It is a tense story, but also incongruous. A teacher of young children quietly lets it be known she is holding 16 children as hostages and will be making demands later. The first investigator quickly decides that it is a prank until a gunshot is fired. A negotiator who happens to be pregnant arrives, but is quickly told that the teacher wants a different negotiator, a subordinate and we learn there is resentment between the two. The first had already called in a combat unit and is ready to charge in, but the second negotiator stops them for the time being. The teacher this time is controlling the children with cartoons, games and food and is well loved by the children. She is a very smart negotiator and soon gets national television attention.
We learn that the teacher has anti-depressant pills and this just seems to confirm that she must be crazy. She demands a sum of money and to talk to the Prime Minister who is a woman. All the Prime Minister's advisors tell her not to talk as it would only encourage others. She is adamant that she does not want to be thought of as callous about the children. Her staff actually go behind her back and claim she will not talk to the hostage taker,but she finds out and is furious. The climax of the movie occurs when the two meet..
The teacher/hostage taker is not crazy, but realizes to have her concern paid attention to she had to take drastic action. The message is strong and at the start of the credits we are all reminded. I will respect the intent of the producers that the message will have more impact if not revealed too soon. I assure you that your attention will be riveted. This movie will likely win some awards, but more than most awarded movies it will leave the viewers stunned.
To put such a film to the public requires an impressive cast and crew.
Behzad Khambata is the first time director and co-writer after a few sessions as assistant director.
The producers include Ronnie Screwvala with such films as "Rang De Basanti" (2006), "Barfi" (2012), "Kai Po Che" (2013) and "Uri: The Surgical Strike" (2019). Read: http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2013/05/kai-che-po.html
The background music which adds to the tension is by Kaizad Gherda. He has been writing for movies and tv. series since 2010. There are none of the usual Bollywood dance scenes.
Cinematographer Anuj Rakesh Dhawan has worked on such films as "Shubh Mangal Savdhan" (2017), and "Bala" (2019). Siddharth Vasani, the other cinematographer was with the camera crew for "Uri: The Surgical Strike" (2019).
Editor Sumeet Kotian was an assistant editor for "Drishyam" (2015) and associate editor for "Madaari" (2016). http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2017/02/madaari-open-movie-about-government.html
Yami Gautam was outstanding as the teacher/hostage taker Her role was demanding as she played a very charming teacher, but also an outraged hostage taker. Yami studied law and later did many commercials . She has starred in such films as "Vicky Donor" (2012), "Badlapur" (2015), "Kaabil" (2017), "Uri: The Surgical Strike" (2019) and"Bala" (2019). http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2020/04/vicky-donor-cf-dharala-prabhu.html
Atul Kulkarni played the requested negotiator who had to deal with superiors wanting more action and also the recipient of surprises. He has been in such films as "Hey Ram" (2000), "Page 3" (2005), "Rang De Basanti" (2006) and "The Ghazi Attack" (2017).
Neha Dhupia played the pregnant original negotiator who kept butting in and uncovering information. She has appeared in such films as "Dasvidanyia" (2008), "Hindi Medium" (2017), "Qarib Qarib Single" (2017) and "Lust Stories" (2018)
Dimple Kapadia played the Prime Minister as an admired independent leader. Dimple became a major star at age 16 in "Bobby" (1973). She married an older star, Rajesh Khanna and quit films. She did get back in another ten years and appeared in such movies as "Dil Chahta Hai" (2001), "Luck by Chance" (2009), "Finding Fanny" (2014) and "Tenet" (2020). http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2011/07/dil-chatha-hai-bollywood-classic.html
This has been the highest rated movie seen this year and is likely to remain in the top three. Worth an effort.
As usual I have bolded first mentions of other films.