Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Mission Kashmir is meticulously designed and shot, but also loses steam after the strong opening sequences. In a raid to nab a terrorist, cop Inayat Khan (Sanjay Dutt) accidentally shoots an innocent family. On the behest of his wife Neelima (Sonali Kulkarni), he brings the surviving child Altaf home. They have just lost their little son – a harrowing sequence – and give the traumatized Altaf a lot of love.
However, when Altaf discovers Khan is the man who killed his family, he runs away. Ten years later he returns as a terrorist (Hrithik Roshan) in the group of Afghan mercenary Hilal (Jackie Shroff), still hoping to kill Khan. Strangely a decade later, Khan is still in the same house in the same city with the same deputies!
Altaf’s childhood sweetheart Sufiya (Preity Zinta) is also around as a TV anchor, show producer, dancer rolled into one. The film then takes a very tedious and predictable course, with several implausible sequences – like the one in which Hilal leads Khan to a sensitive spot when there was absolutely no reason to. Also, Altaf’s all-consuming hate is wiped out with a two-minute lecture by Khan!
Chopra couldn’t resist the temptation of pretty, candy-floss vistas, so one hardly gets a sense of Kashmir as being a state under siege. How come a wanted terrorist gets around so easily, and how can he always reach the IG Police at all times without anyone thinking of tracing the calls to a house in the centre of town? Who are the three men in shadows planning the secret mission in Kashmir? Too many unanswered questions, too many pat assumptions.
Again the performers like Sanjay Dutt and Hrithik Roshan come to the rescue – they make the film worth watching. Jackie Shroff is given a menacing get-up, but both he and Sonali Kulkarni are miscast. Violence aches and love hurts – it’s a Hobson’s Choice situation, really!
Cast & Crew:
- Lead Actors(s): Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt, Preity Zinta, Jackie Shroff, Sonali Kulkarni, Puru Raj Kumar, Abhay Chopra, Gulshan Grover
- Director & Producer: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
- Music: Sandeep Chowta, Vishal Bhardwaj, Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, and Loy Mendonca, Euphoria
- Lyrics: Sameer, Rahat Indori
- Dialogues: Anurag Kayshap