Film: Wild Dog
Cast: Nagarjuna, Dia Mirza and Saiyami Kher
Director: Ashishor Solomon
A decent thriller
Wild Dog review: Wild Dog is based on a real covert operation in which a specially formed team nabbed the terrorists behind several blasts that occurred across India, including the 2007-Hyderabad twin blasts.
Vijay Varma (Nagarjuna), a National Investigation Agency (NIA) officer under suspension, is asked to join back the services to lead an impossible mission to grab the terrorist who is the prime suspect in the serial blasts. He and his team commence ‘Operation Wild Dog’ to nab the brutal terrorist who’s hiding in Nepal.
Storyline aside, it’s heartening to watch director Ashishor Solomon narrating the tale without any deviations from the word ‘go’. And he deserves appreciation for sticking to his point. Undeniably, that’s a part of honest filmmaking.
In one of our earlier interviews regarding the film, Solomon had said that he’d done extensive research for the script to obtain facts in said the cases. And it certainly reflects in his filmmaking style. The level of detailing — be it the conversations between the NIA officers, the investigation’s modus operandi, sources of information, the recce, etc., have been portrayed to a point of certain credibility.
The way Vijay Varma leads a team on a manhunt for a dreaded terrorist is interestingly captured too. And what keeps you engaged is the sheer audacity of the covert operation — especially the episodes in Nepal — and depiction of the officers’ nerves of steel. Of course, there’s much to be complimented on the portrayed intelligence of Vijay Varma’s character.
However, what the film lacks in is providing a thrilling experience to the moviegoer. While the idea at its heart is very good, the writing could have been tighter, smarter, for a higher impact, especially in the film’s first half. It’s the second half of the movie that makes for a realistic narrative, keeping the audiences glued to their seats and unable to take their off the screens.
All said and done, while this manhunt drama doesn’t really match up to the best of conventional spy action thrillers in cinema yet, it has its moments.
Nagarjuna looks very convincing as an NIA—and needs a pat on his back for taking up roles that are realistic instead of seeming larger than life. It is indeed commendable how he doesn’t influence his way into adding the ‘staples’ in the film—the unnecessary song and dance for the sake of glamorous.
Saiyami Kher, as a RAW agent based in Nepal, is stripped of all the glam makeup her fans are used to seeing on her. And she pulls off her role very convincingly, too. However, her character comes in the film only in its second half, to help Vijay and his team with the operation. While in a couple of her interviews she had claimed that she had a lot of action sequences in the film, we counted about two, very well done, nevertheless.
Filmmaker Solomon has a style, coming across as a no-nonsense guy, meaning business. Shaneil Deo’s cinematography is commendable and Thaman’s score is clearly one of the film’s assets.
The movie presents a realistic, low-key portrayal of an undercover operation, undeniably reminiscent of searching the whereabouts of Yasin Bhatkal (belonging to terror outfit, Indian Mujahideen) who was the main behind the serial bomb blasts, including those at German Bakery, Lumbini Park, Gokul Chaat and Dilshugnagar. And Wild Dog is an earnest ode to the unsung heroes who sacrificed their lives for the country — a story that definitely deserves to be heard. It’s a decently made thriller that can easily impress aficionados who loves this genre.
Wild Dog promises you thrills, and delivers — although slightly later than expected. But it’s an ode worth the watch