Torbaaz review: sloppy execution mars Sanjay Dutt movie

Written by Shubhra Gupta |

Updated: December 11, 2020 7:56:03 pm

Torbaaz, the star of Sanjay Dutt, is streaming on Netflix. (Photo: Netflix)

Cast of the film Torbaaz: Sanjay Dutt, Rahul Dev, Nargis Fakhri
Director of the film Torbaaz: Girish malik
Torbaaz movie classification: A star and a half

A refugee camp is the unlikely place for the formation of a rag cricket team. Using the healthy competition that sport engenders to defeat hatred is a great idea. But the consistently sloppy execution spoils Torbaaz, throwing him into the category of movies that could have been something.

Reeling from personal trauma, Nasser (Dutt) arrives at a picturesque but uneven location somewhere in the hills of Afghanistan. You are looking for a healing touch. And he discovers exactly what can help, not just him, but a group of refugee children who suffer physical and emotional injuries.

The film uses the real-life fact of children used as suicide bombers as a crucial point in the plot. We see mujahideen costumes hidden in the desert, led by fanatical leaders, training these children. The bearded leader (Dev, who must be tired of playing similar roles) of one of those gangs, using the style of singing songs that we are used to hearing in movies, talks about the joys of ‘shaheedi’ and ‘jannat’, such as we see explosions in the cities, smoke rising and bloodied limbs strewn across the streets.

The global conflict and its aftermath have long been the subject of powerful cinema. And when innocent children are involved, it’s easy to create stories that move the heart. There are some heartening moments where you see children being children, running and jumping for joy on the makeshift field. One bright young man in particular stands out, having formed a special bond with the grizzly Nasser as the latter tries to get his team in shape – who will win and what will that victory mean for these kids?

The ending credits of the film tell us that many members of the Afghan cricket team have come out of similar difficult circumstances. This could have been such an inspiring story, but the loose plot, packed with colorless characters, meanders less focus.

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