Torbaaz review: Shoddy execution, poor performances make it a dreary watch

Torbaaz is clearly a great idea on paper, but execution is so poor that the initial thought gets totally lost in the process. Using cricket (or any sport) as the binding factor in an atmosphere breeding hate and violence is an excellent idea to base a film on. And also in the process, showing how war and violence affects the children of that particular country, is a sensitive subject that needs to be written and spoken about. Torbaaz attempts to explore both, but unfortunately the shoddy execution, uninspired writing and unconvincing performances by the actors (except for the bunch of child actors) makes it a dreary, and often tacky film to watch.

Directed by Girish Malik, Torbaaz is set in Afghanistan, where jihad is common and young children are abducted to be trained as suicide bombers. Army doctor Nasir Khan (Sanjay Dutt) who’s lost his family earlier in Afghanistan comes back to help his wife’s friend, Ayesha (Nargis Fakhri), who through her NGO is trying to give a normal life to the children. Khan’s heart is not really in it, as he is still grieving over the tragedy that struck his family. An incident later, he has a change of heart. Khan arranges for a cricket match to involve the children. In his team is a young child, Baaz, whose mother was a suicide bomber, and he is being trained for it too by the Mujahideen leader Quazar (Rahul Dev).

This could have been a fine film as we are taken through two parallel worlds of the pure joy and excitement of a cricket match, and the wily plans of a terrorist leader. But it is not, thanks to poor execution.

Sanjay Dutt fits the part very well, but sleep walks through the film. Nargis Fakhri has evidently tried hard at getting the Afghani accent right, but fumbles in the acting department. What a waste of a good idea.

Title: Torbaaz

Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Rahul Dev, Nargis Fakhri

Director: Girish Malik

Platform: Netflix

Stars: 1.5

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