Friday, January 08, 2016

Review: WAZIR


1.5 stars

Mini Review:

What starts out as a taut, beautifully shot thriller nosedives in the second half with explanation after terrible explanation about what a 'pyada' does and an 'oont' and the 'haathi', 'raja' and 'wazir' do. But the relentless chess cliches won't let you catch a nap because you are also being mauled by an annoying 'maula, maula, rab, ishq, maula, maula' song that intrudes again and again and again...

Main Review:

It's annoying when the filmmakers treat their audience as if they were morons.

Dialog: 'Pyada kamzor hota hai'
Show Amitabh Bachchan's legs cut off at knees.

Dialog: 'Haathi waise toh Seedha chalta hai, lekin chhedo toh mast ho jaata hai, paagal ho jaata hai'
Show: Farhan Akhtar losing it.

Dialog: 'Dheere dheere chal kar pyada Wazir bhi ban jaata hai'
Show Amitabh Bachchan laughing in glee

Such horrific cliches give away the plot. But if you do not get it, it is not your fault. There is that annoying caterwauling called 'sufi' song that threatens to deafen you by appearing in every scene, no matter what the content of the scene is. 

Hero killing someone? Let the generic Arijit Singh voice wail, 'Maula, maula!'
Heroine crying? Same irritating lyrics of 'Maula', 'Rab'. 'Ishq', 'Junoon'...
Amitabh Bachchan emoting? That's where you insert even louder wails of inane Urdu lyrics that might as well be local train announcements. 

The relentlessness of the background score makes you want to turn to violence. Maybe that is why Farhan Akhtar is shown to be so trigger happy in the film. If that music was being played during the shoot, it is a miracle the actors did not use real bullets.

The action does get hilarious when Neil Nitin Mukesh shows up in leather and surgical gloves to push legless Amitabh Bachchan off his wheelchair (gasp!), when Superintendent of Police John Abraham (bless his biceps!) shows up to shoot policemen in the pretext of 'holding off the action'...

But everything is forgiven because Amitabh Bachchan in his Lear like avatar as Pandit Omkarnath Dhar can make you laugh and can make you cry. His voice may have no equal today, but boy, can he act!

ATS officer Danish Ali (Farhan Akhtar) is a good foil for this master and his 'I'm holding my breath to emote seething anger' is all right I suppose. His story is beautifully shown: love and marriage and baby and violence that leads to estrangement. His growing friendship with Panditji over chess (yes, yes, the dreaded cliche board!) is shown very, very well.

This is the first half. So good you think the movie is going to be amazing. Alas, Not even Aditi Roy Hydari's saucer eyes brimming with reproach and tears, Manav Kaul's viciousness, or a brief appearance by John Abraham's biceps can save the movie. WaZZZZZZir tries hard. Stays average. Tiresome even.  

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