Much hype and one and a half hour later, I’m done watching Extraction, currently streaming on Netflix.
The plot? An Indian drug lord’s son is kidnapped by his counterpart in Bangladesh. He then entrusts his aide to get his boy back. An impossible task mostly but made easier when the aide hires an agency that specializes in extraction, for a hefty price.
But things are not so simple. If they were, this film wouldn’t exist. So, in a twist to the tale, just as all is going well and the extraction specialist gets into the Bangladesh capital Dhaka to rescue the boy and gets him too, a double cross happens. Which is of course obvious, as one can predict it easily.
Then begins the cat and mouse game, which can make you sleep off at times until of course, if like me, you want to know the final outcome of the film, you will continue watching it in snatches.
But largely, the Sam Hargrave directed Extraction feels fake. It is.
Reason 1: The most innocuous one first. Would you possibly hear the early 90s hit songs, Didi Tera Devar Deewana and Mehendi Laga Ke Rakhna blazing out of people’s radios as they take an afternoon soiree in present day Dhaka in Bangladesh? No, not a chance.
Reason 2: Randeep Hooda looks sub normal. His long lank hair that takes you back to the Beatles era is nothing like what you will see today. Is that the way, somebody has to look, to be taken seriously as an ex-military guy?
Reason 3: The setting could be Dhaka, it could be Dharavi, it could be Chinatown. Nobody cares. What then is the essence of shooting this film in Bangladesh? Simply because it’s crowded and dirty? Other than the hero running amok, up and down in chaos and narrow stairways and narrow streets as a million vehicles crash into each other, there’s nothing really that registers.
Reason 4: Chris Hemsworth is too much an emotional sod, to be a mercenary killer. He gets too attached and more than the hard core action film, it should have been, it gets slow and heavy with emotion in large parts.
Why then will you watch it? Because a lot of people may like it and urge you to watch it. So, DO. Like I did, and get your takeaway from the film.
The plot is good. It could have been a far superior film and I had great hopes when I sat down to watch it last night. Actor and producer Chris Hemsworth, famous for starring in the Marvel films, does his job as the chief protagonist well and can induce some tears as the gentle giant he’s portrayed to be.
Randeep Hooda is wasted. He needed a bigger role than this badly fleshed out one since he is otherwise talented. The Iranian actress, now a French citizen, Golshifteh Farahani, is intense and like Hooda, is wasted in this miniscule role.
The kidnapped boy Ovi Mahajan, played by young actor Rudraksh Jaiswal, is in tune with his craft and it’s interesting to watch him, much more than the other actors.
In a nutshell, Extraction is all sound and fury, signifying nothing.Smoke, but no fire.