Omar (Neil) is picked up by the FBI and detained for arms found in his owned taxi. Basically it’s a well planned set up by FBI officer Roshan (Irrfan) and his boss to get Omar agreeing on to work as an undercover agent for them and infiltrate the family the life of Samir (John) and Maya (Katrina) who were Omar’s college friends 7-8 years back. Roshan suspects Samir of running a sleeper terrorism cell and he wants to nab him red handed.
Omar is left with no option but to comply with Roshan’s orders but he agrees on one condition that the FBI won’t kill Samir if he agrees to surrender. Years back when in college Omar, Maya and Samir were thick buddies and Omar silently loved Maya but when she expressed her love for Samir, Omar had gone away from them. What truth Omar uncovers when he meets Samir and Maya both now a married couple with a small kid Danielle and what it all leads to forms the rest of the film.
New York can easily be considered the best film to come out of the Yash Raj stable after Chak De India. Shot entirely in the US, the film not only is on par with the best of the Hollywood films made in this genre but is a completely different experience which the Bollywood audience is not used to. You are completely hooked from the first scene of the film when Neil is arrested by FBI and the interrogation that follows by Irrfan of Neil’s. The first half is extremely well narrated and keeps you constantly guessing as to what will happen next. The interval point is a shocker and you look forward to an exciting second half. But then the pace of the second half somehow doesn’t match up that of the first half and there are some predictable things in store. But nonetheless it is packed with some really great moments. The whole frisking episode of Katrina Kaif by a cop on the road late at night and the sequences that follow it linger on your mind for long. The climax though a bit word heavy is superbly shot as well. The torture scenes shown immediately post the interval send a shiver down your spine. Pritam’s music is easy on the ears and there are no lip sync songs to hamper the proceedings.
New York scores high in the acting department with each single actor delivering his/her best. John Abraham often termed as an expressionless actor has delivered his career’s finest performance. Katrina Kaif has finally got the meatiest role of her career and she has taken full advantage of it. She is very good in emotional scenes as well. Neil in a difficult part shines. Irrfan Khan never disappoints and here again he is in great form. His scenes with Neil and also his senior officer have turned out well.
New York takes up a topical theme and perfectly exposes the wily ways of the American FBI to which over hundreds of innocent Muslim people had fallen prey to post 9/11. It is a must watch for many reasons so just don’t miss it. -Sampurn