The film is directed by Bejoy Nambiar and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra.
Wazir is first major Bollywood release of 2016, which stars Farhan Akhtar and Amitabh Bachchan in the lead roles. Farhan had earlier directed Big B in Lakshya, but this is the first time they are sharing screen together. So will Wazir bring in 2016 with a flourish? The answer, I must say, is not too positive!
What's it about
Danish Ali (Farhan Akhtar) is a grieving ATS officer, after his daughter is killed in a terrorist shootout, thanks to his recklessness. His wife (Aditi Rao Hydari) blames him for the mishap (rightfully so), and he is also suspended from the force after he botches up their operation to catch the terrorist responsible for his daughter's death, alive. He even contemplates suicide, but defers his decision when he has a chance meeting with Panditji (Amitabh Bachchan). Panditji is a genius chess grandmaster, who has lost both his legs as well as his wife in an accident. Danish and Panditji bond over chess, and as their friendship grows, Panditji asks him to investigate the death of his daughter, who is said to have died in a staircase mishap at the Welfare Minister's house. Panditji doesn’t believe it is an accident and feels it’s a murder committed by the minister (Manav Kaul) himself. For the sake of his new friend, Danish decides to unofficially investigate the case, which is closed by the police. As the investigation intensifies, Panditji is attacked by a mysterious assailant called as Wazir, and Danish decides to protect his friend from further attacks. Who is this Wazir? What has he got to do with the Welfare Minister? Will Danish protect Panditji from Wazir? This is what the rest of the film all about…
First things first…the best aspect about the film are the terrific performances by the lead actors. Both Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan are stellar in their roles. Big B is brilliant in the scene where he reminisces about his dead wife, and also in the final scene. Farhan provides perfect foil to his senior costar, and he brings various nuances to his anguished performance. The film is watchable because of these two actors. Aditi Rao Hydari lets her eyes speak a lot, though she is saddled by a weak role. The first half has some tense moments, leading to the introduction of the mysterious Wazir (played by Neil Nitin Mukesh). Though they appear rather frequently and sometimes forced, the songs are pleasant to hear.
A thriller is like a chess game; it’s only fun if the opponent plays some brilliant unpredictable moves. Unfortunately for Wazir, which ironically is based around chess, the script offers very predictable moves, which we can easily guess even if you have half a brain. Not only that, the film even foretells its moves much before it actually makes them (the scene that establishes why Danish meets Panditji, because the latter 'lost' his wallet at the graveyard is the biggest giveaway). Bejoy covers the script’s secrets with a see-thru blanket. Most unforgivable is the way how he treated the Welfare Minister’s character. This was one character that could have been shrouded in mystery, but instead has his cover blown up quite early in the film. The Wazir mystery also, despite the impressive buildup, turns out to be a predictable letdown. The film is filled with convenient loopholes like how a suspended cop manages to use police resources so much like tapping a minister’s phone call, organising nakabandi and also how one particular character manages to hoodwink everyone, despite his limitations. The film also uses flashbacks, either to enlighten audience too much (by showing the same scene twice), or to fool them a la Kahaani. Actually, the film suffers from a hangover of both Kahaani and Talaash (a cop and his estranged wife grieving over their dead child). John Abraham is wasted in an insipid cameo while Neil Nitin Mukesh is…let’s say…like Modi’s Achche Din!
The film doesn’t feel like it’s directed by Bejoy Nambiar, as the film lacks his flair for technical finesse as seen in Shaitan and David.
What to do
Watch the film only for the impressive performances of Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar. However, if you are looking for a good thriller, you might go disappointed!
2.5 out of 5
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