You have taken a day’s leave to spend some time with your family at a famous temple. At the same time, a schoolteacher takes some inquisitive students on a trip to the same. Some are just there to pay their respects to their beloved deity. All of a sudden, some backpackers arrive, and before the guard can check them properly, they riddle his body with bullets. The terrorists take over the premises and this is their message to the Prime Minister – the vengeance for 2002 is not yet over. Will they succeed?
Based on the 2002 Akshardham temple attacks, State of Siege: Temple Attack is an OTT film directed by Ken Ghosh. Starring Akshaye Khanna in the lead role, and supported by actors like Abhimanyu Singh, Mir Sarwar, Gautam Rode and Manjari Phadnis, the film revolves around how a few terrorists occupy the Akshardham temple premises and take many people hostage. How NSG takes the matters into their hands, and how the barbaric terrorists are brought to task forms the crux of the plot. You can watch this movie on Zee 5 platform.
On such occasions, only two kinds of movies are made. Either the terrorists are romanticized ad nauseam, or the movie is made so badly, that if anything is good, people are not even remotely interested in it. However, fortunately, ‘State of Siege’ falls in neither of the categories. Had it been in a slightly better fashion, it would have been as lethal and charismatic as ‘Uri – The Surgical Strike’ itself.
For once, this movie is among those rare Indian films, where terrorism of any kind is not romanticized with. The terrorists are shown as they are – cruel, uncouth, barbaric. A special focus has been kept on the Punjabi diction of the terrorists, which may even give nasty burns to many. We are not forced to go on any kind of guilt trips as accustomed to previous films based on terrorism.
One must also appreciate the sound design and the narrative of the movie. Such movies should have the quality of being emotionally binding until the very last second, and ‘State of Siege’ does that to a significant extent. There are many ‘edge of the seat’ moments, where you shall be as engaged as the victims are, and even your blood will boil in some moments for sure.
Talking about the acting in the movie, every person has tried their best to do justice to their roles. However, the one person who has stood out is undoubtedly Akshaye Khanna. As the unintimidating NSG commander Hanut Singh, he has proved why he is the go-to guy for such roles. He is the rare actor who has proven his worth even after being a product of nepotism. It is only his bad luck that he didn’t get more opportunities.
However, the film is not without its share of flaws, that denied it the status of a riveting masterpiece. In some scenes, the execution fell flat. In some scenes, the technical aspects, especially the visual effects looked a bit jarring. However, ignoring that, it is refreshing to see that now people are ready to take risks, and ‘State of Siege’ is a good example of that. It should get 3.5 / 5 stars.