Image source: Google

Ratings: 1.5/5

Duration: 133 Minutes

Language: Hindi 

Genre: Drama 

Director: Girish Malik

Writer: Girish Malik, Bharti Jakhar

Producer: Raju Chadha, Rahul Mittra, Puneet Singh, Girish Malik, Amardeep S Reen

Music: Bickram Ghosh, Vikram Montrose

Cinematography: Hiroo Keswani

Editing: Dilip Deo

Release Date: 11 December 2020

Star Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Nargis Fakhri, Rahul Dev, Gavie Chahal, Rahul Mittra, Kuwaarjeet Chopra

Plot: Afghanistan has been at the receiving end of the vicious terrorist activities for decades now. And the ones who suffer the most are the innocent local people. 

Dr Nasser Khan (Sanjay Dutt) once served as a former Army doctor in Afghanistan. He was stationed there with his family. But one fine day he paid the price for serving in the terror inflicted country. His wife and his 10-year-old son were blown up by a suicide bomber in Kabul, where he was holding a post at the Indian Embassy. After that, he returned to his country. 

Years passed, but no time could make him forget about what happened in Kabul. The time had come for him to go back to the same place which took away his everything. Even after all these years, the pangs of separation are so intense that Dr Khan sits at Delhi airport – all set to fly to Afghanistan. But when the authorities announce his name for final boarding – the dejected man in him lies to the ground staff, saying, “I have lost my boarding pass,” as the torn piece of paper sits comfortably next to him.

Despite such a fear of the place and the melancholic memories attached to them, Dr Khan decides to pay a visit to Ayesha (Nargis Fakhri). She is Dr Khan’s friend who is doing a noble work of running an NGO for children in Kabul. 

Dr Khan visits the adoption function of a refugee camp dedicated to kids who are burdened by despair and misfortune at a tender age and takes it upon himself to change the fate of these helpless individuals through the game of cricket.

He decides to play the mediator among a rag-tag bunch of refugee children. Cricket becomes the binding force as Nasser traverses the fault lines of Pashtun-Hazara and Pakistan-Afghanistan conflicts, played among the children. The innocent Dr Khan is unaware that he is setting the plot for a terrorist act. In the cricket team of the kids preparing for the big day, there is a kid named Baaz, who has been trained as a suicide bomber by a mujahideen leader Qazar (Rahul Dev). As Nasser’s team heads towards an all-important match so do the nefarious plans of the militant leader amid talk of Jannat and jehad.

Will Dr Khan be able to avoid the horrific blast? Will Baaz have a change of heart? These questions are answered in the movie. 

Review: 'Torbaaz' is a document of war-torn Afghanistan more than it is a film. It reflects the spirit of the people of that country. The gist of the movie has cricket at its centre and how it saved this country, and how the Taliban, in the name of Jihad, is converting innocent children and their helpless families into trained suicide bombers. 

Here one thing that comes out clearly for Netflix and that is, in its war with Amazon and Hotstar it is only keen on gathering numbers at the cost of quality content. Amazon has captured Tollywood and Hotstar is bagging all the Hindi content. Hence, it is important for Netflix to come up with exclusive titles like 'Torbaaz'. 

When communal disharmony and terror-torn cities are cherry-picked as the central theme with the subtext of sports enthusiasts serving as a solid ground for a human-interest story that is sure to resonate, you expect the cinematography to pierce through your heart. With this plot Director, Girish Malik takes us deep inside war-torn Afghanistan with innocence at stake as rugged-faced men up to kidnap children to train them as suicide bombers. 

Unfortunately, the movie fails to please the audience with such a strong plot. The Art director Martand Mishra erects a set that is far from what a war-torn region looks like. Not just that, the emotional turbulence that the former doctor, played by Sanjay Dutt, experiences during the film does not feel real and relatable. Director Girish Malik makes a feeble attempt at portraying a strong sense of community in the face of adversity, but the smaller characters were complete misfits and did not render any depth to their roles. 

Not intending to be harsh, the scriptwriters perhaps want to return to the bench and watch whatever is going viral online. Once they stumbled on a great idea, they think they have done their day’s work and deserve a break, and if asked to do more, they intend to wing it.

The dialogues are stale, the action that is all over the place, and actors sleepwalking through their parts. Other than a few good moments, as fresh-faced children decided to be children, it is hard to invest in the film despite its poignant and pertinent subject – a global conflict and its effect on children.

All the actors, including Dutt, were not looking happy with the role. As if, they were not convinced with the theme. Nargis barely had any dialogues with no item song as well. Rahul Dev, as the terrorist commander, didn't yield that fear. The only respite was that small kid who asked Sanjay for the ball and played the sidekick to the leader of the pack - Baaz!

Overall, the movie is sure to disappoint the fans.