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The Interview: The Night of 26/11 movie review: Cluttered, predictable and off-putting

The film tries to present the harsh realities faced by a journalist and an actor but the slow-paced narrative and poor writing kill it

2.0
Akhila Damodaran
Aug 27, 2021
cover image

The Interview: The Night of 26/11

Story:

The film revolves around a war correspondent, forced to interview a film star. Jackie Shroff, who plays the correspondent, visits the house of an actor, known for her several affairs and controversies. However, it's not easy to get her to talk and spill the beans about her life and journey so far. She has the reputation of being an actor who doesn't give proper interviews. Jackie tries to squeeze out all her 'dirty little secrets' as instructed by his editor to grab more eyeballs for his newspaper.

Review:

The film opens with a credit reading, 'in loving memory of Asif Basra'. The actor plays the role of a photojournalist, an on-screen best friend of Jackie Shroff. The psychological thriller is one of the last films of the actor, who allegedly died by suicide last year. There are very few scenes of the actor in the film but his performance is impeccable.  

The film begins with an intense black and white scene of Jackie Shroff walking through the corridors of a prison and the jailers shouting at other prisoners asking them to behave and go to sleep. He then walks into a dimly lit room where he is seen murmuring something at what seems like a cross-examination by the police. The film then shows the flashback of events that led to his arrest.  

Jackie Shroff is assigned to interview a film actor. Being an award-winning journalist, he is least interested to cover 'some actor who sells lies through her films'. He visits her house and tries multiple times to get her to talk rather than beat around the bush for his interview. The pace of the narrative is so lagging and dialogues are so poorly written that you start clocking on the time with a hope that the interview would at least begin now. Even an hour into the film, the characters are either speaking or 'playing games' and flirting with each other. But the famous actor, played by Anjum Nayar, gets Jackie to gradually open up about his life and experiences as a journalist. Like she says in the film, it looks more like she's the one interviewing him than it being the other way round.  

The film tries to bring forth the harsh realities of a life of a journalist and an actor but the pace of the narrative and poor writing kill it. Directed by Laurens C Postma, the film also comments on feminism, drug scams and casting couch, mental health, cancer, extra-marital affairs, alcoholism, and socio-political situation in the country, so much so that it all gets cluttered in the narrative. And to top it all, it tries to be a reminder of the 26/11 attacks.

poster
A still from the film The Interview: The Night of 26/11

It does not directly talk about it but includes it as a backdrop for the movie. Jackie keeps cribbing about how he wished he were at the scene of the attacks and report about it, rather than talk to a woman whose films are some 'stupid dramas'. He is also seen making multiple calls to his editor asking him to let him off this assignment and get onto the reporting of the 26/11 attacks. He gets pumped up when he soon discovers a personal diary, conveniently placed on a table in an extended living room, and gets exclusive information about the actor (or at least believes he does).

He thinks it's a scoop, only to realise whatever information he received was not about her but her friend, which is obvious for a viewer as Anjum drops several hints at it throughout the film. However, the veteran journalist does not figure it out until it's too late. The last scene shows the actor calling out to him from her balcony as he leaves and revealing that she's got the video confession of the reporter about killing his wife.

Though the story is interesting, it fails to captivate the audience with poor writing, narration, dialogues, cinematography and low production values. It does not create a visually pleasing experience for the viewers.

Verdict:

Though the trailer hints at an intense thriller that is sure to get you hooked, the film proves to be the exact opposite. You will not miss much if you decide to skip watching this film.

(The film is streaming on BookMyShow Stream)

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