Rating : 3.5/5
Genre : Drama/Mystery/Thriller
Year : 2016
Running time : 1 hour 42 minutes
Director : Bejoy Nambiar
Cast : Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Aditi Rao Haideri, Manav Kaul
Kid rating: PG-13
It is hard giving this film only a 3.5 stars, but that is what it deserves. Know that I’d expected a lot from Wazir given that it comes from Bejoy Nambiar and via Vidhu Vinod Chopra. And while it is good in places, it falters on its basic premise – and that my dears, is a big no-no.
Danish Ali (Akhtar) is an earnest policeman who is recovering from the loss of a loved one. Almost somnolent with grief, Danish meets wheel-chair bound teacher Omkarnath Dhar (Bachchan), who has also gone through a similar tragedy. They become friends, and when Dhar becomes the target of a stealthy enemy, Danish resolves to protect him. In the storyline, there is also a mix of politics, terrorism, and the threat of greater evil.
Wazir began well, so the first half is pretty tight. There is intensity to the scenes, and there was promise that this film would indeed deliver the goods. When all is explained at the end, the story looks amateurish, the premise a little too unbelievable – like it was written by someone not using all his God-given grey cells. And that’s my biggest problem with this movie. Were that Wazir’s story had legs to stand upon, this could easily have been one of the best films of the year.
I cannot fault Nambiar in his direction. Wazir is well-paced and builds up nicely. It also excels, mostly, in depicting its characters. Akhtar is marvelous as the dutiful cop, driven by guilt and grief. Hydari plays his katahak dancer wife, and she does well in the screen time she has – shades of beauty, and grief intermittent. Bachchan is generally a good actor, except in roles where he lets the Bachchan persona overwhelm the on-screen character. Unfortunately for us, this is one of those times. Last but not the least, I must mention Neil Nitin Mukesh who impresses even in his short role.
There is also great music here. “Tere Bin” is exquisitely picturized – all nostalgia and slow-mo, but that’s not surprising since Nambiar does do well at these (remember Khoya Khoya Chand?) Then there is Tu Mere Paas. Also Atrangi Yaari, sung by Bachchan and Akhtar themselves.
Kidwise: Some scenes of violence and mass gunfire, and the film is pervaded on the whole by an aura of gloom and doom. Kids are shown in danger, being threatened.