By Shachi Chaturvedi
Cast: Anupam Kher, Vidyut Jammwal
Director: Sankalp Reddy, Lee Whittaker
Runtime: 129 mins
IB71, a patriotic spy thriller based on actual events, narrates the story of IB agent Dev Jammwal (Vidyut Jammwal), who is on a top-secret mission to rescue the nation. When a plane is hijacked, Pakistan is preparing to go to war with India, and the odds are stacked against India. How will India fight back?
The film opens in Pakistan, as Vidyut and his spy partner flee after completing a mission. Returning to India, they reveal intelligence about Pakistan launching an attack on India from the East with the assistance of a bordering nation, China. After learning of the Na-Pakh intentions, the only option to save the country was to close Indian airspace for Pakistani jets. Given the international treaties in play, how will the government be allowed to block airspace? How will India avoid this war? That is for you to discover.
Coming on to the execution of the above narrative, the film does lack representation as few of the scenes are rushed into. For example, having no women on the plane and the hijackers not suspecting anything is fishy. Instead of calling someone to halt the Indians, the Pakistani Army Major drives to the border when he discovers the truth. In short, some scenes are completely unrealistic.
Moving on to the star performances, protagonist Vidyut Jammwal looks terrific in the spy avatar, and the character suits him nicely. With his physique, he justifies the character in every way conceivable. He does have some cliched lines, but that is the fault of the dialogue writer. Although the actor has a lot of work to do in terms of expressions, he gives a fairly decent performance.
Coming to Anupam Kher, who plays the part of IB Chief N.S. Awasthi, the actor gives a convincing performance and is an add-on to the whole film as he pulls off the role with grace.
Apart from these two, all the supporting characters have done a good job on their end but what fails the film as a whole is its script and execution. I believe the makers should have increased the runtime and decreased the pace with which they delivered the narrative to make it a good film.
The movie does have a good background score and a few songs which touch upon your patriotic sentiment and fit well in the film.
As far as the technical aspect is concerned, the director has made good use of the scenery and the location around. Although, in a few scenes, you can feel the plane isn’t flying as a whole, a few close-ups and some broad shots do amplify the effect and the way battle sequences are done makes it look rather cool.
This is a good film with a great storyline that falls short in execution at times, but films like these, deserve to be appreciated, and you should give it a shot.