I shall start with a confession. I hate Bollywood movies.
In fact, apart from Sholay (which I saw when I was nine years old) I would have trouble naming a decent one.To me, they are all the same: boy meets girl, girl’s parents ain’t pleased. After three hours of song and dance, boy and girl get married. In fact, I didn’t even want to go to the premiere of D-Day last week, eventually lured by the promise of free food and catching up with an old friend.
But boy am I glad I did. I would have no hesitation in ranking Nikhil Advani’s thriller alongside The Godfather and Scarface. Mesmerising from start to finish, with brilliant performances by the lead cast of Rishi Kapoor, Irrfan, Arjun Rampal, Huma Qureshi, and Akash Dahiya.
D-Day’s plot is pretty controversial, as it centres around undercover Indian agents working in Pakistan, trying to capture a terror chief named Goldman. It is loosely based on the real life attempts over two decades to bring back Dawood Ibrahim.
If you’re Indian you will probably love the movie, if you’re Pakistani you might well hate it.
But what makes D-Day such a great Bollywood movie is the fact it is so un-Bollywood. The script is brilliant, and you genuinely have no idea how it will end until the very end. The way the movie jumps from back to front up to the half way point is pure class, something few Bollywood directors would ever dare attempt.
And even though there is a decent chunk of music, it is done Tarantino-style as a backdrop to scenes. There is a fair amount of violence and tragedy, and the quality of acting – particularly by Rishi Kapoor and Irrfan - is something Marlon Brando and Al Pacino would be proud of.
In short, this movie has everything. Would I ever go and see another Bollywood movie? Nope – because there is no chance of anyone in Bollywood making another one as good as this.