Torbaaz premiered on 11th December 2020 on Netflix. Directed by Girish Malik, the 133-minutes-long film stars Sanjay Dutt, Nargis Fakhri, Rahul Dev, Gavie Chahal, and Kuwarjeet Chopra alongside other cast members.
The Loss and Grief For Children In Afghanistan!
Suicide bombers, terrorists, the Taliban, brainwashing children, and war are some areas that have been explored time and again as the thematic concerns of films. Torbaaz makes use of similar themes – Refugee camp and kids burdened with a sense of loss and grief, brainwashed into believing that the motive of their life is to kill and attain peace in heaven, and the use of cricket, a sport which is symbolical for unity and teamwork and is widely recognized to trounce hatred between individuals on a ground level.
Pained with the trauma of losing his wife and son, Naseer (Sanjay Dutt) goes back to his hometown in Afghanistan where he resides in a boarding house in a picturesque location while everything around is broken and shattered. While looking around for a way to heal mentally and physically, he comes across the children of wars who suffer the same pain as him and seeks out to help them. But not with ideals and morals, but with a sport they hold close and respect as an agent to connect them despite their inner hate towards each other. He does this with the help of a foundation there handled by Ayesha (Nargis Fakhri).
With everything about right here, our anti-hero and Taliban leader here is Qazar (Rahul Dev) who, like every other terror group leader, talks about Jannat and God and the aim of life is becoming a martyr in the name of Allah. As the movie progresses, we follow a journey beautifully thought but sloppily executed in certain parts which sometimes results in the downfall of the film.
The film uses the reality of youngsters used as jihadists as a critical plot point. We see Mujahideen groups hidden in the wilderness, led by fervent leaders teaching these children. Global war and its ramifications have long been the focus of dominant cinema. And when vulnerable children are involved, it is indeed easy to build stories that pull at your heart-strings as childhood is the precipice of innocence and dreams. Torbaaz features a few uplifting instances when you see the kids just being kids, running and jumping on the make-shift pitch with excitement and joy.
The film ends with a note telling the audiences about few cricketers on the National team who rose out of such circumstances, becoming an inspiration and a lesson that no dream is too big! Everything about Torbaaz is in place. The story is engaging, the child-actors are adorable and perfect and you will feel a certain amount of affection towards them but somewhere between all of this comes the execution which needed to be more empathetic and the duration a bit cut-short.
The strongest scene of the film for me is when Baaz, a child suicide bomber wrapped in bombs, goes on to hug Qazar at the time of the blast and says “Let’s go to Jannat together, Uncle” and boom! And there can’t be enough debate or discussion about the realization of an innocent mind about the vices of Taliban and his ultimate step to end hatred which will bring hope and happiness for many kids like him.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! More than anything, Torbaaz is a story of innocence, fear, loss, and grief. The screenplay is well-written, though not well-executed at every moment. Sanjay Dutt as Naseer does his role fairly well and can proudly say that Torbaaz is no roadkill like Sadak 2. Undeniably, a huge opportunity has been lost in the feeble execution here but eh! it’s worth watching once for sure.
Torbaaz is now streaming on Netflix.
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