This Akkineni Nagarjuna starrer taps into the immense talent of its brilliant technical team.
Movie Title: Wild Dog
Cast: Nagarjuna Akkineni, Saiyami Kher, Atul Kulkarni and others
Director: Ahishor Solomon
A terror mastermind who knows no mercy, and sees the sluggish Indian justice system as a circus. An angry cop whose trigger-happy instincts can spring up at any moment. And his team is powered by patriotic men who will not think twice before taking up the riskiest secret mission, that too in a foreign land. Writer-director Ahishor Solomon, who sets “Wild Dog’ in the late 2000s, creates a fairly invigorating premise and enriches it with characterizations. Largely staged as an action-drama wherein the investigative tracks feel like somewhat of a footnote, this Akkineni Nagarjuna-starrer taps into the immense talent of its brilliant technical team.
In 2007, when a bakery visited by foreign tourists is bombed in Pune, ACP Vijay Varma (Nagarjuna) is tasked with cracking the case. He and his team (Ali Reza, Mayank Parakh, Prakash Sudarshan and Pradeep play adventurous cops who flaunt their risk-taking abilities) find out that a terrorist named Khalid is its mastermind. Much as they try to trace him, they fail to catch him in time. Meanwhile, he goes on to execute a deadlier blast in Hyderabad. This is also when Vijay Varma faces the wrath of his boss in the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The heroic cop, who is now suspended, takes a daredevil decision to catch hold of Khalid with the help of his team.
‘Wild Dog’ is right on the money when it comes to casting. In most Telugu films, not much attention is paid to the team members of the cop-hero. This film ropes in the right faces, who look earnest at every step. They look fit and agile. Atul Kulkarni, the proven Hindi actor, is likable. Saiyami Kher is adorable as a RAW agent in Nepal. Dia Mirza, much as she is good as Nag’s wife, is limited to just a couple of scenes. The actors seen in negative roles look the part. However, the director should have gone for realistic voices instead of the same old dubbing artists.
S Thaman’s background music is captivating in a lot of stretches. The sequence where Vijay Varma leads an operation to trap Khalid in the first half is elevated by his superb score. Shaneil Deo’s cinematography lends the film both a raw and polished feel at once. Shravan Katikaneni’s editing is effective. The production design (by Prashant Deshmane and others) is a plus.
At about 127 minutes, this film doesn’t seem overlong despite a number of shoot-out scenes. Vijay Varma takes an interesting decision concerning the antagonist in the pre-climax phase, unleashing a sense of suspense in the climax. The stretch keeps the audience glued to the screens, especially because a lot of characters, including a politician (played by Avijit Dutt), are seen here.
All said and done, ‘Wild Dog’ could have been way better in terms of writing. Somewhere in the film, Vijay Varma says that he is not okay with terrorists killing Indians and getting away with it. This is a defining moment. But its underlying emotion hasn’t been milked properly. The Hyderabad blasts happened at the famous landmark, Gokul Chat, a household name in the city. There was a sense of panic in Indian cities, with city after city getting bombed by ISI-backed terrorists at will in the 2000s. ‘Wild Dog’ fails to transport the audience to those frightening days.
The villains are India’s enemies who don’t know anything about the heroic exploits of Nag’s character. This is an element that should have been exploited to elevate the heroism embodied by the character. There is a wicked politician who doesn’t feel ominous. There should have been a scene in which only Vijay Varma and the main villain are seen. It’s not like it’s mandatory for every scene to show the hero’s team members.
In conclusion, ‘Wild Dog’ is a reasonable film whose technical output is outstanding.
Your comment has been submitted to the moderation queue