Torbaaz shows At an Afghanistan refugee camp, an ex-army doctor seeks to bring children joy through cricket and soon realizes that the stakes go beyond the sport.
Dr. Naseer Khan (Sanjay Dutt) of the Indian Army returns to Afghanistan five years after he had lost his loved ones to a terror attack. A chance meeting with a bunch of kids from a refugee camp reignites his zest for life and the passion to give back to society by honing the cricketing skills of the aforementioned children.
Even after all these years, the pangs of separation are so intense that Dr. Khan sits at Delhi airport – all set to fly to Afghanistan, when the authorities announce his name for final boarding – but the dejected man in him lies to the ground staff, saying, “Torbaaz have lost my boarding pass,” as the torn piece of paper sits comfortably next to him. Such is his fear of the place and the melancholic memories attached to them.
His wife and son were blown up by a suicide bomber in Kabul, where he was holding a post at the Indian Embassy –who also happened to be a 10-year-old child.Despite the trauma, he visits the adoption function of a refugee camp dedicated to kids who do are burdened by misfortune and despair at a tender age and takes it upon himself to change the fate of these helpless individuals through the game of cricket.
When communal disharmony and terror-torn cities are cherry-picked as the central theme with the subtext of sports enthusiasts serving as a solid ground for a human interest story that is sure to resonate, you expect the cinematography to pierce through your heart.
Unfortunately, that is not the case with Hiroo Keswani’s work behind the camera in this crime drama. Art director Martand Mishra erects a set that is far from what a war-torn region looks like – underwhelming to say the least. Not just that, the emotional turbulence that the former doctor experiences during the course of the film does not feel real and relatable – a sneak peek into his life before tragedy struck would have done the trick. Director Girish Malik makes a feeble attempt at portraying a strong sense of community in the face of adversity but the smaller characters were complete misfits and did not render any depth to their individual roles. The time-worn undercurrents of hyper nationalism and patriotic rants are too feeble to save a movie that needed a drastic makeover, and not just creative lifting.