Unbelievable, but it is not surprising that Ram Madhvani managed to turn the wonderful South Korean thriller 2013 The Terror Live by screenwriter-director Kim Byung-woo, The Terror Live, into a mediocre film.
In their misguided efforts to indulge intelligent pulp fiction, Bollywood directors and screenwriters have a habit of tempering the cynicism and audacity of South Korean thrillers. They enrich the material with the worst trends of the Bollywood movie: intense emotion, noisy dialogues and emphasis on every rhythm with a background score that is usually not remarkable.
The pioneers of the trend are Sanjay Gupta, who recreated Oldboy (2003) as Zinda (2006) and Mohit Suri, who has three remakes in South Korea: A Bittersweet Life (2005) remade as Awarapan (2007), The Chaser (2008) was remade as Murder 2 (2011) and I Saw The Devil (2010) was remade as Ek Villain (2014).
Ram Madhvani, best director by Gupta and Suri, and co-writer Puneet Sharma, chose a relatively simpler film to adapt. Mainly in a news studio, The Terror Live follows a news anchor being held hostage during a live broadcast as he is forced to negotiate with a man who claims to be a construction worker who bombed a bridge he had helped build . He threatens to inflict more damage if the president does not apologize for not compensating the families of his former colleagues who died while working on the bridge.
The story unfolds as a moral game in which the presenter then has to choose between helping the man apologize – something that would save lives but leave the government red – and keep his boss leading the way. many deaths, but bring high viewing to the channel. The film’s themes and pessimistic abolition underscore the government’s apathy and the complicity of private news channels in the misfortunes of politicians.
Front spoilers for Damaka.
When the first lockdown in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic was announced last March and without warning, videos of migrant workers walking hundreds of kilometers to return home sparked widespread criticism of the government’s mismanagement. The deaths of workers returning from the lockdown have been widely reported, but the Union Ministry of Labor has said that since no migrant deaths have been recorded, there is no question of compensation.
In this political climate, and with a simple plot in hand, Madhvani and Sharma had the right ground to build Damaka. Their choice for the architectural victim, the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai, is smart.
But they drop the ball at the beginning, misquoting a limited actor like Kartik Aaryan as the anchor Arjun. Their worst mistake is to make the disgruntled construction worker apologize to a minister Patil, and not to the Prime Minister, the natural Indian counterpart of the President of South Korea. An apology from a Patil is not enough damn it, is it?
Read also: Damaka Movie Review: Kartik Aaryan 2.0 delivers intense performance in this exciting thriller
Further decisions that suck life out of what could be an amazing movie are the aforementioned problems plaguing previous South Korean-owned Bollywood remakes.
Madhvani and Sharma’s decision to overemphasize the film’s themes leads to heated dialogues about how selfish and predatory the news channels are. News business information here is probably not new to the Netflix audience.
But the indescribable portrayal of Arjun’s boss by Amruta Subhash as the nonsense of a general who knows what is at stake and how to handle it is top notch.
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