attack (Part 1)
Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new John Abraham starrer Attack. Speaking of which the scars of John’s last film is still fresh in my mind. Satyameva Jayate 2 was probably the worst film of 2021 and a really bad film in every aspect of filmmaking. What is worse of that John Abraham who was a part of brilliant high concept films like Kabul Express, New York and Madras Cafe was resorting to this bulls**t of the highest order in the form of screaming his lungs out. I really did miss him from the late 2000s. So when I came across his recent interview conducted by Anmol on his Youtube channel Tried & Refused Productions, I saw John in an absolutely candid avatar. He was willing to admit his mistakes and be the first one to say that he was a part of some sub par projects. This for me was refreshing as a mainstream actor was willing to improve after a thorough retrospective. That made me anticipate his new release Attack even more which by then had my attention anyway with a thrilling promo. So then does Attack manage to set your adrenaline pumping or does it follow the suite of Satyameva Jayate 2, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Attack follows the story of a “super soldier”(having AI implanted) who is given a task to save the Parliament from a terrorist attack. The story isn’t very novel if you go by the Hollywood standards but in the Hindi space this is a first of the many. It was about time that technology and sci-fi needed to be integrated in an otherwise done to death action genre in India. Resorting to over the top stunts just did not serve the purpose anymore. So John Abraham needs to be applauded for the story and backing this project. The screenplay here is taut and moves at a brisk pace. There is never a dull moment as all the sequences are cut to the point.
After a terrific and thrilling opening sequence, a love angle is introduced which was so cliched and so lame that I instantly thought that this isn’t going where I expected. To be honest, the writers could have made it a little more believable which was not the case here. But post that and a song later, the film falls back on track serving the audience what it had intended for earlier. I was stunned and pleasantly so with the use of technology which made the story believable. Although this may be a mix of many Hollywood films like Robocop, Captain America or even the 2018 film Upgrade, it made me proud that this now exists in India(and the writers did give a few meta references too). The whole AI bit seemed organic and it had a purpose to it. The action set pieces are outstanding and they will keep you invested throughout. The entire second hour is dedicated to the terrorist attack and its ultimate rescue operation and here there are different techniques in action that are showcased. The fast cuts ensure that the frame changes every 2 seconds which does give you an adrenalime rush. What’s more is that this screenplay stays away from unnecessary chest thumping nationalism(barring that one scene at the end which was still okay) which you would usually associate from a John Abraham starrer. Overall, a well penned screenplay that is fast paced and reeks of high octane stunts.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are decent here and they leave an impact upto an extent. The music by Shashwat Sachdev is one of the unsung heroes of the film. It is absolutely smashing and more importantly original. The BGM is another winner with pulsating beats that will most likely give you a rush, although I felt that the BGM against some action set pieces could have been utilized better. The cinematography and editing are spot on. The VFX team needs to be applauded here for its terrific work. It just shows that if some budget is alloted to the VFX and given some thought and direction then we definitely have more than capable technicians who will win the day for you. Director Lakshaya Raj Anand has done a terrific job. I must applaud his vision here where action has some logic to it as opposef to mind numbing action sequences in some of the previous films of John. The direction is top notch and Lakshaya has a bright future ahead of him.
The performances are pretty good here. Serena Walia as the voice of Ira is just perfect. Jaimini Pathak, Ratna Pathak Shah and Rajit Kapur are proven performers and they have their moments to shine. Prakash Raj as Subramaniam is terrific and he carries his part with a lot of dignity. Jacqueline Fernandes as Ayesha looks pretty and definitely manages to impress unlike her previous outing Bachchhan Paandey. I was on the fence about her character but she has done a good job. Elham Ehsas as Hamid is quite brilliant and does a fabulous job. Rakul Preet as Saba has a good screen presence and she does an outstanding job too. But the show belongs to India’s first super soldier John Abraham. As Arjun, he is simply brilliant. There is no loud acting here(which I had predicted in my review of Satyameva Jayate 2 citing that I have hopes from Attack). Instead, it is a well measured performance coupled with doing what he does best – action. This is probably the start of a revival of sorts for John Abraham(irrespective of how this film fares at the Box Office) and wish to see more of this version of him.
Attack is a high concept and high octane action thriller which may well be the pioneer of the many other action films in this action-sci fi genre in Hindi cinema! Give this film a chance, you won’t be disappointed. Oh and John Abraham OP! Available in a theatre near you.