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Review Sanak (2021): Die Hard in a hospital!

genre: die hard clones, action, martial arts, thriller

One can say a lot about Sanak but not that it lacks ambition. However next to that you also need vision, imagination and experience. While director Kanishk Varma manages to do some things right he fails in the ones that matter the most. 

There is almost no tension and suspense. The bad guys are well organized and I think the leader played by Chandan Roy Sanyal certainly was menacing enough to be considered a real threat. However it's almost pointless since almost every action and event is utterly predictable. Main character Vivaan played by Vidyut Jammwal wins every fight he is in and you never really fear for his life. Even when John McClane in Die Hard was a New York cop and is very capable in dealing with criminals he was in quite the predicament as he was clearly outnumbered. Plus he got seriously hurt and wounded. Vivaan barely gets scratched. Mind you at the same time it's Vidyut who makes it worth your while. If it weren't for him I think I would not be able to find any enjoyment from this film. Some of the fights were really interesting since they did feature moves rarely seen before. Undoubtedly from Kalaripayattu which he has studied from an early age. Some of the goons he fight obviously are skilled as well. I only wished the fights would have been more hard hitting and brutal. Not that I am that blood thirsty. Just so that the outcome from the fights could seem less predictable. Why not have at least one or two bad guys who are so skilled and dangerous that require Vivaan to use everything he has and then some.

Indians love drama. It's almost impossible to make a film in India that doesn't feature it. And often it's immensely effective. However in Sanak it was very forced and misplaced. Was it really necessary for our lead to have a wife who was on the brink of death? Did that really change things? I mean I am sure they thought it would intensify the stakes except it didn't. It also exposed his limitations as an actor. He is charming as hell but the fake tears and sad face almost came off as comical. And I don't mind clich├ęs but damn this film didn't even bother to come up with something creative and new. Even the scene with the babies is directly lifted from Hard Boiled without understanding what made that scene so memorable. The pacing also was bad. Many scenes towards the end dragged. Had this been a half hour shorter the film would have been tighter and therefore better.

Overall Sanak is decent as an action flick but a little average as a Die Hard film. It had real potential to wow me especially since Vidyut's talents certainly are underused. But perhaps it's a matter of time for him to make that one film where he gets to show the world what he truly is about.

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