An eerie narration of the Afghan War and how it spilt out of the hilly hell-hole to the whole world in the name of Global Jihad, the black wave from Iraq sweeping across a vast swath of lands in the Middle East, and how Bangladeshi youth got lured to extremism by the idea of eternal blessings of the heaven starts the much-talked-about film ‘Mission Extreme.’
After the success of the much-lauded film ‘Dhaka Attack,’ the directors have tried to cash in on the hype of the cop thrillers with their latest release.
The release of Mission Extreme has been marred with delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it has finally seen the light of the day this December. The producers have already announced this to be a two-part film, the latter is scheduled to be released on the occasion of Eid-ul Fitr 2022.
The film narrates the saga of a fictional terrorist organisation desperate to receive international attention by creating a scene of carnage in the country. Counterterrorism officer Nabid, played by Arefin Shuvo, with the help of his team, tries to prevent their evil machinations.
From the first scene, the film tries to create an aura of suspense and tension, with scenes foreshadowing the impending doom. With breathtaking cinematography mesmerising the audience, the film gradually builds up the storyline and characters.
The film feels so real that it resonates with the audiences’ hearts and keeps them glued to their seats. The directors have done a praiseworthy job by depicting Dhaka in such a visually pleasing way through various long shots and birds-eye views.
One of the best parts of the film, where it beats even the recent Bollywood blockbuster ‘Suryavanshi’ is its realistic depictions of counterterrorist operations of Bangladesh Police.
The Police Department and its specialised units have collaborated with the filmmakers closely throughout its production and it really shows the result.
The brilliant storyline and a solid twist, even though it gets eclipsed by a number of random, unnecessary sub-plots with too many random characters, is also notable. The fight choreography has been raw and engaging.
Arefin Shuvo has been at ease with his on-screen charisma after hyping the internet up with his body transformation and stunt scenes, which is unprecedented in Dhallywood.
He feels in touch with the whole police work and his on-screen chemistry with other characters of the film is quite a commendable feat judging by Bangladeshi standards. Jannatul Ferdous Oishiee brings a crispy freshness to the film while Shatabdi Wadud creates a vibrant presence, even though his screen time is limited.
Taskin Rahman has been a no-nonsense, suave, manipulative and menacing extremist mastermind, who uses every rule in the book to succeed in turning the country into an inferno.
His aura is genuinely intimidating which has been a refreshing change from the typical cartoonish Dhallywood villains. The film has come out of the stereotypical bearded tunic-wearing extremists to smart, high society youth gone rogue portrayal, which has been a major relief for the audience bored with cliches.
However, the film has its fair share of underwhelming aspects from lack of tension and quirky dialogues to poor character development and random subplots that serve no real purpose.
The dialogues, especially that of the side characters have come across as downright jarring and somewhat bizarre at times.
The filmmakers have wasted time building up back-stories that are completely irrelevant, the time they could have used to build up the protagonist instead. The character of Oishiee has no real purpose or attachment to the storyline, which is a bit unjust for the female lead of the film, whereas the character of Sadia Nabila gets a powerful and compelling backstory, where the actress looked somewhat uneasy.
The biggest disappointment of the film has been its lack of any real tension and the poor execution of the aforementioned brilliant elements of the plot.
The climax has been bland and a bit exhilarating rather than being a nail-biting sequence, even though the ending has been a decent cliffhanger for its sequel. Veteran actors like Fazlur Rahman Babu, Shatabdi Wadud, Iresh Zakek and Manoj Kumar Pramanik have not been utilised.
And there has been little subtlety in the lead characters' romance which has been hindered by cliche songs and hilarious conversations that feels more comical chattering than cheeky banters.
Overall, the film has been a rather fulfilling experience, if not a perfect satisfaction. Films like 'Mission Extreme' are what the morbid Bangladeshi film industry needs at present.