Khuda Haafiz Movie Review Rating: 3/5 Stars (Three stars)
Star Cast: Vidyut Jammwal, Annu Kapoor, Shiv Panditt, Shivaleeka Oberoi, Aahana Kumra
Director: Faruk Kabir
What’s Good: We’ve known Vidyut Jammwal for jumping out of the small windows, but in this one, he not only jumps out of it but also walks a road he has never been before
What’s Bad: Doesn’t have anything new to offer as far as the story is concerned, but still a lot of things go in the favour of the film & they’re mentioned below
Loo Break: Yup. It’s 133 minutes, you might require a break. To be honest, OTT-watching experience sucks, so you’ll pause in-between anyway
Watch or Not?: If the length of the film doesn’t matter to you, go for it!
Following the tried and test non-linear flashback route, we see an injured and arrested Sameer Choudhary requesting for help from the Indian Embassy in Oman. How did he reach there? Well, that’s what the first half of the film explores. Set in 2008, Newlyweds Sameer and Nargis (Shivaleeka Oberoi) are also from the millions hit by the ‘great recession’ worldwide.
They both get a job in Oman but Nargis is called first for some reason. She lands straight into trouble (pun intended) while reaching there, and somehow informs Sameer who’s still back in India. On getting the news, Sameer does the most obvious thing any husband in such a film do – take the law in his hands because of limited time. Now, if you’ve been following Bollywood, you know how it’ll end but this one packs some smart twists up its sleeves.
Khuda Haafiz Movie Review: Script Analysis
Starting with little things first, totally loved the way how the writers have used the language barrier to their use. Many scenes in which Arabic has been spoken, comes without the subtitles which helps you stay with Jammwal’s character. You get surprised and shocked with him because you don’t know what’s been spoken. I’ve loved Jitan Harmeet Singh’s camerawork in Satellite Shankar and Bhangra Paa Le, and he continues to amuse me with this one. Way too many experimental camera-angles, some work (there’s a fish-eye filter used in a scene where Jammwal goes numb) very well, some don’t.
Credit where due, angles which work gives you a raw experience of the action sequences which is very unusual in Bollywood. Those scenes don’t come with any gloss and that’s how it should be done. I know it’s incomparable but a scene took me straight back to the ‘throwing knives’ sequence of Keanu Reeves’ John Wick and in a good way. This might be one of those rare Bollywood films in which the terraces, monuments and their tombs aren’t just a picturesque addition to the cinematography. Jammwal goes all over them for a crazy chase scene. Length of the film is its biggest villain & twists start getting uninteresting once things start going in the favour of the protagonist.
Story of the film isn’t something very new, we’ve seen the skeleton of this script many-a-times before. In fact, this is the Baaghi 3 we deserve. It’s what it does with the routine story is unique. Just a nitpick: Story is set in 2008 and Vidyut’s character is seen using the recent version of Windows multiple times. I’m sure I also saw one of the latest models of VU LED TV.
Khuda Haafiz Movie Review: Star Performance
As mentioned in the title, this is Vidyut Jammwal’s most Un-Vidyut Jammwal movie yet and that’s for good because it’s not monotonous for starters. It’s not all about action but Vidyut brings the actor in him at its best use. This is by far his best performance as far as the acting a role is concerned. His act helps you to stay interested in his character. Also, he doesn’t rely much on action to showcase his skills which is surely a notable improvement.
Annu Kapoor as a local from Oman manages to portray a difficult character with ease due to his unmatchable experience. There was every scope of turning his character into a caricature, but thankfully Annu sir manages to keep it subtle.
Shiv Panditt is a sweet surprise. His role provides him with enough scope to explore what he was missing until now. Shivaleeka Oberoi is just about decent and gets a very limited range to stay in and act. Aahana Kumra smoothly performs a very well-choreographed action sequence which remains the highlight of her act.
Khuda Haafiz Movie Review: Direction, Music
Faruk Kabir (Allah Ke Banday fame) makes a stylish comeback to direction with this one. I used the word stylish not because of how well the film looks, but because of how well he has mashed up the two strong points of action and emotions. The story, though stretched, maintain an even balance among the sub-plots it is handling. Some twists are well-timed, some turn out to be predictable.
Loved the way how all songs (Mithoon) are accurately timed, which helps to sit through them despite some of them being very average. Armaan Malik’s Mera Intezaar Karna and Sonu Nigam’s Aakhri Kadam Tak get placed in the best way possible, hence helping to build the connect. Amar Mohile (Sooryavanshi) takes the distinct route for the background score. The best action sequences have a less noisy BGM and some of them are choreographed on slow music. This surely feels good while watching Jammwal doing what he does the best.
Khuda Haafiz Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Khuda Haafiz delivers more than what I expected it will. Loved this side of Vidyut Jammwal and I hope he maintains this for the films he chooses from now. Walk-in with limited expectations, you’ll surely get out entertained.
Khuda Haafiz Trailer
Khuda Haafiz releases on 14th August, 2020.
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