D Day is a spy action thriller about an unlikely event - a mission by the R&AW to abduct Dawood Ibrahim from Karachi and bring him to India. The film stars Rishi Kapoor as Dawood, and he is easily the best bhai to have graced Indian cinema in a long while. He fills the screen with his presence. Irrfan Khan does a fine job as a RAW agent, as do Huma Qureshi, Arjun Rampal and Akash Dahiya, but there is little doubt that in this film, Kapoor is the boss in the acting department.
The Cold War rivalry was the stuff of legendary spy novels and films. The intense rivalry between India and Pakistan has inspired surprisingly few of those, perhaps because of the sensitivities involved. However, there is now the occasional film that tackles the subject through genres other than war.
This film is arguably the best to have done so thus far. It manages to convey, with surprising humor, something of the complex, murky and violent world inhabited by spies and gangland dons, albeit with the dramatisation necessary for a proper Bollywood feature presentation. The characters, thankfully, are allowed to remain human; despite the genre, this is not a Bond film.
And although this is Nikhil Advani's film, there is a definite touch of Anurag Kashyap visible in the combination of humour and violence. It's the sensibility I noticed in Gangs of Wasseypur.
The pacing is uneven, but I have no complaints about that. Even when it seemingly dawdles, a thread to the narrative is being spun. The only loose end, finally, is the ending, about which I can't reveal more.
I could tell you, though, that somewhere in the movie, Dawood tells the R&AW agent who has come to get him, in a memorable dialogue, "Trigger khich, mamla mat khich". Wasn't the filmmaker listening?