Ittefaq is in theaters this Friday. For those who aren’t very enthusiastic about catching Marvel’s latest, ‘Thor’, your Bollywood option is this
IttefaqAn average movie with a tight twist at the end
Ittefaq is in theaters this Friday. For those who aren’t very enthusiastic about catching Marvel’s latest, ‘Thor’, your Bollywood option is this Sidharth-Sonakshi starrer. The film is written and directed by Abhay Chopra (nephew of Yash Chopra), and is produced by Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment. Ittefaq is a double-murder, crime-thriller and tells us a story of coincidence in crime. Movie buffs will try and draw parallels to the 1969 Rajesh Khanna starrer of the same name (which will be a fruitful exercise). The film is direct, gets straight to the point from the very beginning and never falls prey to unnecessary melodrama. There are no song sequences, and no stereotypical chor-police action sequences (we’re glad). It is meant for a pensive audience with their head above their hearts. That said, is Ittefaq your kind of movie? Read on.
First, let’s meet the actors:
Sidharth Malhotra as Vikram Sethi
Akshay Khanna as Inspector Dev
Sonakshi Sinha as Maya
Ittefaq never dwells on unnecessary detail. It begins with a high-octane car chase and ends on a surprising note. The screenplay is slow and subtle (more Agatha Christie than Alfred Hitchcock), and takes it’s time to establish a false confidence in the audience. By the end of the interval, you will not have your heart in your hands, because you will be fooled into predicting the most obvious outcome to the second half. The characters are weaved around a double murder crime. Both our suspects, Sidharth and Sonakshi tell the officer (Akshay Khanna), their versions of the events that transpired on the day of the crime. Their contradicting stories, give the sharp detective enough reason to be baffled. Whodunnit, remains the theme until the very last 20 minutes of the movie.
Sidharth Malhotra, Karan Johar and Red Chillies’s new blue-eyed boy is evolving as an actor with every film. He plays Vikram Sethi, a crime novelist caught in a real-life crime mystery. He is charged with murder and has only a vague story to protect himself. Everytime he pleads innocent and everytime he struggles in the police station, absolutely destitute, he manages to make the tears and the dried blood work in his favour. He also wears his good looks efficiently throughout the film. The only issue is, that he played the stereotypical victim well, but could not play Vikram Sethi with the same conviction. Despite his efficient acting (efficient being the key-word here), you will not find yourself rooting for, or scorning at his character.
Sonakshi Sinha plays the dubious wife of the murdered husband. Her intentions remain unclear, yet her make-up is flawless. Sonakshi Sinha’s eyebrows are more tight than the film’s storyline (It frankly is a little distracting). Even though her role was ‘meaty’, to say the least, she couldn’t bring any life to her character. It was a disappointing performance.
Akshay Khanna plays the no-nonsense police officer with his usual vigour. He shouts at his sub-ordinates, cracks wry one-liners and wears a tight-white shirt with aviators and a moustache. Much of the film relied on his charisma, and he did play his part well. Right from rebuking the suspects appropriately, to creating the necessary humor.
The issues with Ittefaq are, that the story was way too simple for a millenial to watch. The same story that worked for the patient audience of 1969 cannot be fed to the fast-forward generation of 2017. Additionally, the performances were efficient, but not phenomenal. A film such as Ittefaq requires it’s performances to be exceptional, lest the film loses steam quickly. Not once will you feel any emotion for either of the main characters. Which ofcourse, is not a compliment to them.
In summary, it’s a good one-time watch. Ittefaq will not feel like a waste of time, but will not have you amazed and perplexed, simply surprised at the very end. The direction and screenplay are very well done. The script could have been modified enough to make it slightly more palatable to a twenty-first century crowd. The background score is amateurish, but not obtrusive. Ittefaq is a merry-go-round in a world of roller-coaster suspense-thrillers. A tight screenplay based on an archaic story-line, let down by average performances, but salvaged by good direction. You could wait for this one to reach your TV screens. I give it 3/5.
You will like this film if: You love mystery films as a rule
You will dislike this film if: You don’t watch films in the theater unless they are blockbuster material
Best performance: Akshay Khanna