Torbaaz Review: Sanjay Dutt's heady combination of cricket and terrorism misses the target

Shining light upon young children being turned into suicide bombers, Torbaaz could have shown this heartbreaking journey but instead majorly chooses cricket.
Torbaaz Review: Sanjay Dutt's heady combination of cricket and terrorism misses the target.
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Torbaaz

Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Nargis Fakhri, Rahul Dev 

Director: Girish Malik

Torbaaz Rating: 2/5

Sanjay Dutt was seen earlier this year in Alia Bhatt starrer Sadak 2 which failed to impress the OTT audience, the actor has now returned this Friday with Netflix India's Torbaaz. An action thriller with sports serving as the underlying message of the film, Sanjay Dutt plays the role of an army doctor, a cricket coach and a saviour to the children of war. Set in Afghanistan, Torbaaz follows the story of Dr Naseer Khan played by Sanjay Dutt who returns to the war-ravaged nation to honour his late wife's efforts in making the country a safer place. 

On the outset, Torbaaz seems all about war, terrorists and jihad, but after the first few minutes director Girish Malik shifts our focus to the children of Afghanistan who are at the centre of this crisis. Shining light upon young children being turned into suicide bombers, Torbaaz could have shown this heartbreaking journey but instead the writers use cricket to showcase the lives of these children whose eyes light up even at the sight of a cricket ball.  

What follows for the next one hour is Sanjay Dutt's stay in Kabul and how his past experiences lead him to build a cricket team after a well-known coach scoffs at the idea of refugee children. Shot in 2017, Torbaaz showcases Sanjay Dutt in a rugged avatar but his interactions with the children who mainly speak Pashtun fails to bolster any kind of emotions. You can almost call it an insincere effort. The screenplay is slow and there seems to be no real depth to the multiple characters that play out over the course of two hours. Nargis Fakhri as Ayesha appears in passing and fails to make an impact.

Rahul Dev as the antagonist Qazzar and the head of a dangerous terrorist outfit manages to hold your attention when he appears onscreen. However, he his largely unused to his best potential as the focus remains on Sanjay Dutt's newly-formed cricket team named Torbaaz which represents a falcon.

The makers seemed to have missed an opportunity at hand here as cricket overrides the aspect of children being turned into suicide bombers. The screenplay also fails to bring that to life but instead dumbs it down for the audience with written text in the beginning of the film. 

While the film definitely feels like a drag, the climax begins with a cricket match that seems never ending. However, it is the final few minutes of the film and a twist that will demand your attention. 

Should you watch Torbaaz? 

It is difficult to find any sort of relatability with the characters. Yes, you may feel a bit dejected at the back stories of the children or even Dutt for that matter, but on the whole Torbaaz misses the target. The only plus in Torbaaz are the stunning snow-clad locations, the costume department and the various languages and dialects the film offers.  

There are quite a few other projects releasing this Friday on various streaming platforms, you may want to consider skipping Torbaaz and watching those instead. 

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Anonymous 3 months ago

I’m Afghan, although I have never lived there. I just have one suggestion for indian film makers PLEASE SPEND sometime on researching on basic information regards to the culture and people you are making a movie about. The child actors were excellent. Disappointed

Anonymous 3 months ago

Sanjay dutt an outsider? Make it make sense!

Anonymous 3 months ago

No speaking about Sanjay sir idiot !!! You are brainless ???? Hummm go for neurons implants !

Anonymous 3 months ago

GET LOST CRAP !

Anonymous 3 months ago

Go and watch the movie the performances of Sanjay and Nargis are just powerful ! Review will always slam outsiders and support mediocrity mafia !