state of siege terror attack review

State of Siege Temple Attack Review | Akshay Khanna shows boldness in this usual terror attack film

State of Siege Temple Attack Review: A gang of bearded, kohl-eyed terrorists with an odd dialect, as well as a handler who gives them orders over the phone. Hostages are innocent, helpless individuals, with a few who will become collateral damage before uniformed soldiers arrive to save lives.

As policymakers are forced to make a difficult decision about whether or not to barter dangerous terrorists in exchange for people’s lives, tensions are rising. Do any of these instances ring a bell? This is how most terror-attack thrillers play out, and State of Siege: Temple Attack, the latest offering from ZEE5, is no exception.

The 110-minute picture, directed by Akshaye Khanna, is for anybody who enjoys a cat-and-mouse pursuit between dreadful, highly armed guys and heroic, “can do anything for the country” troops.

You are, however, in the wrong spot if you are seeking for a sophisticated presentation of a terrible narrative with flesh-and-blood creatures killing numerous people at random.

On September 24, 2002, a terrorist attack on the Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, is depicted in the film. Two armed men killed 33 people and wounded 80 others, including a National Security Guard (NSG) commando and two Gujarat police officials.

State of Siege Temple Attack Review

The attack came after the rioting in Godhra. However, writers William Borthwick and Simon Fantauzzo have focused only on the role of NSG commandos in shooting down terrorists and rescuing hostages. Of course, to prevent any ramifications, they have remained away from the details of the attack.

“This video is inspired by actual events and is a creative depiction and reconstruction of the context of those events,” the film begins.

Before we get at the Krishna Dham temple (another name for Akshardham), the filmmakers introduce us to the story’s central character, Commando Hanut Singh (Akshaye Khanna).

We witness Hanut Singh conducting a mission in Jammu and Kashmir in a great opening sequence, and it is the failure of this operation that gives him a need to prove himself and explains why he never fires on point.

Then we meet another commando (Gautam Rode), who is happily married and expecting his first kid. However, he is divided between his national duty and caring for his wife, who is in the hospital.

Apart from these two commandos, we are not introduced to any other individuals who may have assisted us in psychologically and emotionally placing ourselves among the victims and survivors and feeling their agony.

There isn’t a single visitor to the temple whose death will affect you because authors refuse to let them rise above their status as paper cutouts.

This reminds me of Anthony Maras’ excellent Hotel Mumbai, which is based on the horrific Mumbai 26/11 incident. Through the hotel employees and visitors who were the pinnacle of decency and the terrorists indoctrinated in the name of religion, we gained a sense of the complexity of human nature.

State of Siege Temple Attack Review

State of Siege Temple Attack trailer

State of Siege: Temple Attack, on the other hand, fails to elicit any feeling. In the end, the picture is reduced to a crudely drawn, jingoistic fight between good and evil.

It never keeps you on the edge of your seat since you’re familiar with all of the genre’s clichés and the creators never try anything new.

Director Ken Ghosh only pulls us into the picture during the well-choreographed action sequences and sections where NSG discusses its plan of attack. Also, with the most screentime, Akshaye Khanna makes his security commander credible. Gautam Rode and Vivek Dahiya both do a good job in the limited screen time they get.

State of Siege: Temple Assault may have been a good thriller if it hadn’t been marketed as a reenactment of the 2002 Akshardham terror attack.

However, if you go into it hoping to learn about one of India’s historical crises, you will be disappointed.

Director Ken Ghosh only pulls us into the picture during the well-choreographed action sequences and sections where NSG discusses its plan of attack. Also, with the most screentime, Akshaye Khanna makes his security commander credible. Gautam Rode and Vivek Dahiya both do a good job in the limited screen time they get.

State of Siege Temple Attack review: Temple Assault may have been a good thriller if it hadn’t been marketed as a reenactment of the 2002 Akshardham terror attack. However, if you go into it hoping to learn about one of India’s historical crises, you will be disappointed.