‘SANAK’ SHOULD BE WATCHED ONLY FOR ITS CLASSY ACTION

Rating: 2.5/5
Director Kanishk Varma attempts a sleek action thriller in a Hollywood sort of way, but besides action, doesn’t offer much in content

Can you watch a film only for its action? Why not? Sanak is for those who feel the adrenaline rush by way of cinematic action. Here, it’s the action sequences that make for an immersive experience, and everything else is just supportive, that too, not in a strengthened manner.

Watch the trailer here:

PLOT

Anshika (Rukmini Maitra) is about to be discharged from the Green Hills Hospital after a treatment of her heart ailment. Her excited and loving husband Vivaan (Vidyut Jammwal) realises that he will have to save his wife and others in the hospital single-handedly against some terrorists who have an agenda to keep the hospital and the police force on their toes.

STORY/SCREENPLAY/GENERAL

The story is written by Ashish P. Verma. Basic. Plain. One-liner. Without any layer. Extremely predictable. What makes this exciting to watch or rather, what makes the film watchable is how the action scenes have been written and more so, executed. Action Action Action. Hand-to-hand combats, swift body movements, full throttle gun fires, bloodshed and violence. All this makes for the meat of the film and it is indeed chunky. You are left excited at the end of every action sequence wanting for more.

The way in which action is shown on screen is intelligent. You have sufficient doses at regular intervals, with adequate breathers in between allowing you to soak in one and wait for the next one. The way the hospital has been conceived with multiple floors with armed terrorists on every floor, makes it for an engaging watch. Initially, you would feel this would just be another Commando in the making, but the thoughtful makers seemed to have invested a great time in planning action sequences. Kudos to the Action Director Andy Long Nguyen for keeping the action raw, classy, and yet real. All what is done is also believable because the protagonist is shown to be an MMA trainer.

sanak, disney+hotstar, review, hindi, film, 2021
Scenes from the film (image source: youtube.com)

The film suffers greatly in three major aspects. The idea of the story that’s wafer-thin and never really takes off. The story keeps revolving around the same point. Secondly, there are only 4-5 characters in prominence and the writers haven’t thought of including more characters to give the story more meaning. Thirdly and most importantly, the portrayal of Mumbai Police. Neha Dhupia plays the ACP, and although she performs well, she hasn’t been given anything to base herself on.

Infact the portrayal of Mumbai Police is childish. Inside the hospital, there is a man who is fighting the terrorists on his own, because the police outside the building is only planning. Thermal scans, grabbing CCTV footages, and also supplying information to the hero inside. Even when during some scenes, Vivaan is shown to inform the police of some key things inside the hospital like the number of terrorists or where they are positioned, the police still doesn’t do. In one scene, a small kid diffuses a bomb right in the presence of bomb disposal squad. But yes, in the end, police does something heroic. Killing a key person to make a statement, more out of frustration than nationalism.

PERFORMANCES

Vidyut Jammwal is superb is whatever he is asked to do. Infact, he goes one step ahead. Acting wise, he is okay, But in action, it is impossible to beat his body language and moves. He is invincible. He makes you believe in the toughest stunts that he pulls off and because he is Vidyut, you know it is possible.

Debutante Rukmini Maitra has a pleasant screen presence. Ofcourse, she isn’t facing the camera for the first time. She is a known name in Bengali film industry. And she is sure to sign more dotted lines after this one for sure. She hasn’t been given much on paper to do. But she does have some moments to herself, which she takes complete advantage of. Her expressions and dialogue delivery is spot on and she emerges as a confident debutante.

sanak, disney+hotstar, hindi, film, review, 2021
Rukmini Maitra and Vidyut Jammwal during film promotions (image source: instagram)

Chandan Roy Sanyal is impressive. His appearance is wicked and he performs with able evil streak. He lives up to the role of a villain with conviction and you do fear his persona. Neha Dhupia has acted well, suited to the role well, but since she doesn’t have much scope, she remains reduced as an unimportant supporting character. But on the other hand, she can be offered more bold and bossy roles after this one.

Kiran Karmarkar has a tiny appearance and he is just okay. Chandan Roy has acted well, in a role that has its own flair.

OTHER TECHNICALITIES

Music by is just okay for the promotional part of the film. The story and structure doesn’t have space for songs. The score by Saurabh Bhalerao and Suyash Kelkar is suited to the narrative. It is good, in a way that it fills you with thrill whenever the story demands for it.

Cinematography by Pratik Deora  is also decent with the visual appeal right in place. The colours and lights in the hospital give you a stylised feel of the place. Production design by Saini Johray must be credited for giving the film a combined balanced of drama and realism.

Editing by Sanjay Sharma is first rate, especially in the action sequences. The rush and thrill comes alive to a great deal in how those scenes have been edited and clubbed together. The written piece however doesn’t provide much chance to the editor to work considerably on the content.

It’s a decent watch for its action. A lesson to learn from this- the script ought to be more layered for deeper connect.

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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