The trailer of Bejoy Nambiar's 'Wazir' had left me in anticipation as I was quite intrigued by how the pieces of a chess game had been woven into a plot. With bated breath I hopped into the theatre to see what's in store for me and unravelled the story 'khel-khel mein'
Star Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Aditi Rao Hydari, Neil Nitin Mukesh, John Abraham and Manav Kaul
What's new: Two stellar performers- Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar sharing screen space, a game of chess being integral to the story
Popcorn Refill: Interval
Plot: Danish Ali (Farhan Akhtar), an ATS officer, is a happy family man until tragedy strikes one day when he loses his daughter in a terrorist shoot-out. His wife Ruhana (Aditi Rao Hydari) holds him responsible for their daughter's death and thus Danish ends up as a lonely man burdened by the guilt of his own recklessness. Just when he thinks to commit suicide, enter a paraplegic chess master Pandit Omkarnath Dhar (Amitabh Bachchan) who too has fallen prey to the cruel fate of life. The two men bond over their grieving stories, chess and a drinking session. What follows next is a couple of revelations and smart, dangerous moves by a mysterious man named 'Wazir'.
Performance: Amitabh Bachchan as Pandit Omkarnath Dhar leaves behind a long-lasting impression and leaves you stunned! Farhan Akhtar as the tough ATS officer has seamlessly fitted into his role and performed it with brilliance. Unfortunately Aditi Rao Hydari just ends up as a pretty face in her under-written role, barely having few dialogues to mouth. Neil Nitin Mukesh in his limited screen time, scares the daylight out of you with his dark menacing act and kohled eyes. John Abraham does pop up in a few scenes in the name of special appearance but is convincing in his part. Manav Kaul is effective in his role as the Kashmiri politician with skeletons in his cupboard.
Direction: Bejoy Nambiar's 'Wazir' has its moments of thrills but sadly it fails to be gripping enough to have you biting your nails. Blame it on the predictability of the story that pulls down the film by few notches. However the casts' power-packed performances, watertight screenplay and slick editing holds your attention and makes it a crisp flick. Special mention for Abhijat Joshi and Gazal Dhaliwal's sparkling dialogues! The film reminded me of Thomas Huxley's famous saying- "The chessboard is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the Universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature and the player on the other side is hidden from us."
Combo-on-offer: Intense performances + Action
Verdict: In a nutshell it's a case of 'check-mate' a bit early due to its predictable plot. However Panditji and Danish's 'Atrangi Yaari' makes it a memorable watch. We give the film CLAPS for being little 'hatke' in terms of story-telling!