Sunday, June 8, 2014

Holiday: A Soldier is never off duty

Cast: Akshay Kumar (Virat Bakshi), Sonakshi Sinha (Saiba), Govinda (Pratap), Sumeet Raghavan (Mukund), Farhad, Giressh Sahedev, Zakir Hussain, Ranaq Bir
Genre: Action Thriller
Direction: A.R. Murugadoss
Production: Aruna Bhatia, Twinkle Khanna, Vipul Amrutlal Shah
Written by: A.R. Murugadoss
Based on: Tamil Film Thuppakki by A.R. Murugadoss
Distributed by: Hari Om Entertainment, Reliance Entertainment, Sunshine Pictures
Cinematography: Natarajan Subramaniam
Music: Pritam
Release Date: 6th June, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 51 minutes

Holiday, a film by A.R. Murugadoss (also based on his Tamil film Thuppakki), is dedicated to Indian Military and their families. I feel, it is challenging to review such movies because the very intention behind making such movies turns out to be more important and the issues / concepts handled / message conveyed through the movie take precedence over the presentation of the movie. This movie highlights the presence of ‘Sleeper Cells’ in our country. Sleeper cells’ people are trained terrorist guised as common men in society.  He / she may be living amongst us – a neighbour, a friend or a mere acquaintance of ours. And when they get the command from their ‘head’, they act, come out of their shells, do bomb blasts and turn out to be the source of terror. In short, sleeper cells mean a group of terrorists, who work very discreetly. Probably, various members don’t even know one another. One particular aspect of this movie is noticeable i.e. unlike other movies based on terrorism, here, sleeper cells and terrorism are explained as byproducts of disgruntlement with government / country. The movie also appreciates the challenges faced by the Military force, who guard the border day and night to give us peaceful lives. Yes, the pace of the movie is very slow, a thriller at slow pace (can we call it a thriller?). Probably the tone of the movie is kept very light purposefully.

Captain Virat (Akshay Kumar), who serves Indian Army as DIA (Defense Intelligence Agent – works on secret mission), arrives Mumbai for his yearly holiday. As part of bride-hunting process, his family takes him directly from the railway station to Saibaa’s house (Sonakshy Sinha). Virat says no to Saibaa since he got the impression that Saibaa is a shy girl, but later to his surprise, he finds just the opposite Saibaa in the boxing ring during Mumbai Intercollegiate Competition. Rest, you can definitely predict as far as the relationship status between Virat and Saibaa is concerned.

Virat and his Sub-Inspector friend Mukund (Sumeet Raghavan) coincidentally become witness to a bomb blast in a bus. Events start unfolding from here. Virat manages to catch hold of one member of the sleeper cell. With his alertness and focused strategy, he is even able to salvage Mumbai from exploding into flames. It is interesting to see (it could also be sort of howlers for some), how Virat understands various cues, takes lead from there and tries to get into the depth of the sleeper cell.

Certain light moments are there in the movie, viz. Virat’s tips to Mukund to solve a case, Virat and Saibaa’s ‘yes-no’ game, Virat’s untimely salutation to his boss (Govinda) etc.

Akshay as Capt. Virat has given some good action shots. Sonakshi as Saibaa has nothing much to do. She just appears to be a filler in the movie. Virat-Saibaa romance doesn’t take off. Probably, Murugadoss could have focused only on the main track of Terrorism, sleeper cells etc, the side tracks could have been very well avoided. The Villain Farhad has less screen time. His performance could have been more power-packed.

A dialogue by Virat is to be especially mentioned: jab hazaron ko maarne ki mansuba rakhne wale agar khud ko maar sakte hain to raksha karne wale hum kyon nahi (When, people who intend to kill others have the guts to kill themselves, then we who intend to save others, why can’t we kill ourselves for this cause).

Another incident does project the commitment of our Military officers i.e. one of the officer Joel, even after losing his complete family to the terrorists’ bullets, he is all geared up and back on duty along with Virat in his mission to explore sleeper cells and finish the same.

What seems unbelievable is that Virat is just one-man army confronting these deep-rooted sleeper cells in his own manner. Virat’s flat hair style looks a bit weird.

But overall, Holiday is not disappointing.

Holiday, a tribute to Indian Military and their families and a subject like terrorism handled in a light-manner, is a pretty decent watch.

Rating: 3 / 5 (Good)