Star cast: Sunny Deol, Irrfan Khan, Ishaa Koppikar, Konkona Sen Sharma.

Plot: Sunny and Irrfan are police inspectors and best friends. A horrific incident in Sunny’s life puts the friendship at stake. Irrfan accuses Sunny of murdering his wife Ishaa. Irrfan’s lawyer-sister Konkona is on Sunny’s side and will do anything to prove Sunny right and her own brother wrong.

What’s Good: The logical screenplay and the taut second half; Irrfan Khan’s performance.

What’s Bad: The music; the pre-release promotion.

Verdict: With the horrendous start, the opposition of IPL and examinations, the film will bomb in spite of positive good word of mouth.

Loo break: The songs, of course!

Mukta Arts Ltd. and Ikkon Pictures’ Right Yaaa Wrong (UA) is a thriller. Ajay Shridhar (Sunny Deol) and Vinay Patnaik (Irrfan Khan) are police officers working in the same police station and are also bosom pals. While Vinay goes strictly by the rule book, Ajay sometimes lets his heart decide whether a criminal needs to be punished or should be forgiven.

Ajay and Vinay’s friendship comes under scrutiny when Ajay kills his philandering wife, Anshita (Ishaa Koppikar), who has a roaring affair with Ajay’s own cousin, Sanjay (Aarav Chowdhary). Being a police officer himself, Ajay, confined to the wheelchair after an accident, plans the murder of Anshita and Sanjay so brilliantly that it looks as if he had killed them in self-defence as the two had plotted to murder him. Even while the entire police force believes Ajay’s story, the ever-suspicious Vinay feels, the two deaths are murders committed at the hands of Ajay rather than killings in self-defence. The open-and-shut case is, therefore, reopened.

Now begins the battle between two best friends – Vinay trying to prove that Ajay has murdered his wife and cousin, while Ajay himself pleads not guilty. Ajay’s lawyer is none other than Vinay’s own sister, Radhika (Konkona Sen Sharma). Is Vinay able to prove what he set out to? Or does the court believe Ajay’s story? Do Ajay and Vinay become friends again or does the court case never let the two see eye to eye again? These questions are answer- ed in the climax.

Neeraj Pathak’s story has quite a novel tale for the Hindi film-going audience, but also one which may not be digestible to a large section of the audience. For, it is not usual for the writer to want the viewer to know that the hero (Ajay in this case) has committed a crime and yet root for him when the investigating officer (Vinay in this case) is also another hero. The best part of the screenplay, penned by Neeraj Pathak and Sanjay Chauhan, is that it moves very logically, keeping the audience interest alive, more so after interval. While the first half is fairly nice, the second half is riveting and so fast-paced that it doesn’t give the viewer even a minute to think. What’s more, the audience keeps guessing what would follow, thereby getting very involved in the drama.

However, one major question remains unanswered in the film and that’s a red mark on the writer’s report card: why does Ajay, a police officer, take law into his hands and murder his wife for her extra-marital affair, instead of taking recourse to the law and divorcing his wayward wife? It is because this question has not even been raised, leave alone answered, that the viewer is unable to absolutely root for Ajay to win the court battle. Especially the thinking audience’s loyalty would oscillate between Ajay and Vinay with them sometimes wanting Ajay to win and at other times hoping that Vinay can nail him down. For, after all, Vinay is not a bad cop. Rather, he is as good and as conscientious a police officer as Ajay! Of course, a section of the audience might forgive Ajay for his extreme action because they may consider his wife’s clandestine affair as enough cause for the husband to kill her but there would be another section (and a large one at that) which would not think on the same lines. The dilemma is even more pronounced because the one who has got the case reopened is another honest police officer and also Ajay’s best friend. If the audience sides with Ajay, they have the satisfaction of supporting the hero but also the dissatisfaction of siding with a killer and not rooting for an upright police officer (Vinay). If, on the other hand, the viewer roots for Vinay, there is the terrible feeling he (viewer) would experience of letting down his hero who has been wrong- ed, while feeling good about standing up for what is right in the eyes of law.

The aforementioned would definitely come in the way of the full enjoyment of the thriller. Had the abovementioned question been answered, things would’ve been simpler and more enjoyable for the audience. Yet, notwithstanding the above sore point, it cannot be denied that the post-interval portion is engrossing and entertaining, thanks to the scenes between Ajay and Vinay first and Vinay and his lawyer-sister, Radhika, later. The courtroom drama is excellent. Dialogues (penned by Neeraj Pathak and Girish Dhamija) are very good, especially those between Vinay and Radhika.

Sunny Deol does well and remains true to his character. However, his face looks too puffed up. Also, confining him to the wheelchair (after his spinal chord injury) for a good part of the film will surely not go down well with his fans, thanks to his rough-and-tough image. Ishaa Koppikar gets limited scope but does justice to her character of a two-timing wife. Irrfan Khan shines! He is such a tremendously talented actor that he makes every scene in which he appears, worthwhile. He is especially superb in the scenes when he begins his investigation against Ajay. He excels in the courtroom sequences and in all his interactions with his lawyer-sister, whether in or outside the court. Kon- kona Sen Sharma is another reservoir of talent. Although she comes on the scene quite late, she leaves a mark with her outstanding performance. Aarav Chowdhary is okay as Ajay’s cousin and Anshita’s paramour. Ashok Samarth (as Ajay and Vinay’s deputy) leaves a mark. As the sub-inspector, Kamlesh Sawant is lovely. Arvind Vaidya is endearing as the police commissioner. Deepal Shaw should have been given more scope. She is very good in the brief role she has. Govind Namdeo does a fine job. Aryan Vaid, Vijay Patkar, Suhasini Mulay, master Ali Haji (as Ajay and Anshita’s son), Neelanjana (as Ajay’s sister) and the others lend the desired support.

Neeraj Pathak’s direction is good, especially his handling of the action and courtroom scenes. He, however, needs to improve in his handling of the regular scenes of interaction between husband and wife or friends. Music (Monty) is a big letdown. Had the film had a couple of hit songs, the thriller would’ve been more enjoyable. As it is, the music is, at best, functional. Ravi Walia’s camerawork is alright. Tinnu Verma’s action is quite exciting. Ashfaq Makrani’s editing is sharp. Sets (Rajat Potdar and Ashish Ranade) are ordinary.

On the whole, Right Yaaa Wrong has an engrossing second half but given its extremely poor start on the one hand and an unexciting star cast on the other, its chances of picking up enough to even reach the average mark seem impossible. A deserving film gone terribly wrong!

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