Terrorism is undoubtedly the flava of the season. Thankfully it is getting its justice in the hands of fresh talents. Or else it gets all glitzy and flashy, and the results get disastrous as a MISSION ISTANBUL, and when big names get associated, it loses all the sheen and just end up being BLACK AND WHITE.
But now we are being shown a different and a more hopeful side. AAMIR dazzled us, MUMBAI MERI JAAN floored us. And on a friday that boasts of nearly three terrorist-related flicks, A WEDNESDAY comes out and delivers the knock out punch!
First of all, kudos to director Neeraj Pandey for writing down a story and ensuring it is delivered fresh and precise without the cheesy add-ons that dictate mainstream Bollywood. He does not bow down to item numbers nor the trendy Matrix stunts to keep you glued. In 90 minutes, Pandey gives us the kind of thriller that grabs you instantly by the scruff of your neck. Wishing this coming of age thriller paves way for more such earnest attempts of film making. Hence, all the more reason why this movie needs to reach out to the maximum audiences, because this one has the goods and boy, does it deliver!
A WEDNESDAY is a cracker of a thriller …and that is something that Indian cinema hardly churns out. For once it does not hurt the intelligence of the viewers nor does it beg us to leave our brains outside the halls. This one is gripping, leaving the viewers awestruck and engaged.
The film is essentially the recollection of a retiring commissioner Prakash Rathod (Anupam Kher) about a particular Wednesday when a man decides to walk in and make a hell out of his life and of the few others involved.
This man (Naseeruddin Shah), in his fifties, with his shopping bag, tea flask and tiffin boxes tucked by his side, decides to call in the police headquarters on a Wednesday afternoon and demand the release of four major terrorists. He is forced to be taken seriously when he himself reveals about a bomb that he has planted right inside the police station nearby. And now the man equipped with technology and RDX, is threatening to blow up some more bombs around the city if his demands aren’t met within the next few hours.
The man seems to be one of promises…he promises his wife that he shall return by 7 pm, he promises the commissioner that the city shall be blown apart by 6.30 pm, and for once you know he is not joking about anything!
So what does the Police Commisioner Rathod do? He gets in the forces, gets his top men (Jimmy Shergil, Aamir Bashir) on the job, and the police force and the political bigwigs are all literally kept on their toes. But the truth remains that the city is being held ransom by this man out of nowhere!
This is one of those thrillers that relies heavily on performances to get you into the thick of tensions. It is here that director Pandey scores big time fully acknowledging and utilizing the talents of veterans Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. This is certainly a performance for those who are still figuring out why Naseer saab is considered one of the finest actors of the country. From having a blast with his comic outing in Jaane Tu, to walking in as a man ready to blast the city, this is a powerhouse of talent on display. Going through the daily middle class motions, munching away his sandwiches, we still know that this man is furious and ready to strike!
And playing the perfect foil, on the other end, is Anupam Kher. Despite all those silly inane roles that have plagued this mans filmography, some rare roles like this give us an insight into this actor’s worth. With eyes that converses and reasons, Kher plays the composed commissioner splendidly. And splendid is the magic created when these two legends decide to meet onscreen on A WEDNESDAY!
Jimmy Shergil, gives the angry young man a new meaning with this attempt, once again proving a point about his abilities. Aamir Bashir also makes an impression in his cop role.
Editing is top notch keeping the movie moving at that pace except for some repeated shots in the middle portions just meant to delay the inevitable.
I can analyse and deduce the movie to pulp, but that would be only spoiling whatever impact this ‘small package’ of a film has to provide. Power packed performances, chilling background score, a stunner of a confrontation, great camerawork all adds to the treat of this must watch flick. Questioning the society, the common man, the political set up, this cat and mouse game carries enough in it to make you think and ponder. It is a tale of our times, and that is what makes it all the more alluring.
A WEDNESDAY is what good cinema is all about…the kind of cinema that can be enjoyed on any darn day!