No trial, no jury, only fury... That could sum up Nagarjuna’s role as the encounter-friendly cop from the imaginary anti-terror cell known as National Investigation Agency(NIA). Nagarjuna, 61, looks at least ten years younger as he assumes the action-hero avatar in this brisk-paced anti-terror drama, which is always on the move.
There is hardly a moment in the 2-hour feast of fury where Nag playing Vijay Varma (a.k. Wild Dog) is not on his feet furiously chasing down and gunning one dreaded terrorist after another.
Ali is a Bachchan fan and we get a bit of a break from the relentless pursuit of terrorist when Ali recites Mr AB’s dialogues from Rann. The rest of Nag’s team, like the chap who’s recently married and yet to go on a honeymoon, is also vividly sketched, although they have very little me-time in this action-packed adventure which moves from Hyderabad to Darbhanga to Bihar to Kathmandu to Nepal with a hurling celerity.
The narrative gives us no time to think. There is hardly a pause and thankfully no song breaks, as Vijay and his team chase the Yasin Bhatkal modeled terrorist to Nepal from where he must be extracted without bloodspill. It’s all done in the spirit of a thrilling adventure. And that’s not such a bad thing. Just because a film owes its allegiance to newspaper headlines, it doesn’t follow that the content must preserve a reportorial dryness of tone.
While ensuring we the audience remain hooked to the proceedings Wild Dog also applies a well-researched plot to the proceedings. For example, while justifying his guerrilla operation to catch the main terrorist , Nag quotes examples from world history.
There is a constantly engaging pull-and-push between fact and fiction, and that’s the film’s USP. However a lot of righteous indignation could have been avoided to make the proceedings less self-important. I found the sequence just after intermission where the principal terrorist Khalid( Bilal Hussain) compares the making of a bomb to his mother’s cooking to be funny. Or that van with Nag’s team at a wedding in Nepal pretending to be kebab caterers: the van has ‘Lucknow Kebabs’ printed on it. Really?!
My biggest problem was with seeing Islamic terrorists speaking Telugu. Though we are warned about the linguistic liberty in the opening credits it still jars. I suggest everyone get over these hiccups of logistics and enjoy Nagarjuna’s vibrant vibes as he shoots down one terrorist after another, reminding us that the time for dialogue (in Telugu or otherwise) with militants is long over. It’s time for action. Nag style.
Sayami Kher playing the only significant female role (Dia Mirza makes a serene guest appearance as Nag’s wife) comes into the film midway, all flaring nostrils and blazing machineguns.Wish there was more of her. The background score(S Thaman) is aptly breezy and uncomplicated. Like the mood of the film.
Image source: IMDb