- Coming Soon on Netflix
A good & genuine attempt!
I know I am writing my views about Wild Dog a little late. Initially, when I heard Nagarjuna accepted this movie and about an NIA officer & blah blah, it gave me a feeling of his disaster movie “Officer” because I absolutely had no hopes for this film.
But on March 12th, when the trailer was released with almost no expectations, it has become viral and shook youtube with around 13M views in a week and great responses across. The impact was so good and strong that it was just three weeks away from the release within less period. If you see Nag is going through a lean phase now, post his blockbuster movie, Oopiri in 2016, he made these films which almost got average to disaster talk only – Nirmala Convent, Om Namo Venkatesaya, Raju Gari Gadhi 2, Officer, Devadas(Despite a big multi-starrer with Nani, still it went on be an average film because of poor planning in release and promotions), Manmadhudu 2. Having such a bad phase and absolutely his market crashed, again attempting an experimental film like Wild Dog, which neither doesn’t have songs, comedy scenes, nor commercial elements, isn’t it a bold step?. In his entire career of 96+ films, I believe 60% of the movie are experiments/different ones. At least 40+ films are with either new directors or directors with minimal experience in filmmaking. He always encourages new story ideas or a new type of work but also, he tasted a lot of failures too, which is quite inevitable for him.
It is now coming to Wild Dog; it is based on actual incidents in Hyderabad & Pune about bomb blasts at Gokul Chat & a bakery. It’s a story about how an NIA officer (Nag as Vijay Verma) and his team (Ali Reza, Prakash, Mayank, Pradeep & Arya) caught the terrorist behind these blasts in India. The story is so simple & straightforward, and we can say it’s like a spy thriller. It’s basically a covert operation, and the team responsible for it and working towards success is not really known by the public, so we can say it’s a story about few unsung heroes.
Despite the 2 hr 9 mins duration, the film is a bit slow, but it has definitely good content. No nonsense and no deviations in the plot. Some similarities with Bollywood films like Uri & Baby. Nag pulls off the action sequences and adrenaline-pumping moments so convincingly, and he looked super energetic and dashing at the age of 61. Sayami Kher also excels as a RAW agent, and the rest of the team has done a splendid job too. Ahishor Solomon (who earlier worked in the Script team for blockbuster films oopiri & Maharshi) has ensured to have a simple story, but he wrote it so clear with proper research. Great job by him. The climax is very engaging and fantastic action sequences, especially that forest fight and fight in Kulu Manali. The film was made with a limited budget. Still, the production values looked so rich, such as cinematography is excellent, Thaman’s BGM score is terrific (looking forward to wild dog’s OST), stunts are damn realistic (fantastic job by David & sham Kaushal), etc.
I heard many reviews which are so significant & super positive for the film, but the BO numbers are not up to the mark. Even Megastar Chiru has put a separate appreciation meet and praised this film. I have expected this too. It has been quite familiar to us if someone makes a unique or experimental film. The first thing in TFI is we will make the movie commercially flop and the same film when it releases on any OTT after a year or 2, and we label them as a classic/game changer/outstanding. It happened in the past for the films, Nenokkadine, Gaganam, Prasthanam, Auto Nagar Surya, Josh, etc. these are few examples, and of course, there are many films like these.
I really don’t know how it works, but sometimes BO numbers shouldn’t be the success criteria to decide any film’s success measure. Again I am not good with numbers. Given the low budget involved and apart from Nag, the rest of all cast is almost new, so remuneration costs will also be comparatively more minor. Having the pre-Netflix deal in hand, I am assuming Wild Dog would end up as a profitable venture. But again, no guarantees on my statement, as also 2nd wave of covid is around, halls are allowed to have 50% occupancy only, having a big film Vakeel Saab’s release within a week and moreover, this film is dealing on a different subject, so getting profits also will really be challenging.
Overall wild dog doesn’t have a significant or wow story. Still, it has a straightforward narrative that every Indian should watch and know about these unsung heroes behind this kind of successful mission. The film is slow, but with this decent content, I feel this shouldn’t be ignored at all. Despite these minor drawbacks, it’s a genuine attempt. In Nag’s career span of 35 years, he attempted many unique films compared with other big heroes in the southern industry, so this film is one among them. It’s a small-budget film, but it’s a slick film that celebrates the unsung NIA officers who made the story possible, and of course, Nag at this age also proves that he is ready for action thrillers with a mix of dashing charm & maturity.
It’s a decent and watchable action thriller. Deserves a watch!!