Irada has not only opened very poorly at the box office, but has received below-average reviews too.
Irada Review by Shalini Langer on Indian Express
There has been very little good news coming out of Punjab, films wise. And Irada is no exception, but rather than drugs, it deals with the cancerous contamination of Punjab’s groundwater and fields. That is a film crying to be made, but instead of the characters, Irada gives us caricatures.
Irada Review by Meena Iyer on The Times Of India
Irada has its heart in the right place. Having picked up a subject that talks of environmental hazards, debutant director Aparnaa Singh’s conscientious streak shows. Her film that is being marketed as an eco-thriller (whatever!) draws inspiration from Hollywood thriller Erin Brockovich (2000).However, unlike the Hollywood film that managed to raise a red flag warning us of how pharmaceutical companies are playing with innocent lives, Irada barely scratches the surface. The film’s attempt to educate the audience on the perils of chemical contamination, reverse boring and groundwater pollution that is a harsh reality around urban townships is half-baked.
Irada Review by Prasanna D Zore on Rediff
Blame it on the director for Irada’s sloppy editing, the film fails to hold your undivided attention. The scenes and the plot are so loosely woven that the only saving grace of the film — of course, apart from the two fine actors — is its duration. Irada, then, is a film that could have been a superb take on how the political-industrial-corporate (in no particular order) nexus is destroying and poisoning the world’s food chain systemically even as it ruins young lives and shatters the dreams of their loved ones.
Review by Saibal Chattarjee on NDTVMovies
It is easy to empathize with their crusade, but the film does not generate enough suspense and tension to make their investigation an edge-of-the-seat affair. Nor does the film shock the socks off the audience despite trotting out disturbing details about the sheer enormity of the problem that the “wheat bowl” of India faces today.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
Perhaps had they stuck to telling about groundwater contamination story like Erin Brockovich this movie may have meant something. But with factory blasts being made on the home compute by someone who did not finish their photoshop class, this film ends up being a waste of time.
Review by Vishal Verma on Glamsham
The movie even has a dark tone where we see Arshad Warsi in a ‘cancer train’ where patients are getting wooed by insurance agents. A brilliantly shot scene but doesn’t gel with the film even after having the mention of the disease in its story. What a pity. And that’s not all, Divya Dutta as the corrupt Chief Minister in that cracker of a scene in front of the mirror portraying her whimsicality is a gem but after that there is nothing to support that awesome moment. The bonding between Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi is also enjoyable but the director fails in possessing the skill to weave this individual goodness into a fine film and that’s makes it meandering.
Review by Mohar Basu on Mid-Day India
It’s an overcrowded plot with facile characters, and lacks both the required energy and depth of the subject. There are too many parallel narratives and Singh’s limited directorial skills aren’t enough to handle the snags. She spends the entire first hour creating the milieu and setting pace. It is horridly unbearable to sit through a bunch of unrelated scenes, appearing one after the other, that fail to stir an impact. The characters have a tendency of being overtly verbose (what’s with the shayari codes, man?). The documentary style of storytelling (diagrams, et al) isn’t exactly captivating. The drama of the climax and feeble final shot is, perhaps, the last straw.
Review by Rohit Vats on Hindustan Times
It comes down to the actors to stop it from crumbling. Here, Singh enjoys assistance from stellar performers like Shah, Warsi, Kelkar and Dutta. Warsi reminds us of his 2005 Sehar. He doesn’t go overboard and underplays a sharp cop, a rarity in Hindi films. Shah displays a wide range which he has perfected over the years, and Dutta looks ruthless and ambitious as the corrupt CM. In between, Kelkar also throws in some punches.
Review by Aarti Iyengar on Bollywood Life
The film is clearly a leaf taken out of a Crime Patrol episode. It will remind you of the Bhopal Gas tragedy but you won’t be able to sympathise with anyone. Despite such a strong star cast, the film’s script seems like a lazy work. There is absolutely no suspense or intrigue element in the film. After having watched several crime shows myself, I would say that it’s a film you can’t enjoy, unless you keep your hopes low. There’s no attempt to make the script look new and interesting. I would say the same about the direction as well. The flow that one usually expects in a film is something you wouldn’t find here. The first half is crisp but without a proper flow. In fact, the scenes have been put together just so they’re able to introduce the characters and explain their background. The plot is so convenient that you’ll guess the story within the first half an hour. Its surprising that such fine actors chose to be a part of this film which lacks originality in all forms! I wouldn’t recommend the movie to anyone who expects suspense, intrigue factor or even interesting plotline. The songs are unnecessary and the dialogues are way too dramatic!
Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
Despite a scattered script, Naseeruddin Shah extends some dignity to this film with his signature matter-of-fact manner of channeling intensity. Rumana Molla, in her brief role, demonstrates her potential as an actor and does well in the emotionally charged scenes. Arshad Warsi seems to have lost his edge. His natural flair with comedy seems less spontaneous and barely effective. Sagarika Ghatge is compelling, even while the lines written for her keep her from delivering on her potential. Irada is ambitious and includes motivational shayaris which conceal riddles, a government servant who won’t be compromised and a present day Bhagat Singh who also sacrifices himself for the nation. But while we’re enlightened about how environmental damage can negatively impact our health, sitting through this one can also be hazardous to your mental wellbeing.
Review by IANS on Sify
While the intention of the film is clear, the plot and the screenplay lack depth. The narrative is amateurishly mounted making the entire attempt futile. The tackling of the investigation seems very superficial, packed with hollow, rhetoric dialogues. Also the constant allusion to Ajay Devgan’s Singham, makes the entire script seem tacky. It loses its seriousness, as it seems to caters to the front benchers. The genre fluctuates from an investigative thriller to a comedy with natural ease throwing the emotional quotient out of the window.
Irada Review by Indiaglitz
Director Aparnaa Singh comes up with a hard-hitting and powerful subject which would have made wonders if this movie was presented in the form of docu-drama or with an impactful screenplay. Failing to which the whole motive behind the movie is lost. The bad editing ruins it further more making the scenes look disjointed and abrupt at many places. Naseeruddin Shah is good, but nothing great. We have seen him portraying such roles for more than a dozen times. Arshad Warsi is great in his part and it’s good to see him doing such meaningful roles after a long time. Sagrika Ghatge is highly wasted. Sharad Kelkar and Rajesh Sharma lend good support. Divya Dutta is best of the lot.
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
The characters are caricaturish, the screenplay is loose, the editing is sloppy and the story hasn’t been handled with the treatment it deserves. Even the scene involving the ‘cancer train’, which ideally should have been bone-chilling, fails to make an impact because the rest of the film is so below average.
Review by Bryan Durham on DNA India
Naseer, as always, is? ?a joy to watch. Warsi as the cop is quite engaging. But it is Divya Dutta, who has your attention as the scenery-chewing CM-you-don’t-want-to-cross. Kelkar as one of the bigshots at the pharma firm is efficient, too. Films like these, with better subjects, need to get made. Singh has made a good step in the right direction. But is it enough? Sadly, it isn’t. The writing immediately betrays Singh’s flaws. You’re not immediately invested in the lives of the characters on screen.
Review by Arnab Banerjee on Deccan Chronicle
Irada, thus, in a certain light, attempts to experimentally answer the question, what does it mean to be a whistleblower? And how does one depict such a huge threat to mankind that results in greed and manmade tragedies befalling human beings? Warsi seems to be enjoying himself thoroughly as we find one of the greater threads coursing through the tale that changes the expectation of the audience. It’s Kelkar’s typical Bambaiyya tone — more in the way his role has been written — that strikes a false note. There’s little else to drive a bit of box office, not much heft, or mellow treatment and control.
Review by Meeta on Wogma
Fortunately, we have performers who rarely let us down. Even, Rajesh Sharma who is usually made to ham and go over-the-top, delivers a relatively controlled performance. The film’s digs at Bollywood’s over-romanticisation of all things Punjab and all things idealistic too. But, then again it submits to the formula – a one-man stand against the system – that’s the only solution we can seem to think of, even as we speak of issues that exist in real-life. But, I guess, there are no better ideas out there and this one seems to sell. Anyway, the one reason to look this one up is to get a peep into the eco-terrorism supposedly rampant in Punjab and hope against hope that it is only in Punjab.
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