Director: Kunal Shivdasani
Producer: Dinesh Vijan, Kunal Shivdasani
Banner: Aleya Motion Magic & Eros Entertainment
Cast: Shiney Ahuja, K K Raina, Mona Ambegaonkar, Kaveri Jha, Esha Deol and others
Director of Hijack Kunal Shivdasani claims the film is not a copy of Die Hard but it has been used as a reference point. It’s just as well because then the movie would’ve become a bigger joke than it is now.
The intentions are lofty. They always are. But most of the times noble intentions are met with more than trite dialogues, shallow script, zero research and a dismal high-school dramatics approach. Not here.
As is evident, the film is a story of a plane being hijacked by a terrorist group and the ensuing tension. Vikramadhan (Shiney Ahuja,) a brooding-guy-with-a-past works at the airport as the maintenance chief. He has a daughter, Priya, the apple of his eye and a dead wife’s memory to haunt him. His wife died in a similar hijack situation on which he was the captain where he disobeyed the Commandos ushered to save the situation.
In order to avoid a similar mishap taking place with his daughter, who is aboard the hijacked plane, he once again flaunts authorities and breaks into the plane, to single-handedly save his daughter and (because he is the hero too), the world. It’s quite beside the point that in essence the world gets saved only because in trying to rescue his daughter he manages to get all the terrorists killed or caught.
The film has a number of unintentionally hilarious situations, for example the one when Vikram breaks into the plane through the cargo hold and Saira, (poor Esha Doel) spots him and asks him in hushed tones, ‘Kyun aaye ho tum yahan? Chale jaaon yahan se!’ Like he is an estranged lover she is unwilling to encounter at the shop-around-the-corner. But as luck would have it, there is no such angle to distract from the other little comedies happening around them.
One of it is the Home Minister, who loves talking in punch-lines but unfortunately has had a very bad dubbing job done on him. Savour this when the media wants to get a byte, ‘Tell them everything’ Pause. Wily smile.’Without telling them anything’. Smile complete. Or when the hijackers are asking for permission to land at Chandigarh airport to refuel, ‘We will allow them to land,’ Pause. Wily smile again. ‘But we will not allow them to take off.’ Smile complete.
Another of these is the hammier-than-ham gun toting hijacker, a supposed simile of terror who ends up being a textbook case for those wishing to know how many muscles a face has that can be distorted and in what ways.
Then there is the angle of the ATC chief being involved and the episode deserves a special mention for its incredible absurdity of execution and thought. It is not a question of possibility but plausibility.
The film is completely over-the-top in every manner, from acting to action to camerawork. While Shiney, Esha, KK Raina, Mona Ambegaonkar and everyone else rival each other’s dramatic capabilities, the action of the film is remarkably steady with people falling dead like ninepins and planes, jets and guns treated as toys. Jehangir Chaudhury’s cinematography tries to capture the tenseness of the mood but ends up looking hyperactive with multiple shaky frames, unending swish pans, jump cuts and track ins. Editing salvages what it can but for a thriller it is staid. Music and choreography (yes, there are song and dance sequences here, don’t ask questions) are as hackneyed as the plot.
In Hijack it seems every department attempts to hijack the film. Beginning from a non-story-line with some of the most over-used clichés in the film language right down to an exclusively trite execution of a high-drama situation, the movie offers nothing to its viewers.