Bejoy Nambiar made a strong debut in the Hindi film industry as a director with the boisterous ‘Shaitan’ a few years back. Then he made an ambitious dud in the form of ‘David’ which didn’t click. Now he’s back directing a Vidhu Vinod Chopra production not only starring Amitabh Bachchan but also the choosy Farhan Akhtar. So expectations are bound to be moderately high for Wazir. Does it deliver on its promises and start the year on a high?
Story: Danish (Farhan) is an anti terror squad officer who has been suspended because he exacted revenge on the terrorist who killed his four year old daughter. His wife is distraught at their own child’s death. He meets Omkar Nath Dhar (Amitabh Bachchan) who is a chess instructor. Panditji as he is called because he’s a Kashmiri Pandit, is a chess instructor. He also has a tragic past as he also lost his daughter and wife in an accident where he became a paraplegic. Whilst trying to uncover the accident/murder of Panditji’s daughter, he falls deep into a crevice of mystery which can engulf his whole life and being. Is he able to overcome all these obstacles? To find out watch the movie!
Screenplay and Direction: Bejoy Nambiar seems to have foregone his visualistic style for an easier narrative that has been shot well. Wazir is a short thriller (runtime of 1 hour 42 minutes) which has some of the finest story building for any thriller in Bollywood but eventually comes short as it teethers towards the end. The revelations and the twists don’t leave the sort of impact that they could have. Eventually, it feels like an anti-climax as the buildup promised a modern classic. One major problem with Wazir is that it acts the way we expect it to work. It doesn’t surprise. And that coming from Bejoy Nambiar in itself a huge surprise! Wazir ends up as a disjointed failed enterprise.
Wazir isn’t as stylishly shot as Shaitan or David, as it makes do with rather mundane Bollywood cinematography. The action scenes are well choreographed, however. The sets and production design are realistic and don’t stick out like a sore thumb in the ultra realistic world of Wazir. The costume design is good. The music is better than we’d expect from a thriller and manages to give us decent atmospheric songs and background music.
Acting: Farhan Akhtar is miscast as Danish as he’s not able to move past his set of expressions. He’s good as the brooding officer but as the vengeful father he falls short. Amitabh Bachchan is at his usual best as the role suits him to the tee. The free flowing dialogues suit Bachchan better than anyone else and he does a commendable job at it. Aditi Rao Hydari is decent as the depressed mom and she looks beautiful too. However, the one actor who manages to steal almost all the scenes he’s in without ever resorting to over expressions is Manav Kaul. He’s a terrific actor we wish we saw more of!
Conclusion: Wazir is a solid taut thriller if you go to watch the movie without knowing about it or any thrillers ever. For seasoned movie buffs, Wazir disappoints. The great buildup comes short towards the end as the director seems to have thrown everything at us in hope of at least one of those things doing good. Unfortunately, the damage is done in the shape of the disjointed storytelling. Wazir is the perfect example of a missed opportunity which can be given a chance for the potential itself.
- Performances by Amitabh Bachchan and Manav Kaul
- Action choreography
- Sets and costume design
- Music and aesthetics work
- Farhan is miscast
- Visualistic style of Bejoy Nambiar is missing
- Screenplay is disjointed
- Twists don’t have a lot of impact