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Sanak: Death By 5 Cuts

Sanak(Disney-Hotstar)

Starring Vidyut Jamwal, Neha Dhupia;Directed  by Kanishk Verma

Rating: * ½

Hospital  under siege by terrorists?? Hang on…Haven’t we just seen that in Amazon Prime’s  Mumbai Diaries?  So my advice: stop right here. Do not, repeat NOT,  touch this inflammable waste material of  a film.

Unless you are  okay with  action sequences that are  choreographed  around hospital  equipments including pacemakers, walkers, MRI  machines and stretchers.Also as a perk we get  some unintended laughter. Sample this: when the  hero’s love wife(Rukmini Maitra) , who is  a patient in the  besieged  hospital, is  held at  gunpoint by  the villains,  the hero asks, ‘Tujhe bachche  nahin  chahiya kya?’

And  I thought, what  odd timing for  a crucial marital decision.

Sanak,  true to its title, in an arrogant impetuous  excuse  of a film to show  off Vidyut Jamwal’s fighting spirit. He does well in some of  the  action sequences. Each time he gets ready to  throw down an adversary he  shakes  his shoulders  vigorously as though there were spiders sitting on them…

Ah,warming up. Sanak never moves beyond the warming, and the warning of  the thrills to come remain just  a distant thunder. The  screenplay which we are  told is officially adapted from  Nick Cassavates’ 2002 thriller John Q  , is filled with gaping holes that no hospital  can patch up,certainly not the one that Jamwal and his  onscreen  opponent  Chand Roy Sanyal leave  behind at the end.

Sanak is  like  a steamroller  mowing down every  bit of logic and good sense  in the pursuit of cheap thrills.A little brat (Harinder Singh Alag) who  has  been spending too  much time playing  video games  on his father’s phone,  becomes Jamwal’s accomplice for a  while. When  Jamwal’s Vivaan  asks the boy if he’s ready for some action the  boy replies, “I was born ready,Uncle.”

Okay, then.

There is this other distinctly Bengali guy ,a security guard at  the  besieged  hospital  who is named  Riaz Ahmed.He  is the token Good Muslim…you know  my name is Khan and  I am not a  terrorist? The Good Muslim(with a thick Bengali accent) tells our hero Vivaan, “I thought you were Mogambo.You  turned out to be  Rambo.”

I don’t quite know what means, unless the writer(Ashish Prakash Verma) thinks invoking  epic names  would give this tacky low-budget film a certain spatial spin. But  it’s not budget that’s the real villain. It is   the lack of common sense. A  hero who hops from floor to floor of the hospital because his wife is held hostage: the motive for one-man-army heroism is as  wrong as Bruce Willis  hunting down the terrorists  in a  building because his  wife is held hostage. 23 years ago Willis got away with it in Diehard. The world has changed  since then. The  hero  needs to be much more motivated .

In Sanak,the  only character motivated beyond  the personal is  Neha Dhupia  .Playing a gritty cop she  ploughs through the  terror  issue with  a gravity that the script doesn’t deserve , until her daughter ends  up a hostage.Damn,they just can  help getting personal.

Villain  Chandan Roy Sanyal(with  dirty finger nails to offset the  heroine ’s perfectly  painted and pointed nails) talks of death  by  5 cuts. This film  is death  in spite of many more cuts.

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