What’s it about?
Vijay Varma (Nagarjuna), the best officer National Investigation Agency (NIA), a counter-terrorist task force that was established in 2008, has is no longer works with the agency due to a personal incident.
When bomb blast rips Pune city, the case is handed over to NIA and Vijay Varma is called back to lead the case. Upon knowing that the mastermind behind the blasts is Khalid Bhatkal, Vijay Varma’s team plan to nab him in Mumbai. Their plan goes wrong and Khalid escapes to Nepal.
Vijay Varma launches an undercover operation named Wild Dog to bring Khalid to India.
‘Wild Dog’ is based on true incidents (the makers put it as ‘true blasts’) that occurred in places like Hyderabad, Pune, and other cities in India. Indian Mujahideen’s Yasin Bhatkal has been sentenced to death by an NIA court in Hyderabad in 2016 for hatching the bomb blasts.
‘Wild Dog’ is loosely based on these developments and tells this story of an undercover operation taken by the NIA team to nab Yasin Bhatkal. But the film has changed names (Yasin becomes Khalid) and incidents and has added cinematic liberties.
Directed by Ahishor Solomon, who is better known as the writer of hits like ‘Oopiri’ and ‘Maharshi’, the premise of ‘Wild Dog’ is simple but interesting. The first half of the film focuses on bomb blasts, introducing Nagarjuna and his time, identifying the terrorist. It goes plainly. At the interval point, the film takes a dramatic turn and comes to the main plot point – ‘operation Wild Dog’, an undercover operation to nab Khalid Bhatkal.
The final moments are grippingly narrated. The nail-biting climax, which seems to be inspired by the Hollywood film ‘Argo’, makes the film watchable. The action stunts in the second half are also shot well.
However, this story should have been told in a more gripping manner. Much of the film is plain and straight, with little exacting points. The entire first half is dull. The emotional and patriotic aspects of the movie are not properly used. It suffers from one main thing: lack of suspense.
Coming to the performances, Nagarjuna fits perfectly in the role of an NIA officer. At the age of 60, he is fit to be an officer. He does the role well. Among other actors, Ali Reza and Atul Kulkarni leave an impression. Dia Mirza’s role can be termed as a cameo. She appears only twice in the film for a few seconds.
Cinematographer (the Himachal Pradesh’s sequences and action stunt masters have put in their best foot forward among the technicians. Director Solomon has done a pretty average job.
Bottom-line: ‘Wild Dog’ is a decent action entertainer. It works to some extent. The climax portions are handled better despite the largely dull first half and plain narration. It is for niche audiences, though.
Film: Wild Dog
Cast: Nagarjuna, Ali Reza, Dia Mirza, Saiyami Kher
Music: Thaman S
Director of Photography: Shaneil Deo
Action: David Ismalone, Shyam Kaushal
Editor: Shravan Katikaneni
Producer: Niranjan Reddy, Anvesh Reddy
Written and directed by: Ahishor Solomon
Release Date: April 02, 2021