Wild Dog Review & Rating
Wild Dog Review: Nag Finds His New Niche With This Slick Thriller
A decade or so ago, when Andhra Pradesh was undivided (no this is not a political statement - just stating facts) there used to be times people in Hyderabad lived in fear of Bomb blasts. Not as much as it was projected in the nascent television media or the print media but there used to be some fear. The beloved and highly visited Gokul Chat bomb blast created panic. And how can we forget Mumbai terrorist attacks on 26/11? Bengaluru blasts. Blasts in other relatively assumed-safe cities had seen blasts one time or the other.
So, Wild Dog is a film based on these blasts and tells the story of a team of spies or police or officials who went after those who planned the attacks. Touted as the retelling of India’s biggest undercover operation, this Nagarjuna starrer is a curious film. Initially thought of as an OTT release, Nagarjuna’s confidence on the subject helped it make it to the theatres. So, on the 10th anniversary of India’s 2nd World Cup win, Wild Dog hits the screens. Let’s see if Tollywood King Nag makes his mark on box office after a long time with Wild Dog review.
The known stories
The movie starts showing the extent of the bombings or the effect they have on the people as a primer before introducing our protagonist Vijay Varma. Known for his ferocious ways, Vijay Varma is nicknamed Wild Dog. He is roped in to investigate the blasts that occurred at John’s Bakery. He and his team find a few clues and decide to nab the master mind behind all these blasts. So, we all know how such films go and what happens in the end.
Writing and direction
What differentiates this film is such a rugged urbane setting which is relatively unseen in Telugu Cinema. The investigation, smaller twists all make this film an intriguing watch. But one of the biggest problem with Telugu audience is that they are not accustomed such genres. So, these procedurals may not appeal to the mass audience. When it comes to the target audience, they might already have seen several such films in OTTs or in other means. There are a lot of movies of this genre available in World Cinema.
So, the filmmaker’s task is cut down. He needs to create an. Impact by thinking out of the box. One of such good decisions is to rope in Nagarjuna as the lead actor. The senior star hero, though is known mostly for romantic roles, is also game and a perfect fit for middle-aged action hero roles as we had written many times. With his stylishly handsome looks, ferocious body language and injury marks on the face, he aced the role of an NIA officer.
Majority of this genre movies couldn’t afford for emotionally intense scenes and the director followed the same. But without emotional core or a considerable amount of entertainment, films are not appealing to majority of Tollywood audience. In that angle, Wild Dog is lacking in the ingredients for a super hit. But the narration which doesn’t deviate from the plot is what’s the actual strength of the film. No unnecessary songs too helped to keep the focus solely on the actual subject. And there are no speed breakers. And there are no speed breakers.
The screenplay of the film is divided into three episodes where the first episode is about the crime or the challenge. That is... the blasts. The second episode is finding the clues and disciple ring them. And understand who’s behind the blasts. The final episode is about how to nab the man. The first two episodes are completed by the time of interval.
The entire second half shifts to Nepal where the main culprit is understood to be hiding. The direction by Ashishor Solomon is slick for a debutant. The way he made the climax a non-action intrigue is superb. It has edge of the seat moments.
Nagarjuna as many times iterated is perfect fit for the genre. And the role too. Vijay Varma is the signature character for him in the recent times. Whether this film clicks at the box office or not, Nagarjuna has found the right model for the roles to play going forward to rule Tollywood in the next decade or so. Saiyami Kher is terrific in her limited screen time. Dia Mirza played the stereotypical for the genre wife of the hero. She’s good and apt beside Nag. He can work with her if he so chooses in future. Atul Kulkarni and Aneesh Kuruvilla are good in their roles.
The musical score by Thaman is okayish. Though the score is good, it’s not out of the box nor does he come up with new sounds. The cinematography is plainly terrific. The editing is superb. The art department has put up a great show. The production values are good.
In one way, this is a thrilling film that deserves to be watched in the theatres. In another way, it’s have been a better choice for the makers to release it on OTT directly. All in all, Wild Dog is a made to order genre film with all the elements needed for the genre are in right doses. Things that appeal to common audience are missing and those who watch this genre might have seen several such films. Still, Wild Dog is entertaining, Nag is in super form, the narration is not boring. You can watch it once.
Rating: 3 out of 5