Mission Istanbul Review
Guys and gals! Please put your hands together to felicitate the one and only Apoorva Lakhia for making the worst film of the year so far – Mission Istanbul.
First of all, my sincere congratulations to the audience and the critic brethren who have survived this two hours of sheer stupidity, inanity and cinematic profanity. Forgive me if I sound harsh, but I feel battered and bruised, and my heart swells with sympathy for those who have already endured this torture and caution for those who are about to make the same mistake.
To put it mildly, ‘Mission Istanbul’ is the murder of cinema. It has such a cruelly contrived story that you wonder if the writers of the script are truly in touch with the real world. Guess what! Al Qaeda roams free in Kabul post the American invasion of Afghanistan and the public killings still take place in football stadiums under the rule of the new Afghan government. Not just this, Northern Alliance is still fighting its battle with Al Qaeda. I truly feared that Lakhia would next show Ahmed Shah Masood alive and kicking the sh*t out of Al Qaeda. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.
At the center of the story is Vikas Sagar ( Zayed Khan ), a top class Indian journalist who takes up a job at Al Johara news channel in Istanbul much against the wishes of his journalist wife ( Shriya Saran ) back home.
Al Johara is a news channel that honours its slain journalists by putting their framed photos in its ‘hall of martyrs’. It is a channel that keeps its secret well hidden on the 13th floor, the entry to which is strictly prohibited.
Vikas goes on his first assignment with colleague Owais Husain ( Sunil Shetty ) to Afghanistan where Owais gets killed while fighting the terrorists. Upon his return, Vikas meets a stranger who tells him that Owais’ death was no coincidence and was preplanned by the channel itself. The stranger happens to be Rizwan Khan ( Vivek Oberoi ) a long-haired Turkish commando fighting his own personal war against the terrorists.
From thereon follows mindless action – heroes jumping off from buildings, dangling by flying choppers, chopping off the hands of the baddies and blowing up buildings.
Apoorva Lakhia’s style of filmmaking is to take stylish shots and put them in quick succession to each other and add the remaining impact by loud background music. He really needs to work as an assistant under some truly qualified director to get the basics right.
There are so many flaws in the film that one review may not suffice. But here are just a few examples. Zayed (as Vikas) lands in Istanbul, gets a short briefing from his boss who then announces ‘it’s time to party’. Enters Tanyeli, the flabby belly dancer. And our brave and much-married journalist on his big job in Istanbul decides to make merry with a tempting colleague (female, obviously).
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.
The performances by Zayed and Vivek are nothing to write home about. But yes, Vivek gets a role that is likely to evoke whistles from the front-benchers. Shriya Saran is totally wasted as a journalist who takes phone calls from her husband in between her live reporting. Mercy again.
The true hero of the film is the audience who brave sitting through it.
The best part about ‘Mission Istanbul’ are just two scenes showing the Bush-lookalike Brent Mendenhall who plays George W Bush aboard his Air Force One on his way to India. Brent steals the show with his superb dialogues like ‘we don’t interfere in other countries, unless, of course, we have to invade them’.
The movie deserves just half a star and that too because of Brent.