WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
First, the Recap:
The beauty of life when it presents itself to us in rich and glorious ways. The steadiness of its pace, the provision of working hard to provide for family, perhaps the absolute joy of a child who will carry on the legacy. And yet, just as quickly, it can all be shattered and torn from us in violent and sorrowful manner. ATS officer Daanish Ali (Farhan Akhtar) has it all, thanks to a job he excels at, a beautiful wife Ruhana (Aditi Rao Hydari), and the blessing of a young daughter. But a routine day out with his family goes afoul, leading to a disastrous and heartbreaking event that causes deep anguish, desolation, and separation in Daanish & Ruhana’s relationship.
Seeking retribution as the only answer to his tormented soul, Daanish embarks on a dangerous mission to take down the man responsible for his woes. But even in the aftermath, his emptiness within lingers strongly. Only the unexpected, but timely, intervention of a mysterious benefactor, Pandit Omkarnath Dahr (Amitabh Bachchan), prevents further loss. Dahr, a chess master bound to a wheelchair, and Daanish bond in an odd twist of fate that ties their lives together, helping Daanish to heal inwardly and look towards reconciling with Ruhana. However, fate has other immediate plans and soon, the two men find themselves at the heart of a real life “chess match” involving a mutual enemy, hidden secrets being revealed, and an enigmatic figure know only as “Wazir”.
Next, my Mind:
Being the third overall, and second new theatrical, Bollywood film this reviewer has seen, it stands as yet another example of what can be done when a fresher take on a genre is presented, this time thanks to director Bejoy Nambiar and a team of writers headed up by Vikram Chandra and Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Trading non-stop chaos for a deeper, character-driven narrative, the film’s constantly morphing tone and evolving format turns the entire action film concept on its head quite admirably. But don’t let that take away from the fact that there is plenty of excitement and skirmishes depicted to satisfy without it becoming tedious or overbearing. Add to this some fantastically orchestrated twists and reveals along the way–checkmate for the viewer!
This was this reviewer’s first time seeing Akhtar on screen, and it was an excellent experience. Bringing the intimidating physique and action-film chops, yet accompanying it with true heart, soul, and believable pathos, Akhtar’s Daanish is a hero to root for and to feel for. He’s hard and determined when at work, torn to pieces when tragedy strikes, then laser-focused to correct the situation and regain his life. And seeing such a veteran icon in Bachchan as Dahr was an absolute treat, as he portrays the grieving chess master with flash, charisma, humor, and serious tones deftly and as only an actor of his caliber could pull off so easily. The amazingly beautiful Hydari as Ruhana was simply wonderful as well, as she very much embodied the role of a conflicted, bereaved woman.
Also noteworthy is the musical score, which once again enhances the mood of the story, but doesn’t interfere with or overwhelm it. In total, “Wazir” is another Bollywood effort that needs to be seen by more people amongst the American film-going audience, as it demonstrates a difference in execution and styling for action films that sets it apart from typical Hollywood fare.
As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!