November 3, 2017

Review: ITTEFAQ

Written by

Ittefaaaaaaaak!


2 stars


Mini Review:


A remake of the 1969 film of the same name which was a remake of the 1965 Joanne Woodward film Signpost to Murder. Akshaye Khanna is a policeman who has to solve two murders over the long weekend. The case is that of a high profile writer who has killed his wife and then he kills a stranger after he escapes police custody. If the lead actors: Sidharth Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha weren’t so passionless in trying hard to be mysterious, this film could have been less painful to watch.


Main Review:

Suspense Has Deadline! And They’re Trying To Be Stylish!

There’s a gigantic flaw in the film which no one saw when trying to make a suspenseful film: No cop will ever leave an interrogation halfway and go home. Especially when the boss has asked you to solve the case of a double murder over the weekend. Cops can be relentless. They ask you questions and ask you questions until you break down.

The interrogation technique here looks like they’re trying too hard with the style quotient when they try telling the tale in the ‘his version vs. her version’… Rashomon was made in 1950… Ab bas karo!

Akshaye Khanna Steals The Film!


In this film, Akshaye Khanna (Plays Dev) talks to the murder suspect in a rather civil fashion (no Indian cop ever loses a chance to hit the suspects, if cinema tradition is to be believed). Yes, there is sarcasm, and Akshaye Khanna manages to convince us that is right for the role. In fact, that he is the best part of the film. He is stern with the subordinates and the fun he has with the constable Shinde and other cops makes the movie worthwhile.


‘Just because the crime scene is a home you thought it was okay to make tea?’ He asks Shinde, a cop who is carrying a tray. Petrified of the boss, he begins to step backwards. Akshaye Khanna steps forward and after a dramatic pause asks, ‘Is there adrak (ginger) in the tea?’ and proceeds to take a cup of tea for himself.

Many such moments give relief from the rest of the story. But then, the cool cop and his ridiculous subordinates act works only that far.

Kahan Hai Rajesh Khanna Aur Uska Hamming? Kahan Hai?

You wish they had polished the stories that the two suspects put forward. Maybe Sidharth Malhotra needs a couple of semesters in acting school because he just isn’t convincing enough. At least Rajesh Khanna hammed himself into being the ‘menacing madman’ role that he essayed in the 1969 version of the film. Yes, Rajesh Khanna hammed and how! But the sad sack writer that Sidharth Malhotra plays here (and he holds that expression through the film, alas!) makes you yearn for the hamming and the madman role Rajesh Khanna played…


Never thought one would have to ever say that hamming is better than playing needlessly morose. At least the ‘madness’ made allowances to the unpredictable behavior that would alarm Nanda in the original film. John Abraham’s critics should now shut up. His ‘one expression’ title should be awarded to this lad. At least John Abraham had his biceps and six-pack abs to distract you…

Kaun Se Angle Se Damsel In Distress?!

Sonakshi Sinha plays the role of Maya, in whose home Sidharth takes shelter after escaping from the cops. There he kills her husband is is finally arrested. Now they want us to feel Maya is not as nice as she is supposed to be. Nanda does the damsel in distress act rather well. Here, Sonakshi Sinha looks like she could kick butt and how! So the shrinking violet role seems to be rather wrong. And why does she behave like a predator? She keeps touching Sidharth so much, you wonder if he’s going to do the ‘bhagwan ke liye mujhe chhod do’ act any moment. Of course this is a suspenseful film, and every character has to act suspicious. So Sonakshi Sinha is shown locking her bedroom door and sneak out a torch from the bar…

That brings us to Chirag. We’ve seen Sonakshi Sinha romantically linked with Salman Khan and Ranveer Singh in the movies. Who would believe she likes Chirag? Chiraag?!
Thank God They Didn’t Call Him Amitav Ghosh!

Sidharth Malhotra is nice looking, but I doubt he could have pulled a Bengali New York accent. So you roll your eyes and think of this lad’s song: Faiz wala love and forgive the writers the name they pile on Sidharth Malhotra! They call him Vikram Sethi.

Many Sighs Later…

So back to the original flaw: Despite the urgency, Akshaye Khanna lets the suspect tell his story in bits and then her story in parts… And you actually want to enter the dull grey walled artistically lit police station and tell Dev, please don’t go without asking Vikram Sethi why he was so disorientated when they showed up in Maya’s house. You also want to ask the cops to pick up the littered papers… They could be clues…


And yes, this could have been a good film. They add a needless twist in the film where an airport scene is added. And they give a lengthy explanation as to why who did what… By this time, you are so bored of the whole thing, you don’t want Akshaye Khanna to say, ‘There’s a bomb on the flight!’ (easiest way to stop a flight these days!) or the movie would have gone on and on and on.   


(a politer version of the review appears on nowrunning dot com)
  

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