‘The answer to hate is love. Nonviolence is the answer to violence. The world has to understand that violence can raise a thousand questions, but no question can be answered. Violence only works to weaken all the pillars of society. It works to break up loved ones. A few hours of violence will leave pain and despair behind for many years. This cruelty must be stopped. Otherwise, the whole world will be in your clutches. Through this dialogue from ‘State of Siege – Temple Attack’ released on the OTT ZEE5 platform, the filmmaker has tried to give a global message about terrorism, which is also the essence of the film and also fits the current situation. The background to the terrorist incident depicted in this movie may have aged, but the horror game still continues unabated.
Actor Akshaye Khanna has made his digital debut through the film ‘State of Siege – Temple Attack’. It stars Vivek Dahiya, Praveen Dabbas, Sameer Soni, Gautam Rode, Mir Sarwar, Manjari Phannis, Akshay Oberoi, and Abhimanyu Singh in major roles with him. The film is directed by Ken Ghosh, known for directing web series such as XXX, Haq Se, Abhay, and Chance Pe Dance. Inspired by the story of the 2002 terrorist attack on the Akshardham Temple in Ahmedabad, the screenplay for the film is written by William Borthwick and Simon Fantaujo. This 1.50 minute film is primarily inspired by and based on Pakistani sponsored terrorist incidents across the border. Regardless, the bitter relationship between India and Pakistan, war and terrorism has become a successful formula for Bollywood.
The movie is great, but the reason for this is not just Akshay Khanna’s performance.
Every major cartel has been testing this formula for success in different ways. Experience so far says that this formula has only benefited filmmakers. Many Bollywood movies were made about the Indo-Pak relationship. Sometimes partition, sometimes terrorism, sometimes war and sometimes brotherhood. Most of these films were successful at the box office. The movie ‘State of Siege – Temple Attack’ made with this formula is a superhit. But the actual incident of the terrorist attack on the Akshardham temple, which is said to have been inspired, has nothing to do with him in the real sense. There is an ‘attack on the temple’ in the center of the story, but the script doesn’t seem inspired. Because a lot happens on the trip from Kashmir to Ahmedabad, which is seen on a large canvas. By the way, the movie is excellent on an adventure level, which keeps it tied until the last scene.
The commando NSG Hanut Singh (Akshay Khanna) is at the center of the film’s story. The first scene is from the Kupwara sector of Kashmir, where NSG commandos are ambushed in front of a house. A girl is kidnapped and held by terrorists in that house. The Hanut Singh command is leading their unit, but NSG DG Col MS Nagar orders that they do not attack the terrorists before the backup arrives. Meanwhile, the terrorists receive the news that the army is going to get there, they are going to change with the girl. Seeing this, Hanut Singh ignores the order of his CEO and attacks the terrorists. After freeing the girl and getting her out of there, the infamous terrorist Abu Hamza and his right-hand man Bilal Naiko arrive there. There are shots from both sides.
In this attack, Bilal Naikoo is captured alive by the NSG team, but a commando is martyred, while Hanut Singh is seriously injured after being shot. The terrorist Abu Hamza escapes from there. Hanut Singh is often worried after losing a friend in this incident. Meanwhile, information reaches the NSG camp in Manesar that there may be a terrorist attack at the Chief Minister’s Investor Summit in Gujarat. Colonel Nagar wants to send his command, Commander Samar Chauhan, on this mission, but due to the surrender of his wife, Hanut Singh is forced to take over. The NSG team arrives in Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat. Here, after crossing the border, four terrorists arrive in Ahmedabad to carry out a terrorist attack. Your target is a famous temple.
The NSG team led by Hanut Singh is committed to the safety of the Chief Minister of Gujarat, when information is received that the city’s famous Krishnadham temple has been attacked by terrorists. After killing many people present, some people have been taken hostage. The terrorists demand that their partner Bilal Naikoo, who is housed in a Kashmir jail, be released and sent to the other side of the border. If the demand is not met, a hostage will be killed every half hour. The central government accepts the terrorists’ demand, but Hanut Singh tells the CM that even after Naikoo’s release, the terrorists will kill the hostages, so efforts must be made to free them first. The CM gives you permission to go with the team. What action does the NSG team take next? Is Naiko released or not? You have to see the movie to know this.
The strongest aspect of the movie ‘State of Siege – Temple Attack’ is the direction and cinematography. Ken Ghosh has directed so hard that you will continue to watch the entire movie without blinking. Incredible emotion, which manages to keep the audience hooked until the last scene. Although the movie slows down a bit in the middle, it soon speeds up. The excellent cinematography of Tejal Pramod Shetty has added a touch to the history of the film. Especially the spectacular scenes filmed on the beautiful plains of Manali are fascinating. The action-packed scenes between the NSG commandos and the terrorists are well choreographed by Mandhar Verma and Rinku Bachchan. The acting performance of all the actors is satisfactory, they have all done what was expected of them. Akshaye Khanna has not been able to leave any special impact on the character of Hanut Singh.
This was Akshaye Khanna’s digital debut. After the disappointment at the box office, OTT might have turned out to be a blessing for him, as many artists have been, but Akshay has been lost here as well. There really isn’t much to do for his character in this movie. He has done his best as a normal commando or their leader, but could not become memorable as Manoj Bajpayee in ‘The Family Man’. Praveen Dabbas has done justice to the role of Colonel Nagar, the commanding officer of NSG. Sameer Soni is doing well in the character of CM. The most effective performances seem to be those of terrorists turned actors. Along with the acting, his body language and delivery of dialogue overshadows many of the actors on the NSG team.
Abhimanyu Singh as Abu Hamza, the leader of the terrorist gang, Mir Sarwar as his right hand Bilal Naikoo and Abhilash Choudhary as Iqbal, the four terrorists who attacked the Ahmedabad temple, Dhanveer Singh as Hanif, Farooq Mihir Ahuja has left his mark on the form of Mridul Das and Umar. He clearly has a good understanding of the local Pakistani-Punjabi accent. Overall, after Abhimanyu Singh’s ‘State of Siege: 11/26’ based on the Mumbai attacks, the combat drama ‘State of Siege – Temple Attack’ is a true tribute to our NSG commandos. It should be seen.