Directed by: Nikhil Advani
Starring: Rishi Kapoor, Irfaan Khan, Arjun Rampal, Huma Qureshi, Shruthi Hassan
All images are courtesy of: http://www.glamsham.com
It is always frustrating when a film that has self esteem problems is unable to contain the doubt spilling into the execution of the premise. This is the predicament faced by D-Day which has some good moments but at other times, will have one cringing or lamenting over how great promise has been sacrificed for the sake of comfort. I was also disappointed by the script’s determination to shoe horn in as many wonderful songs as possible whether they were relevant to the screenplay or not. A gruesome example of this is a beautiful love ballad about separation playing over the murder of a prostitute graphically recreated as her stoic lover looks on and imagines how she died – as well as having a distressing impact on the viewer, the song and reconstruction feel out of place and very inappropriate.
This is a real shame as there are moments of brilliance up for grabs in D-Day – the action is very sharp, the soundtrack is very good (when it is not being butchered by inane visuals) and I thought the premise itself was ambitious but had all the elements to hand that it needed to succeed. Unfortunately, there was a lack of refinement and emotional connection here – I felt the film was so excited every time it had a good idea that it ends up taking each strand beyond a natural conclusion, meaning anything of consequence that followed felt cliched.
Thankfully, there are three very strong performances here – Rishi Kapoor enjoys another turn as a villain, making his evil character seem quite reasonable and giving a gravitas that is not otherwise offered. Irfaan also gives a solid turn as the doting father – though I had felt I had seen Irfaan do this role before, he added enough to keep it relevant. I was pleasantly surprised by Rampal who is on some kind of form – although there are some very wooden notes here and there, when he gets it right, his interpretation works well, especially in the ensemble scenes. Qureshi and Hassan are wasted in flat stock roles that don’t allow either to really shine though Qureshi does better in elevating her role beyond the one dimensional character she has been assigned.
I really was disappointed with D-Day as if this had been a little more carefully pitched, this could have been a worthy addition to the secret agent film canon. But with Agent Vinod and Ek Tha Tiger setting the bar high last year, whilst D-Day may equal these films in production values, it doesn’t go beyond or build upon what the other two films managed to achieve. Without a doubt, this is one to watch for performances rather than plot and probably on DVD rather than the big screen. A dismal day for Hindi cinema!