Don’t be fooled by other reviews of this movie. Nikhil Advani’s film on Dawood Ibrahim isn’t daring enough, and in fact scares itself onto the typical Bollywood route. Read our review to know what this RAW-takes-on-the-underworld-don flick is all about
Bollywood movies have a bad habit of trying to cater to everyone. This tendency mostly ruins films from being enjoyable watching experiences, and it’s absurd that directors don’t understand that. Nikhil Advani, perhaps to please the producers of D-Day, has made the movie fit for sale by way of inserting songs, and even attempts to sell the film to you by making it excessively sentimental. The music, however not-bad it may be, breaks the flow of the story, and weepy songs are the last thing you want when a group of RAW agents is trying to capture India’s most wanted fugitive.
D-Day has its tense moments in the second half, but it isn’t gritty at all. Operation Goldman, an attempt to nab Dawood Ibrahim and bring him back to India alive, goes awry. The plot of the film is broader, though: it’s also about the price the people related to these RAW agents pay, and the movie gets overemotional every now and then. The viewer is used to this tactic and is tired of every other Hindi film using it. Nobody is shedding tears, because we came to see Dawood.
Of all the actors who have played the underworld don, only two have done justice (funny, haan?) to Dawood Ibrahim. Vijay Maurya did it first and did it perfectly in Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday, keeping intact and even magnifying Dawood’s image as this powerful, intriguing kingpin – the bhai of all bhais. In Ramgopal Varma’s Company, Ajay Devgan gave an intense performance as Malik, a character based on Dawood. Rishi Kapoor here, otherwise a fine actor capable of pulling off almost any role, has fun at the movie’s expense. He’s dead serious in the beginning, but as the film rolls on, he starts to enjoy himself, and you realize that the character he’s playing isn’t menacing at any point. Rishi Kapoor’s Dawood Ibrahim (Iqbal Seth in D-Day, because of the fraidy-cat filmmaker) delivers a hard-hitting yet funny monologue at the end, but that’s just one punch, and raise a chuckle is all it does.
Irrfan does his job right as usual, Huma Qureshi is beautiful, and Arjun Rampal gets to chill and mouth a few cool lines and have sex with a Pakistani hooker. In the end credits, Shruti Haasan is acknowledged not as ‘The Prostitute’ but as ‘The Girl’, and that’s pretty cool. No harm in showing respect.
But most of what you get from D-Day isn’t required; all you wanted was a tough, uncompromising film about Dawood Ibrahim, but we already got that in Black Friday and Company – even though those movies were about much more than Dawood Ibrahim. Maybe someday, when directors stop feeling the need to make their films salable.