Director: Girish Malik
Starring: Sanjay Dutt, Nargis Fakhri, Rahul Dev
Written by: Bharti Jakhar, Girish Malik, Mohammad Muneem
Streaming On: Netflix
TORBAAZ tells the story of an ex-army doctor trying to bring happiness to children with the help of cricket. Nasser Khan (Sanjay Dutt) was an army doctor in the Indian Army. When he was working with the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan, his wife and his kid fell victim to a suicide bomber. His wife Meera was a social worker who worked very closely with Ayesha (Nargis Fakhri). Years have passed since the incident and Nasser is invited by Ayesha to Afghanistan for inauguration of a refugee camp called Tomorrow’s Hope. Nasser reluctantly agrees as he is still not completely over the death of his loved ones. He’s still bitter about everything and at the camp he meets the father of the kid who was responsible for the suicide attack which killed his wife and kid, and he somehow manages to move on after that.At the camp he meets several kids who show a great talent for cricket. He tells them if everything goes well he can even teach them cricket and maybe one day they could even play for the Afghanistan National Team. But there are always some or the troubles. Half the kids are Pashtun while the other half are Pakistanis and there is always a rivalry going on between the two groups. Besides this, the terrorists lead by Qazar (Rahul Dev) is trying to find the Pakistani kids whom he trained very well and who are potential suicide bombers. He finds out that they are residing in the same refugee camp where Nasser is trying to build a cricket team. He tells his men that he wants these children to further his terror agenda. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
The film has a very noble idea at heart but the end product is nowhere close to how the maker may have intended it. The film doesn’t even manage to make some emotional connection with you to feel something about the kids or any other character. There is a half baked attempt to make this film and when there is no motivation from the makers, there doesn’t seem any motivation from the actors either. It felt they were happy to come, collect their pay check and move on ahead. Although at least actors were sincere in their performances.
Technically, the film is fine. Cinematography by Hiroo Keswani is superb. Editing by Dilip Deo is inconsistent. The production design and the costumes are both authentic and realistic. The film ideally should have no music because the music is completely forgettable and the film would have fared better without it. Maybe the editor should have cut the song out completely. The idea behind the film is good but the writing is terrible.
Acting performances are nothing special either. The actors are very sincere and they give their best. But the performances lack authenticity. Sanjay Dutt does well but this is far from his best. Nargis Fakhri doesn’t have much to do. Rahul Dev goes a bit extra and over the top. The rest of the cast offer the required support.
Director Girish Malik fails to execute this film well but the onus somewhere falls on the bad writing itself.