Sanak (2021) Review!!

Synopsis – Sanak is an action-thriller film, summarizing the emotion and journey of a lone hero, who fights overwhelming odds in a restricted environment, to save his wife and other unfortunates, helpless hostages, from the perils of evil.

My Take – Ever since he marked his debut in Hindi cinema in the fairly successful Force (2011), Vidyut Jammwal has slowly and steadily made a mark for himself with a very loyal fan base, who continue to fuel the obvious fact that he is undoubtedly the most unique action star to appear in Indian films.

And since finding deserving success as a solo leading man with the Commando series, Jammwal, the only Indian to make it to the top 10 martial artists globally, has stuck to the formula, only occasionally dabbling in other genres.

Unfortunately for him, though he continues to deliver in the performance department with his unique display of breathtaking stunts, the films he chooses to star constantly continue to miss the mark, often let down by weak screenplays and senseless storytelling.

And while success finally found his way with last year’s Disney+ Hotstar release, Khuda Hafiz, which surprisingly toned down on Jammwal‘s action skills and beats, his latest (also a Disney+ Hotstar release) thankfully undoes that allowing him to slick kick, punch and back flip, raising the stakes of this yet another Die Hard (1988) inspired action-packed drama.

Sure, the film doesn’t offer anything unique due to an average script, as director Kanishk Varma and writer Ashish P Verma don’t seemed bothered to try harder, and should have made this slicker, faster and tighter. Yet despite the predictability, Vidyut Jammwal is a treat to watch, as he wholly delivers in the action sequences, keeping the action genre fan inside you thoroughly entertained.

The story follows Vivaan (Vidyut Jammwal), an MMA trainer, whose bliss married life gets interrupted when his wife Anshika (Rukmini Maitra) gets diagnosed with a heart disease, requiring a complicated surgery. Though her operation undergoes successfully well, leaving Anshika to happily recuperate, Vivaan finds himself in another impossible situation when a shady group of mercenaries led by Captain Saju Solanki (Chandan Roy Sanyal) take the hospital hostage to rescue an in-surgery Ajay Pal Singh (Kiran Karmarkar), a criminal arms dealer, from the premises. Determined to get Anshika out safely at all costs, Vivaan decides to hone his skills and undertake the rescue mission on his own with little help from a battalion of Mumbai Police led by ACP Jayati Bhargav (Neha Dhupia) stationed outside.

As one would expect, the film wholly stays within the conventions of the action genre, with director Kanishk Varma’s quick, by-the-numbers style building the necessary suspense. While the sweet chemistry between Jammwal and Rukmini Maitra, is often semi-sedated, the 117-minute film wakes up proper in the action scenes with Vivan and various terrorists who have the misfortune of crossing his path.

Thankfully, the action is excellent, as action director Andy Long Nguyen finds inventive ways to design and showcase Jammwal’s prowess with executing them. Two scenes in particular stand out, one where Vidyut uses the rim of a tyre for his defense, and the other in the physiotherapy room where several props are smartly used to make the action unique and impactful. Both the scenes are well shot, and Vidyut makes them look believable.

The screenplay mechanically counts down to the anticipated climax, a man-to-man fight between Vivaan and Saju, which comes at the very end and does not disappoint.

Unsurprisingly, the film is heavily dependent on Vidyut Jammwal and he too doesn’t disappoint much while carrying the entire film on his shoulders. He punches at the speed of flash and kills people with bare hands. The magic is that, he makes this all look so believable. There is a charm in his smirks and quips too.

Chandan Roy Sanyal adds another impressive performance to his growing filmography. Here, Sanyal manages to look and feel ruthless, frightening and maniacal without trying too hard. Rukmini Maitra and Neha Dhupia have limited roles to play, they do, however, carry it with finesse, while Kiran Karmarkar is wasted. On the whole, ‘Sanak’ is an appropriately thrilling action fare completely dependent on Vidyut Jammwal‘s showcase.

Directed – 

Starring – Vidyut Jammwal, Neha Dhupia, Rukmini Maitra

Rated – PG13

Run Time – 117 minutes

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