Review Hindi

Sanak review: A terrible rip-off of the Bruce Willis classic Die Hard (1988)

Release Date: 15 Oct 2021

Read in: Hindi


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Suyog Zore

Sanak, which comes across as a bland recreation of previous classic films of the same premise, is another wasted opportunity to make an intense thriller.

If it were up to me, I would just leave this space blank with the headline 'this movie doesn't deserve a review'. Unfortunately, it isn't up to me, so here is my review: Sanak is a terrible, terrible rip-off of the Bruce Willis classic Die Hard (1988).

Vivan (Vidyut Jamwal) used to be an MMA fighter. His wife Anshika (Rukmini Maitra) is admitted to hospital after being diagnosed with a heart condition. She is set to be discharged after a successful operation when some men lead by Saju (Chandan Roy Sanyal) enter the hospital with automatic weapons, takes the patients hostage, and cover all exits with detonators. The attackers also employ network jammers so that no one inside can contact anyone outside.

Now loving husband Vivan — I use this description deliberately because it's the only other thing the writer cares to tell us about the protagonist — takes it upon himself to save his wife. The rest of the film is about him going up and down from the ninth floor to the first floor multiple times and killing bad guys with guns and in hand-to-hand combat.

There. I have already put more effort into writing this review than the film's writer has in the screenplay. It is so wildly implausible that it begs to be parodied. Obviously, no one expects realism from such films because then our hero would be dead in five minutes. As an audience, we are prepared to watch a film that rarely adheres to logic, if only it keeps us on the edge of our seats with thrilling moments and some interesting action choreography. Instead we get an absolutely bland recreation of previous classic films of this genre, from Die Hard and Hard Boiled (1992) to last decade's most celebrated action film Raid (2011).

Director Kanishk Varma and writer Ashish P Verma have also tried to pay homage to these old classics, like the sequence when Vivan tries to save babies from the maternity ward, which is unmistakably inspired by Hard Boiled. But instead of respectable homage, these scene comes across as cheap copies because of the poor direction and acting.

Then there is police officer Jayati (Neha Dhupia), who is stationed outside the hospital and trying to negotiate with the terrorists, a boy who knows too much about guns and explosives for someone his age because of his obsession with gaming, and a security guard who is there only to heap praise on Jammwal.

Vidyut Jammwal in Sanak

The action choreography is good but lacks that basic ingredient that makes an action film memorable — emotion. The sequences feel like two people trying to show off their fighting skills and acrobatic abilities instead of two people trying to survive or get the better of each other. Even in films like Raid, which had some insanely complicated action choreography, it never felt like the characters were trying to show off; it felt like they were trying to survive in an adverse situation. You could sense their fear as they were hunted by their enemies. Fear and the will to survive were the emotions in those sequences.

Here, we don't feel any emotion and the director fails miserably to create that tense do-or-die atmosphere. Even when our hero is being chased by gun-toting terrorists, the film never translates that tension on screen.

Jammwal is obviously in top form in the action scenes, especially those which involve the smart use of some props. But that's about it. When it comes to showing emotion, a doorpost would be more expressive.

Roy Sanyal is wasted in the role of terrorist leader Saju. He is menacing for the sake of it. There was an opportunity to flesh out his character, but the writer reduces him to a caricaturish villain who barks orders in a high-pitched voice for no reason.

The same goes for Dhupia's ACP Jayati Bhargav. She doesn’t do anything substantial besides talking to Vivan on the phone and throwing orders to fellow officers.

Sanak is another wasted opportunity to make an intense thriller. Watch it only if you are a fan of Jammwal the action star. For everybody else, it's a huge disappointment.

Sanak has been released on Disney+ Hotstar.

 

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Disney+ Hotstar

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