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Wild Dog Nagarjuna Revvs Up The Action Genre



Wild Dog(Telugu)

Starring Nagarjuna, Sayami Kher , Atul Kulkarni

Directed  by  Ashishor Solomon

Rating: *** ½

No  trial, no  jury….only  fury ….That  could sum up Nagarjuna’s  role as  the encounter-friendly  cop from the  imaginary  anti-terror cell known as  National Investigation Agency(NIA) . Nagarjuna, 61,looks   at least ten  years  younger as he assumes the  action-hero avatar in this brisk-paced  anti-terror  drama,  which is always  on the move.

There is  hardly a  moment in the  2-hour  feast  of fury  where Nag playing Vijay Varma(a.k. Wild Dog) is not on his feet furiously chasing  down and  gunning one dreaded terrorist  after another.And to appease  the  Muslim audience the screenwriter has one of Nag’s  loyal nationalist team members named Ali Reza(played by  an  actor named Ali Reza).

Ali is a Bachchan  fan  and  we get a  bit of a break from the  relentless pursuit  of  terrorist when Ali  recites  Mr AB’s  dialogues from Rann.  The rest  of Nag’s team, like the  chap who’s recently married and  yet to go on  a honeymoon,   is  also vividly  sketched, although they have very little  me-time in this  action-packed adventure which moves from Hyderabad  to Darbhanga  iin Bihar to Kathmandu  in Nepal with  a hurling celerity. 

The narrative gives  us no time to think.There is  hardly  pause and thankfully no song breaks, as Vijay and his team  chase the Yasin  Bhatkal modeled   terrorist  to Nepal  from where  he must  be extracted without bloodspill.It’s all  done in the spirit of a thrilling adventure. And  that’s not such  bad thing. Just because a film owes  its allegiance  to newspaper headlines, it  doesn’t follow that the  content  must  preserve a  reportorial  dryness of tone.

While ensuring we the audience remain hooked to the  proceedings Wild Dog  also  applies  a well-researched  plot to the proceedings.For  example,while justifying  his guerrilla operation to  catch the  main terrorist , Nag  quotes  examples from world  history.

 There is a  constantly engaging pull-and-push between  fact and  fiction  , and that’sthe  film’s  USP.However  a  lot  of  righteous indignation   could have been avoided to make the  proceedings less self-important.  I  found the  sequence just after  intermission where the  principal  terrorist  Khalid( Bilal  Hussain) compares the making  of  a bomb to his  mother’s cooking to be  funny. Or  that  van with  Nag’s team  at a wedding in Nepal  pretending to be kebab caterers: the van has  ‘Lucknow  Kebabs’ printed on it. Really?!

My biggest  problem was with seeing Islamic terrorists speaking Telugu  . Though we are  warned  about the  linguistic liberty in the  opening credits  it still jars. I suggest  everyone get over these  hiccups of logistics and enjoy  Nagarjuna’s  vibrant  vibes as he shoots down one terrorist after  another, reminding us that the time for dialogue  (in Telugu  or otherwise) with  militants is  long over. It’s time  for  action. Nag style.

Sayami Kher playing the only significant female  role(Diya Mirza makes a serene guest appearance  as  Nag’s wife) comes into the film midway , all flaring nostrils and  blazing machineguns.Wish there was more of her. The background score(S Thaman) is aptly breezy  and uncomplicated. Like the  mood of  the  film.

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