Wazir! A Predictable Mystery

Movie Wazir

STARRING: Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Aditi Rao Hydari
RATING: 2 1/2 stars

In theory, Wazir ticks all the boxes — a script by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi.

The exciting genre of the thriller, a cast of Farhan Akhtar and Amitabh Bachchan, and a short run time of just over an hour-and-a-half. If that’s all you’re looking for in a Hindi film, you’ll doubtless leave entertained. But if you’re looking for more — strong characters, nuance, believability — be prepared for disappointment.

Wazir is a story of two men bonded by a personal tragedy. Within first 15 minutes of the film, I cried at Farhan's Danish's tragedy. It was directed so well devoid of the usual melodrama. I felt invested in his painful story and wanted to know more. In fact, most of the first half of the movie was well paced and had me engaged. And then I was distracted by Amitabh Bachchan’s wig and the supporting characters' names. There is a Nina, a Noorie and a Neelima, all dead and all used in the same sentence. It was so confusing that instead of feeling the pain of their loss, my mind kept on asking, 'Sorry which one are you talking about?'

The film surely scored on original writing (Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi, of Munnabhai fame) but it kept losing track, especially in the second half.  Abhijeet Deshpande has written some clever lines with interesting references to the game of chess. It worked initially but beyond a point, it all got so repetitive. Too much of shatranj, pyanda, ghoda, haathi andwazir...someone cut it short please!!

The film, despite losing fizz in parts, had me engaged mostly because of brilliant performances. Farhan-SFX-oh-so-cute-in-a-mooch-Akhtar is simply brilliant, especially in emotional scenes. He feels Danish's tragedy so well that it made me weep into my popcorn. Also, with his red eyes and sleepy smile, he is by far the best drunk man on screen.

Manav Kaul plays the Kashmiri politician with sheer wickedness. The man speaks with his eyes, evokes fear in viewers with that sinister smile. Don't miss him in a scene where Farhan Akhtar comes to interrogate him.

Amitabh-now-available-in-a-hideous-wig-Bachchan has outdone himself in sporting a hellish hairstyle yet again. If his wigs inShamitabh and Piku were irritating, the one in Wazir is Olympic-level ugly. His Tere Naam strands kept going into his eyes so badly that I wanted to pin them back with Hello Kitty pins. Honestly, Amitabh Bachchan didn’t wow me, but an actor of his calibre can pull off any role easily.

And then there is John Abraham, who, in two scenes, has a very important role to play in the film, like, tell Danish Ali that he has exactly 30 seconds before he kills the terrorist.

Also Aditi Rao Hydari plays a classical dancer with so much depth. Like she displays an amazing range of anarkalis in so many different colours. It’s an emotional thriller with an ending that you can see from a mile yet is impactful. Watch it once. It won’t hurt.  


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