News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay

This article was first published 1 year ago  » Movies » IB 71 Review: Riveting Plot, Poor Execution

IB 71 Review: Riveting Plot, Poor Execution

May 12, 2023 12:03 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

One-time watch for all those wear their patriotism up their sleeve, don't bother about checking the facts, and want to enjoy a dramatic mix of fact and fiction, notes Prasanna D Zore.

Thirty Intelligence Bureau agents go on a secret mission into Pakistani territory to help India eke out a strategic advantage just before the war erupted between the two countries in December 1971.

Disguised as passengers, they are taken to a Lahore hotel after their plane is 'hijacked' by two Kashmiri terrorists. Actually, a plot is staged by the Indian intelligence officers to hijack an Indian plane and land it on Pakistani soil so that Pakistan can be pinned down as a terrorist State and denied airspace permission over India.

This airspace was crucial for Pakistan to move its troops and war infrastructure between Mohammed Ali Jinnah's 'moth-eaten' West Pakistan (now Pakistan) and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) during the war.


Round the clock, these 30 officers are surrounded and surveilled by the Pakistani police and army officials.

They are allowed to make phone calls to their folks back home just so that a supposedly smart Pakistani army officer (Afzal Aga, played by Ashwath Bhatt) can listen in to their conversations, put two and two together, and 'strip naked' ('hamein nanga karne ke liye' blurts out the film's protagonist Dev Jamval played by Vidyut Jammwal) the plan of these IB officers and their political masters.

Such a fantastic, riveting plot, based on untold but true and classified documents -- declassified now -- is wasted by Director Sankalp Reddy and Actor-Producer Vidyut Jammwal.

Sankalp, who slickly helmed the 2017 hit The Ghazi Attack, fails to bring the edge-of-the-seat thrill to IB 71, though there are scenes that makes one feel that the director wanted to emulate the slick back-and-forth-coordination between the Indian spies Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher and Rana Dagubatti and their handler back home Danny Denzongpa in the film Baby as Vidyut Jammwal and Anupam Kher coordinate their master plan in IB 71.

IB 71's plot easily provides more such opportunities where the director could have made the audience feel the chills, as the two Kashmiri terrorists -- Qasim Qureshi (Vishal Jethwa, a brilliant actor who does not get a meaty part) and Faizan Khan (Ashfaq Qureshi) -- hijack an Indian Airlines Fokker plane. But the portrayal of these terrorists as fumbling jackasses puts paid to all such expectations.

'Mere sar pe land karo plane' (land the plane on my head if you can't land it on the airstrip), says a frustrated Qasim Qureshi, as he forces the pilot to land the plane at Lahore airport and the airport authorities refuse permission to land.

With all its flaws, IB 71 is still a one-time watch for all those who wear their patriotism up their sleeve, don't bother about checking the facts, and want to enjoy a dramatic mix of fact and fiction.

IB 71 Review Rediff Rating:

Get Rediff News in your Inbox: