Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and half stars)
Star Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Amitabh Bachchan, Aditi Rao Hydari, Neil Nitin Mukesh, John Abraham
Director: Bejoy Nambiar
What’s Good: Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar deliver strong performances in spite of the obvious plot.
What’s Bad: Predictability and loose sense of detailing are the biggest giveaways for this thriller. Based on an intelligent game like Chess, the writers seem to have played their weakest moves.
Loo Break: Second half would be a good time!
Danish Ali ( Farhan Akhtar) is an ATS cop who is grieving his daughter Noorie’s death after she gets shot in a gun-fire exchange between him and some terrorists. Burdened with the guilt, Danish even contemplates suicide. His wife Ruhana (Aditi Rao Hydari) too blames him for losing their daughter and distances herself from him.
Thanks to his reckless act as a father as well as a cop, Danish is suspended for a span. In the meanwhile, he meets an interesting personality, former chess master Omkarnath/Panditji ( Amitabh Bachchan). He is a wheel-chair bound Chess champ who has lost the game of his life. Panditji’s wife is killed in an accident where he loses his legs but his fate gives him a bigger jerk when his young daughter Nina dies a mysterious death.
Panditji soon approaches Danish to look into his daughter’s death case. She is claimed to have died after falling from the staircase at Welfare Minister Izaad Qureshi’s residence. Panditji suspects that it is a murder and soon Danish hops onto this investigation. During this investigation, Panditji is attacked by a mysterious man called Wazir.
Who is Wazir and will Danish be able to track him down and uncover the truth behind Nina’s murder is what the story further unfolds into.
Wazir Review: Script Analysis
Two talented people like Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi work on the script of this film and you wonder how can they go so wrong. The basic plot of Wazir is actually quite interesting but lack of careful detailing ruins it. In most of the scenes that are expected to suck you into the story and make it gripping, the writers fail to build the anticipation as they lay their cards face up.
Other than a major twist in the film that comes towards the end, the makers could have made sure to keep Izaad Qureshi’s character a little mysterious too. He is a baddie and we know it right at the start. Other loopholes in the story are quite evident such as in spite of being suspended, Danish has the powers to call for a ‘Nakabandi’ or even facilities such as phone tapping etc. Another flaw would be Danish posting a letter to Ruhana from Kashmir, explaining his actions. I mean come on, what generation is it?
What is fascinating about the story on the other hand is the way it keeps making references to Chess. Whether it is the mysterious character of ‘Wazir’ or the way the writer’s explain the behavior of their characters, as if they are pawns in this larger game of life.
When it comes to characters, the layering that Danish’s character has, is certainly impressive. He is vulnerable, honest, loving and broken all at once.
Wazir Review: Star Performance
Farhan Akhtar seems to growing as an actor with each film. As Danish, he does a brilliant job. I peculiarly loved the way we see him going from being broken down and suicidal to being so driven by friendship that he can even kill for it. Akhtar delivers a nuanced performance.
Amitabh Bachchan as Pandit Omkarnath does a fine job. His camaraderie with Farhan looks quite natural and they make up for some of the best scenes in the film. Also just the way he says, Khel Khel Mein is superb.
Aditi Rao Hydari has a minimal role and hardly any dialogues. She is expressive enough in the scenes that require her to emote as a grieving mother.
Manav Kaul who plays the character of the welfare minister fits the bill perfectly. He is an actor one can count on even in a smaller screen presence.
Neil Nitin Mukesh scares the hell out of you with his evil antics. He does not have much screen time but the scenes that he features in are quite unforgettable.
John Abraham is completely wasted in the film with a character that has no detailing. His cameo hardly makes a difference to the story.
Wazir Review: Music, Direction
Bejoy Nambiar is known for handling the camera much distinctively compared to other Bollywood directors. His penchant for slow-motion, overtones and brilliant background scores was quite evident in his last two films Shaitan and David.
With Wazir, Nambiar does not accomplish much. He does manage to give us some beautiful settings of Delhi but none of his camera effects come handy for this film. One of the most irritating things about the second half is when Ankit Tiwari’s sharp vocals keep repeating over emotional scenes, that completely kill the mood.
Tere Bin is one of the nicer tracks and it comes right at the start as a montage of Danish and Ruhana’s married life, which I’d say is a clever move to avoid all the storytelling.
While the first half seems decently pacey, Wazir badly suffers in the second. The film juggles between thriller and drama genres, thus leaving the audiences bored. Also towards the end, when the cat is already out of the bag, there is a forced scene which gives you a detailed sequence of the mystery being unfolded.
Wazir Review: The Last Word
Wazir is a missed opportunity. It is a story that could have been gripping but suffers from a bad treatment, thus leaving you disappointed. Farhan and Big B do their best to save this botched up plot but they can’t. So basically, it’s like the audiences will end up saying Check Mate to the makers. I am going with a 2.5/5.
The Wazir releases on 8th January, 2016.
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