Thursday, March 26, 2009

"A Wednesday" (Language - Hindi) (2008) - Movie Review

“A Wednesday” does not pose an inconspicuous act when the unnamed middle aged man (Naseeruddin Shah) asks the police commissioner Police Rathod (Anupam Kher) to assemble four terrorist in exchange for the location of the bombs he planted in the city of Mumbai. It in its first act has the smug and attitude of a hindi film high on pedestal but it also does not loiter on it too much. If it could have skimmed a little more and maintained its crap free script right from the start, it could very well would have been a solid thriller and of course the need for explanation for the acts in end. The speech is not a message but an outcry from a Mumbai citizen on the shadow of fear the person has to live through.

A simpleton in appearance is this mystery man. He sips his home made coffee at the terrace of an under constructed building. He carries a bag of grocery and promptly gets a call from his wife to get rice pudding. This can be seen as a boast or smirk from another actor but with Naseeruddin Shah we see an average guy in appearance with dangerous motives inside. If the film survives on its best part it is because of this man. While the dialogues are an edge to this when the audience are emotionally sucked in both instinctively and obligatorily, there should not be a spoil sport played by over done acting.

Bollywood with its cheap affairs and Hollywood with its very cheap affairs have made completely aware of the routines by Indian Police, FBI, CIA, RAW and all the security organization in their searching procedures. So if director Neeraj Pandey could have avoided that unnecessary whole nine yard of showing the sniffing dogs and numerous security personnel searching the public places, we would have reached the better ending faster. My admiration for “The Bourne..” series is great but damn that film for showing its team tapping the keyboards to pieces. Damn it for getting the top in the line big screen television and one of a kind cool animation to blow up the terrorists in their cool get up. Damn the Indian films for taking that as the mark of suavity and weigh a film based on number of gadgets used by the characters in the film. But no no, damn the stereotype hacker and the worse characterization to flash the oomph factor. Do they really have to have a very young kid, college drop out, stupid hat, calling babe over the phone and irresponsibility written all over his bad acting necessary for a hacker?

When Jimmy Shergill as the icy cold terrorizing cop Arif Khan is introduced, it did not smell fishy but terribly nauseating for the expected made up one liners. But Pandey had senses in using that characterization to keep him silent most of the time which gives him one point for not fooling around for sleek and style. Then we get an immaculate police force for our commissioner and every one of them do not care about the bomb they are going to dismantle. Apart from doubting their sincerity, they should be scared crazy but they walk in as Captain Vijaykanth in our tamil films ready to kick ass.

Of course I knew the whole plan of our mystery man on bringing the terrorists. But I guess the director knew about audience guessing it too. May be that is the reason he asked the over the top music by Sanjoy Chowdhury to play it down when the supposed suspense is revealed. The best part of the film is the final thirty minutes without any interruption. Even the cliched encounter of one of the terrorist with our Arif Khan made a little sense with the right amount of cinematic element.

The reason “A Wednesday” appeals enormously to every one because of the voice of the citizens coming aloud from a character in the end. The fear is real and mainly as said the fear has become a part of the process to cope upon. I remember when I was in Bangalore last July-August, there were series of bombs all over the city. We cancelled the plans to go out and stay put. The next day after hearing from many people it is fine to come out, we took a ride. It was business as usual. We were not sure whether to be happy about the way city came back to its sense so fast or to be depressingly sad on how well that has become a part of the daily life in a resident. It was a mixed feeling.

Is there a solution to this atrocity and the permanent scare amongst the people? We can blame zillions of ideologies, people, organization, irresponsibility and of course the common people. As in the film “Knowing” the character says “Sh*t Happens”. It is tragic, heartbreaking and unjust. If there is a solution, it would have been in action and visible enough too. “A Wednesday” does not attempt for a solution but a strong emotion coming at the right time in the film. I would have liked to sit and talk with this mystery man a little more, but then again that is what keeps him interesting and empathetic. The best part of this whole deal is when he is honest about his actions and delivers the quintessential answer for the question put forth by Rathod on “for what religion he is doing this”. He replies “I am doing it for myself” and gets away without any selfish and insanity attached to it. That is where “A Wednesday” takes itself seriously and becomes a better film.


Howard Roark said...

If I remember right, Kamal is planning on doing a remake of this movie in tamil. The talk for the other main role is to have Mohanlal. Have not been reading the movie 'gossip' columns for sometime now & so this might have changed!


Ashok said...

Hmm..Sounds interesting but I would like for Kamal to do something original and not go havoc about his "intellectuality" he did in "Dasavatharam" :-P.

vani said...

he did a good job with Kuruthi Punal which is also a hindi remake :)

Ashok said...

Nothing in remake but something like "Hey Ram" is the lines I am talking about. By the way "Kuruthipunal" is a favourite film of mine.