State of Siege Temple Attack review: Akshaye Khanna shines in a loosely written film


A bunch of bearded, kohl-eyed terrorists with a peculiar accent, and a handler who provides them instructions over the telephone. Innocent, hapless people who find themselves held hostage, with a few who will find yourself as collateral injury earlier than uniformed males barge in to save lots of lives. Pressure build up as politicians are compelled to take a robust name — whether or not to barter dreaded terrorists in return for individuals’s lives. Do these situations sound acquainted? Well, that is how most of the terror-attack thrillers form up, and ZEE5’s newest providing State of Siege: Temple Attack isn’t any totally different.

The 110-minute film, led by Akshaye Khanna, is for everybody who likes to see a cat-and-mouse chase between ghastly, closely armed males and courageous, ‘can do anything for the nation’ troopers. But if you’re searching for a nuanced remedy of a harrowing story involving flesh-and-blood monsters killing many randomly, then you might be in the incorrect place.

The film picks the 2002 terror assault on Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on September 24, 2002. Two armed males killed 33 individuals, together with a National Security Guard (NSG) commando and two Gujarat law enforcement officials, and injured 80 individuals. The assault adopted the Godhra riots. But, writers William Borthwick and Simon Fantauzzo have focussed solely on the function of National Security Guard (NSG) commandos in gunning down the terrorists and saving the hostages. In doing so, they’ve stayed away from the information of the assault, of course, to keep away from any repercussions. The film opens with the disclaimer, “This film is inspired by true events and is creative visualisation and recreation of the context of those events”.

Before we attain the Krishna Dham temple (identify used for Akshardham), makers familiarise us with the important thing participant of the story, Commando Hanut Singh (Akshaye Khanna). In an efficient opening scene, we see Hanut Singh main a mission in Jammu and Kashmir, and it’s the failure of this mission that provides him a function to show himself and explains why he by no means shoots on level. We then meet one other commando (Gautam Rode), a fortunately married man awaiting the beginning of his first little one. But he’s torn between his obligation for the nation and taking care of his spouse who’s in the hospital.

Besides these two commandos, we don’t get to know any of the characters that would have helped us in putting ourselves, mentally and emotionally, among the many victims and survivors, and really feel their ache. There’s no customer to the temple whose demise will transfer you as a result of writers don’t allow them to rise from being mere paper cutouts. This jogs my memory of Anthony Maras’ brilliantly made Hotel Mumbai, based mostly on the notorious 26/11 assault in Mumbai. There, we received to really feel the complexity of human nature via the resort employees and visitors who had been the epitome of goodness and the terrorists who’re brainwashed in the identify of faith.

Gautam Rode in a nonetheless from the State of Siege: Temple Attack.

However, State of Siege: Temple Attack falls brief of evoking any emotion. In the tip, what comes out of the film is a thinly sketched, jingoistic battle between the nice and the dangerous. It by no means will get you on the sting of your seat as you understand all of the tropes of this style and makers by no means attempt something totally different.

It is barely in the well-choreographed motion sequences and the scenes the place NSG discusses its plan of motion the place director Ken Ghosh pulls us into the film. Also, Akshaye Khanna, with the utmost screentime, makes his safety commander look plausible. Gautam Rode and Vivek Dahiya do their job properly too in no matter little time they’re on the display.

Had it not been promoted as a retelling of the Akshardham terror assault of 2002, State of Siege: Temple Attack may have been a first rate thriller. But whenever you enter it anticipating an perception into one of the historic disaster India confronted, you come out upset.


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