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Vidyut Jammwal starrer SANAK rests on Vidyut Jammwal’s presence and the novel and exciting action scenes

Sanak – Hope Under Siege Review {2.5/5} & Review Rating

SANAK is the story of a man battling an army of guys in a hospital. Vivaan Ahuja (Vidyut Jammwal) is happily married to Anshika (Rukmini Maitra). On their 3rd marriage anniversary, they find out that Anshika is suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that can prove fatal if she doesn’t go for an immediate surgery. The cost of the treatment is Rs. 70 lakhs and Vivaan sells his flat as he is running short of money. Her treatment begins at Green Hills Multi Speciality Hospital, Mumbai. The surgery is successful and a few days later, Anshika is allowed to go home. However, hours before her discharge, a high-profile patient, Ajay Pal Singh (Kiran Karmarkar), is brought into the hospital. He is an arms dealer who is imprisoned in Arthur Road Jail and had to be rushed to the hospital after his pacemaker malfunctions. His operation begins immediately on the East Wing of the 9th floor, the same level where Anshika is kept. Vivaan goes to the billing counter on the ground floor to settle the bill. As he reaches the ground floor, he realizes that he has forgotten his wallet in the car which is parked in the basement. Meanwhile, Captain Saju (Chandan Roy Sanyal) and his team, comprising Raman (Sunil Palwal), Yuri (Daniele Balconi), Taira (Ivy Haralson), Maksym (Alois Knapps) and Chad (Du Tran Au) arrive at the hospital basement. Yuri is asked to stay put at the parking lot and to safeguard a black bag. The rest of them leave and attack the hospital. The hostages are kept on the ground floor and 9th floor. Anshika is one of the hostages. They capture the CCTV room so that they can access the happenings in the hospital and install jammers. They also boobytrap all entrances to the hospital with bombs. Hence, the police are unable to enter. While all this is happening, Vivaan is at the parking lot, completely oblivious to the fact that the hospital is under attack. He bumps into Yuri but leaves. Yuri realizes that he can alert others about his presence. Hence, he tries to kill Vivaan. But Yuri is unaware that Vivaan is an ex MMA fighter. Vivaan attacks and kills Yuri. It becomes clear to him that Yuri’s team members have taken over the hospital. He opens the black bag and finds arms and a mysterious device. He takes the bag and decides to fight the baddies. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Movie Review Sanak - Hope Under Siege

Ashish P Verma’s story is interesting and makes for a great action entertainer. Ashish P Verma’s screenplay is captivating but not consistent. The first half is well fleshed out and few sequences are penned very nicely. Also, the hero vs villain confrontations over the walkie talkie keeps viewers engrossed. However, the second half is needlessly dragging. A few questions are also left unanswered. Ashish P Verma’s dialogues are dramatic but the ones in the romantic scenes are childish.

Kanishk Verma’s direction is neat. He keeps the narrative simple and massy. In fact, the slo-mo walk of Vidyut after he kills one baddie after another shows that these scenes were written keeping the single screen audiences in mind. The action scenes are also novel this time and hence, those feeling that Vidyut Jammwal’s stunts are getting repetitive will be in for a surprise. On the flipside, the 116-minute long film should have ideally been only 90 minutes long. The second half goes on and on and it hampers the impact created by the first half. One thrilling moment in the store room sequence is copied from SPIDER-MAN [2002] and this should have avoided. A few plot points leave viewers bewildered. For instance, who malfunctioned Ajay Pal Singh’s pacemaker purposely is never explained. The character of Zubin (Harminder Singh Alag), a kid, is shown to be an expert in guns and arms, to the extent that he even knows how to diffuse a bomb. The last bit is a bit too much. Another major problem with the film is that it has arrived without any buzz or awareness. Many are not even aware that a film called SANAK is releasing today. Hence, its viewership might get affected.

SANAK’s first 10-15 minutes focus on the romantic track between Vivaan and Anshika. The film sets the mood once Captain Saju enters the hospital and begins his attack. To give credit where it’s due, the action scenes are well choreographed and don’t give a déjà vu of the scenes of any past film of Vidyut Jammwal. The scenes which work big time are the action scenes in the parking lot, MRI room, Physiotherapy room and store room. A scene to watch out for is when Vivaan’s sugar levels drop dangerously and how he manages to sip milk. Sadly, from here on, the film drops as it drags and picks up only during the final fight.

Vidyut Jammwal, as always, is in complete form. What adds to the fun is the novel stunts he attempts this time. Rukmini Maitra makes a confident debut in Bollywood. She has sufficient screen time despite the focus being on Vidyut. Chandan Roy Sanyal is excellent as the antagonist. He goes a bit over the top but it works for the character. Neha Dhupia (ACP Jayati Bhargav) effortlessly slips into the role. Chandan Roy (Riyaz Ahmed) is too good as the sidekick. His entry scene raises a lot of laughs. Kiran Karmarkar gets limited scope. Harminder Singh Alag is lovely though his character defies logic. From the baddies in Team Saju, Daniele Balconi and Sunil Palwal are memorable. Ivy Haralson, Alois Knapps and Du Tran Au are okay. Arjun Ramesh (Aditya; the kid patient), Adrija Sinha (Aanya; Jayati’s daughter) and Neha Pednekar (Anuradha; the nurse on the 9th floor) are decent.

SANAK, ideally, should have been a songless film. ‘Suna Hai’ is poor while ‘O Yaara’ is played in the end credits. ‘Aankhein Mili’ is missing in the film. Saurabh Bhalerao’s background score has a cinematic feel.

Pratik Deora’s cinematography is excellent. Despite 95% of the film shot inside, the lensman has managed to up the scale and thrill with his camerawork. Andy Long Nguyen’s action, as expected, is one of the USPs of the film. It’s commendable how the action theme managed to think out of the box this time. Saini S Johray’s production design is a bit subdued, considering the hospital set up, but still fits well in this kind of film. Devraj Das and Arrtee Zutshi’s costumes are rich. Pixel Digital Studios’ VFX is appropriate. Sanjay Sharma’s editing could have been slicker in the second half.

On the whole, SANAK rests on Vidyut Jammwal’s presence and the novel and exciting action scenes. However, the needlessly long second half and the shocking lack of buzz might affect the film’s viewership.

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