The search for India’s most wanted criminal and a fictitious operation to capture him in Pakistan is a great idea for a Bollywood movie. Filmmaker Nikhil Advani uses this premise in “D-Day” and exploits it to maximum effect.
Advani builds a gripping tale that chronicles a covert operation to bring back Goldman, a fictional mafia don undoubtedly based on Dawood Ibrahim. He lives in Pakistan, masterminds terrorist attacks in India, is protected by the government of the country and speaks to his henchmen in Marathi (The real-life Dawood Ibrahim is from Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra).
Told for the most part through flashbacks, “D-Day” has interesting characters and even though the 153-minute film has its sluggish moments, the plot is intriguing enough to hold the viewer’s attention.
Irrfan plays Wali Khan, a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent based in Pakistan who is posing as a barber in a small town. Khan, along with the mysterious Rudra Pratap Singh (Arjun Rampal) and two other agents (Huma Qureshi and Aakash Dahiya) plot the kidnapping of Goldman (Rishi Kapoor in a flamboyant role) from Pakistan.
Plagued by internal tiffs, the team goes through many crises. Advani peppers the film with zippy dialogue and action scenes, aided by the excellent performances by Irrfan and Rampal.
In scenes where they are sparring with the other or dealing with their internal demons, both Khan and Rampal bring their characters to life. Rampal deserves special praise for his acting. In one memorable scene where he replays the killing of a loved one, his range of expressions is one we haven’t seen him deliver before.
“D-Day” isn’t the perfect thriller and the ending degenerates quickly into being jingoistic and loud, what with the villain and hero spouting homilies about the “new India”. But despite its flaws, “D-Day” is a film that works.