Director Raj Kumar Gupta’s history lesson lionizes unheralded, contemporary intelligence officers who captured Yasin Bhatkal (Founder of India’s Mujahideen, terrorist organization) in Pakistan on August 13, 2013. The feat claims remarkability because five men, led by Prabhat Kapoor (Arjun Kapoor, no relation) entered Pakistan, weaponless not witless, tracked, cornered, captured the culprit and escaped without harm; the intensity is not inspired by action, but the audacious skill, ingenuity and inimitable judgment of these unlikely heroes. Kapoor’s solid, stoic depiction, straight-jacketed, by his intransigent loyalty to his country; without government aid, shamefully these men were forced to personally finance this undercover mission.
Yasin Bhatkal, born of humble origins, January 15, 1983, limited intellect, incapable of passing his tenth grade examinations, adapts questionable alias’, marries an unsuspecting woman and in 2006 decrees his path to glory lies in the founding of India’s Mujahideen, a Caliphate, slayers of infidels; trained in Pakistan, between 2007-2013 orchestrated bombings in India’s paramount cities: Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Varanasi, Mumbai; immeasurable causalities gained Yasin his crucial status as “India’s Most Wanted.”
Gupta’s well-intentioned film is too long and laden with Bhatkal’s perpetual repetitive mantra; he has felt only sanctification for his actions; sentenced to death, but still a cancer, recruiting neophytes to follow his manifesto, in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. Why this blight on humanity, sentenced to death in 2016, is still breathing, is a terrifying, mystifying conundrum.