Abhay Chopra’s “Ittefaq” which means co-incidence comes without any association of the original film by Yash Chopra which was one of the first few Bollywood films without any songs starring the Superstar Rajesh Khanna. And the last memorable film dwelling with multiple facets of a murder is no doubt the solid “Talvar” (2015). Is Ittefaq worth the ‘no promotions’ created by the makers? Certainly.
Vikram Sethi (Sidharth Malhotra), a novelist is charged double murder- his wife Catherine and the husband of Maya (Sonakshi Sinha). Police Officer Dev (Akshaye Khanna) seeks out the truth from the two-faced stories of Vikram and Maya. 2 Murders, 2 Suspects, 2 Versions and 1 Truth. I must say, after a long time a mainstream Bollywood film dwelled into the realms of darkness and that too, Mumbai. When was the last time you saw Mumbai with its grey shade? Raman Raghav 2.0, probably.
It’s all wet, damp walls, flickering lights while the incidents take place a night in the suburban of Mumbai. The film comes across as quite exciting, engaging and well-paced until everything starts falling into place in the second half. As Dev wipes out the dirt from his shoes and later steps into a mud amidst the rain, the film puddles itself into the dirt of cinematic usage. After a certain point, the film felt unnecessary and became conveniently tedious. Nevertheless, writers Abhay Chopra, Shreyas Jain and Nikhil Mehrotra engage with a tight yet clumsy screenplay.
It’s a in-your-face murder mystery thriller with all the mystery present in front of you the whole time but Director Abhay Chopra cautiously handles it well. Evident in the character building, the raging climax and mystery will cleverly knock you. But it didn’t quite surprise me. Expect an engaging, an exciting and a thrilling ride for 100 minutes. “Co-incidentally” it ravels slowly is the major drawback but I found my leg tapping while it accelerated forward.
Cinematographer Michal Luka shoots rainy Mumbai with low-lighting brilliantly, most of the thrill is due to the phenomenal cinematography and crisp editing by Nitin Baid. The melodrama is within the limits, dark humor sparkles while darkness hovers around ‘co-incidence’ which didn’t quite satisfy my film-engaged appetite with the closure.
Major drawback is the lead performances, a thriller like this should have been crowned by its stellar performances from the actors- but here, Sidharth Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha appear as plastic dolls and they never escalate themselves into the characters of Vikram and Maya. I HAD to settle for them but thanks to the riveting and enthralling performance of Akshaye Khanna which sorted the performance issues. While the supporting cast lends an excellent support.
It’s not a perfect thriller, it is clumsy but nevertheless an exciting one where we are put in the middle of car chase right in first shot, as the cars accelerate: Abhay Chopra’s handling of the murder mystery thriller cleverly escalates.
Release: 3 November, 2017
Director: Abhay Chopra
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