Director: Bejoy Nambiar
Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Amitabh Bachchan, Aditi Rao Hydari, Manav Kaul
As the first major release of 2016, Wazir raised many expectations. The casting of Big B and Farhan Akhtar was intriguing. Director Bejoy Nambiar, (who gave a dark gem Shaitan on his debut!), was another plus. The promos, too, looked quite interesting.
On this background, how does the film fare?
What’s the plot?
An off-duty cop’s (Farhan Akhtar) impulsive decision to chase a terrorist gang backfires badly. In the resultant shootout, he gets wounded and loses his young daughter. Blaming him for this mishap, his wife (Aditi Rao-Hydari) alienates from him. Depressed and suicidal, the cop starts losing his head. His inadvertent actions lead to his suspension. An encounter with a wheel-chair-bound old man (Amitabh Bachchan), then gives the disturbed cop a new interest in life- the game of chess. As he starts learning the game from the old master a unique friendship develops between the two. The old man is also battling the demons of his own daughter’s death, which the police have termed accidental but which according to him was a murder where a popular Minister (Manav Kaul) was involved! After the old father’s public protest about the issue, he is brutally assaulted by someone who calls himself Wazir. As threats from Wazir become menacingly regular, the cop decides to take the matters into his hands. He has to help his elderly incapacitated friend get justice against the high positioned politician and also take down the mercenary assailant-Wazir!
· The chemistry between two male leads-Farhan and Amitabh is brilliant. While Farhan plays the tough, reticent cop and the devastated father-husband to perfection, it is Big B who really wows as a wheel-chair-bound old chess master. His gregarious wily veteran here is a cracking portrayal and tells us why he stands the tallest amongst superstars!
· Aditi Rao-Haydari has never looked more beautiful! Her role has precious little in terms of dialogue but her portrayal of a woman who can’t forgive her husband for their only daughter’s death is quite touching.
· Director Bejoy Nambiar gets many things right. The relationships between the main characters are sensitively developed. The action scenes are slickly shot. The suspense build-up is good. The first half in the film is a racy thriller!
· After raising your expectations, Wazir disappoints in the second half. The fault mainly lies with the writers (Abhijit Joshi and Vidhu Vinod Chopra) who fail to give a devious unpredictable twist to the mystery. The suspense unravels rather tamely and the climax feels all too predictable.
· Manav Kaul’s villainous character is poorly developed and the talented actor is wasted.
· For those who like to overthink, there are enough holes to pick in the plot and the logic!
Wazir is a well-made action thriller that misses the bus to become a great film. Still not at all a bad start for Bollywood’s Year 2016!