The Assignment

August 27, 2008 at 4:08 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

While my fellows at ISB have been busy with their assignments from different courses, I decided to take up an assignment of my own. Listen to this. A guy who is a dead ringer for a feared criminal is implanted by the authorities to get rid of the said criminal. Reminds you of something? DON. well yeah but only if it had Ben Kingsley, Donald Sutherland and Aidan Quinn in it and the said criminal is not a cheesy don but an international threat- “carlos the jackal”

Aaah how I love Hollywood when it comes up with fictionalized versions of true stories. But in this case you have to be impressed with this guy. His real life story is far more interesting than the movie script itself. Wiki

The movie starts with a love making scene which bizarrely ends with a guy using his cigarette butt to squish a spider in his own web. This is immediately followed by a cafe bombing scene which has special effects straight out of…(wait for it) LOVE STORY 2050. Talk about creamy and corny. Much before the days of Osama bin Laden and his croonies, you could walk right into a meeting of foreing ministers and kidnap them and hold them for a ransom. I am not kidding you, this isn’t just a plot of the movie,it did really happen. A bunch of delegates from OPEC in Vienna were kidnapped by the aforementioned Jackal who had been outwitting CIA as well.

The story takes a leap of of 10 years ala our K serials(fortunately none of the characters has a bunch of Grey streaks or suddenly bespectacled) leading to an awesome sequence. We see a guy whom the director wants us to believe is the jackal (and does a convincing job of it) being chased by Mossad. Of course this is our hero who is actually a US navy seal. CIA soon comes after him with a plan to track down Jackal.and the inevitable training session. Unfortunately, this is where the plot loosens its grip. The training session is cheesy and the rationals provided behind the sequences can make you wonder whether you have strolled into lalaland. Our desi Don was never trained for behavior in the sack.Maybe we had very docile Dons in the 70’s.But one of the most powerful sequences is when the guy gets trained from an ex-girlfriend of the Jackal who proclaims ” He could kill you in a second, but instead he makes you come”. Now how didn’t this line make it to the best 100 quotes

This odd triad of Mossad, CIA and the Navy seal do succeed in their plan of turning KGB against the Jackal but a chance encounter at Heathrow throws a spanner in their plans and now the jackal is after the good guy. Our hero,tormented and destabilized, finds out that the CIA operative is using him like a pawn in his personal vendetta but still plays along to protect his family. They convince KGB that jackal is doublecrossing them.Of course the jackal is meant to be clever and outsmarts(outguns) the KGB agents leading to a final showdown between the two lookalikes where in case of mistaken identity the guy ……… let’s not spoil the plot.But apparently the Jackal’s terrorist days are over since KGB has turned against him.

Christian Duguay accounts for some very third rate direction. Ben Kingsley with his Arab accent must be scratching his bald head as to why he signed this movie. Donald Sutherland and Aidan quinn are OK. The weak part is again the plot which fails to hold together even though it is brilliant in patches. It tries to stretch your imagination in certain places.

The mistaken identity theme has been done to death over the years. Hell,even Shakespeare did it.There is hardly any novelty in the plot and insipid performances do not help. The cruelty and barbaric nature of Jackal at least gives you something to hate in the movie. My recommendation would be that saturday evening if you have something better to do,then do it. You might just want 2 hours of your life back.




The assignment


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