India’s Most Wanted Director: Raj Kumar Gupta Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Rajesh Sharma, Gaurav Mishra Rating: ***(2.5/5)
Inspired by real events, IMW not only recreates the audacious capture of Indian Mujahideen founder — terrorist Yasin Bhatkal, (renamed as Yusuf here) — through a covert operation in 2013 by an unlikely bunch of Intelligence Bureau (IB) officers but also exposes the shortcomings in our system and psyche.
As the film opens, India is being rocked by bomb blasts engineered by shadowy figures believed to be in Pakistan and Dubai. A source gives Prabhat a lead about the mastermind behind these explosions, which indicates that the man is, in fact, in Nepal. Higher-ups in Delhi are not convinced, but Prabhat decides to head off to Nepal anyway with a motley crew of colleagues, all of them conducting the operation at their own expense.
The crime drama holds your attention despite the odds, given the gravity of the events it chronicles. The field agents don’t have modern tech gadgets or fancy cars at their disposal. Nor are they revered as heroes or pretend to be heroic. They are ordinary men with extraordinary dedication towards our nation, working in extreme circumstances. With the fear of death constantly looming in the background, they must conquer the terrorist by solely trusting their instinct. How this mission unfolds forms the story.
Prabhat (Arjun Kapoor), IMW’s central character, is a stubborn fellow who has a mind of his own independent of his well-intention immediate superior Ravi Raj (Rajesh Sharma) and the intelligence agency for which he works. Bossman Ravi Raj gives them his blessings but not his on-the-record assent.
India’s Most Wanted is underwhelming despite a premise that is vastly intriguing. While the basic idea is fine “a ragtag team of unimpressive men” setting out to capture “India’s Osama” there is little that leaves an impact. It is thorough there is much waiting around and scrutiny of agents and potential double-agents unlike Ajay Devgn-starrer Raid (2018) set in the world of income-tax officials.
Overall I can say Arjun Kapoor’s vulnerability becomes his biggest strength as Prabhat. He did Justice to his character as Prabhat however unable to engage you fully with the trials and tribulations of his character.