Sanak (2021) Review: All Action and No Play

Sanak, a Hindi language action film, was recently released on Disney+ Hotstar this Friday. The film is directed by Kanishk Verma and produced jointly by Zee Studios and Sunshine Pictures. It stars Vidyut Jammwal, Rukmini Maitra, Neha Dhupia, and Chandan Roy Sanyal among the lead roles.

Trailer for Sanak

The film has a total run time of just under two hours (1 hour 56 minutes) including the end credits, and in typical Bollywood fashion, a dance number to culminate the film.

Sanak follows Vivaan Ahuja and his wife, Anshika. She has to be admitted to the hospital because of the appearance of a genetic disorder. Once treated, however, Vivaan and his wife soon realize there’s a lot more at stake: both of them could lose their lives, as the hospital is taken under siege by a band of international terrorists. The Mumbai Police is largely unable to help, or even enter the hospital. Vivaan, then, must act on his own to help not only his wife, who is stuck as a hostage on a different floor, but the others stuck with her too.

Disney+ Hotstar describes it as:

rapped in a hostage crisis inside a hospital, Vivaan will move mountains for his wife, Anshika. But will they survive this race against time?

Via the Disney+ Hotstar official website
sanak vidyut jammwal
A still from Sanak: Vivaan (played by Vidyut Jammwal) readies his wife, Anshika (played by Maitra) for her surgery.

Sanak is almost like every one of your typical Bollywood action films rolled into one. It is, however, infinitely better written, whether that is in terms of dialogue, or the whole script in general. The film strikes a great balance between tension and then resolving it with comedic sequences here and there. Although, there is the fact that the side characters are underdeveloped, and there is a definitive lack of dimensionality even with the leads.

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There’s also a sort of creativity you see with the action sequences that you wouldn’t necessarily notice in other action films. Where, with other films in the same genre, the action sequences seem repetitive and redundant, the film showcases a range of these, with each one topping the one that preceded it. It uses creative props to support this. Underlying all of this is the fact that seeing action sequences in a hospital is entirely new in its concept anyway.

A still from Sanak: Vivaan (played by Vidyut Jammwal) trying to face the situation to the best of his ability
A still from Sanak: Vivaan (played by Vidyut Jammwal) trying to face the situation to the best of his ability

Vidyut Jammwal is great with the action, but sadly, this doesn’t translate into scenes that require a subtler kind of emotion. The acting looks flat, which only heightens the uni-dimensionality of the characters themselves. Other than this, the witty banter between characters does only so much to elevate the film. There are a lot of dialogues that border on cringe-worthy, and with the aforementioned flat characters, it’s only worse.

Overall, the movie tries to bend the cliches of its genre but only succumbs to them more. Vidyut Jammwal is great with the action sequences but falls short on acting. Other characters barely have space to develop and seem to only contribute to moving the plot forward. They flit in and out of the narrative as per convenience. And so even though it tries to be one of those films that top its genre, it really is only average in its conception.

Final Verdict: Sanak

Sanak is an action film you can enjoy, but only for its action sequences, and for the limited comedy it offers. Other than that, it isn’t a particularly great watch.

Sanak is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

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SUMMARY

Sanak is a recently released Bollywood action film starring Vidyut Jammwal. What's our take?

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