wazirLife is the biggest illusion of all times. Hindus believe that this world is merely a playground where we all mortals are undergoing hardship-training to get prepared for an afterlife called death. What is that afterlife like no one has a clue. However, going by experiential knowledge, it cannot  be worse than what we are going through right now while we are still ‘alive’.  The moot question here is, are we actually living, though clinically speaking, we are breathing in and out without any internal or external hindrance?

Perhaps, for some, the answer is yes and for others, it is no. Those who have a pessimistic view may have reasons to harbour cynicism. Those who always see rainbows at the end of a deluge are the ever optimistic survivors born to conquer the ills and blaze the trail.

For me, life has always been a dilemma between right and wrong, between ease and unease, between righteousness and self-indulgence. Do I follow this path or the other? Is it correct to do it this way or that way? Am I choosing the easy get-a-way over a difficult course of action? Am I always to be in such a state of indecisiveness and self-castigation? Do I always have to repeat the mistakes from which I never seem to learn lessons and move on?

It is obvious that the answers are not always a strict affirmative or non-affirmative. It never is and never will be. The only wise action, in all situation, is to tight rope walk on thin lines of correctness and incorrectness, right and wrong, ease and unease, conviction and compromise before the demarcates get blurred unalterably, making it absolutely impossible to leap backwards, erase one’s faulty footsteps and start afresh.

What makes life so hazardous, so problematic, so confoundingly chaotic? Is it our unwise decisions born out of foolish impulses? Or the drive to fulfill those ever-niggling ambitions which are not to materialize anyhow? And what happens when our dreams deceive us day and night? It is then that we take recourse to willful engineering and devious maneuvering. We wish not only to will the course of life but also the people that we are associated with or around us. We, use them as pawns in our game of ulterior motives, seldom realizing that in doing so, we ourselves become pawns in the larger game of this cosmos.

No! You are wrong. No calamitous event has despaired me. No catastrophe in my uneventful life has instigated such philosophical ruminations. No disaster has made me distraught enough to conclude that life is nothing but a hopeless mirage. No! Life, in the final analysis, is not a mirage, but an overpowering mind game. A mind game which distracts as much as it stimulates, baffles as much as it motivates, checkmates as much as it stalemates…..

These are the thoughts which nibbled and nagged me as I sat on the edge of my seat watching Pandit Onkarnath Dhar (Amitabh Bacchan) consistently manipulate ATS Officer, Danish Ali (Farhan Akhtar), in the most engaging manner, in the name of friendship, the gripping drama made all the more riveting, by the spellbinding performances of both the stalwarts. Coupled with that, the tight script, the taut direction and excellent execution of an unusual story-line made “Wazir“, a fascinating experience.

Danish Ali loses his daughter, Noorie, in a sudden encounter with a wanted terrorist named Rameez. Ruhana (Aditi Rao Hydari), Danish’s wife, blames him for their daughter’s untimely death. A broken Danish takes revenge by killing Rameez in the midst of a well-planned encounter to capture the culprit live to get him to reveal the name of the politician he has secret alliance with. The ATS top brass feels that Danish has bungled the entire operation beyond redemption. He is suspended and is about to commit suicide when life takes an unexpected turn.

Danish meets Pandit Onkar Nath Dhar, an ace chess-instructor a dauntless survivor of life’s Tsunami, abandoned on the shore of his last inning, confined to wheel chair yet bubbling with the spirit to fight back. Danish, needless to say, is irresistibly drawn to this enigmatic man, who on one hand mentors him to come to terms with his grief, and on the other, systematically eggs him to investigate his daughter, Nina’s death, who had supposedly died of a fall in Yezad Qureshi (Manav Kaul), the Welfare Minister’s residence where she would pay regular visits to teach Roohi, the Minister’s daughter, the game of chess.

Danish’s purposeless life now finds an anchor in Panditji’s relentless strife for justice. But does Danish know that unwittingly enough he is being drawn into a death-defying plotting of  intricate conspiracy, wherein he is just a pawn in the game, like so many of his ilk, in the hands of a mysterious, faceless and nameless vizier?

A little far-fetched, a little over-the-top, a little inconsistent, nonetheless, engrossing, intriguing, incredibly fresh, Wazir, in a span of one hundred and four minutes, captivates the mind of the audience in a puzzling game of well thought of moves and retreats. The whirlwind narrative is, indeed, essential to the plot. It takes time for the viewers to grapple with the speed with which the frames shift from one plane to the other. Perhaps a little more time should have been given to the characters to develop and the sequences to unfold rather lucidly. Having said that, one cannot blame an expert like Bejoy Nambiar, for not letting even a slip of a moment for the spectators’ grip to loosen or gaze to falter from the screen.

The implausible account has been made unbelievably believable by the stupendous acting prowess of not only the veterans but also the equally newer talents. Manav Kaul is an on-screen power to reckon with! Big B steals the show. Akhtar Junior is not far behind. Hindi Cinema is coming of age. Movies like Wazir are burning examples of revenue grossing mainstream films with uncommon themes. It is not only the screen play or the enactment but the overall treatment, composition of frames and interesting and intelligent usage of background score that notch up the cinematic build up and story-telling to greater heights. It is also refreshing to note how infrequently and peripherally flash backs have been used to recreate the past. Big B’s recitation in place of a voice-over is a superlative directorial experimentation.  At the same time,  it would have been more effective if the reliance on lyrics for conveyance of emotional upsurge or turmoil could have been minimized.

We Indians, have been, from our very childhood fed with the staple diet of the Good ultimately emerging victorious over the Evil, however powerful that be. Thus, our psyche is attuned to this nuance to such a massive extent that anything which is opposite or not exactly in sync with the notion is a defeatist’s pogrom, and thus, arguably undervalued.

Throughout the narrative, the implausibility of the story, however elating that be, strikes as ridiculous.  The amount of money poured into the making of a Bollywood venture foretells its debacle. The total lack of concern for sourcing funds manifests the weakness in the script. In the entire game-plan, the audience is left in the dark how Yezad Qureshi, once a Pashmina weaver comes to walk the corridors of power, how a physically handicapped octogenarian Onkarnath Dhar finances an elaborate game-plan and how a suspended ATS Officer manages to garner enough infrastructural back-up and support to stage a total wipe-off on a massive terrorist group singlehandedly.

So, again coming back to reality …..The hapless pawn becoming the victorious vizier is indeed a challenging win-over. But how many of us get the opportunity of a life-time to turn the table on our stunned opponent by our mind-boggling moves? How many of us eventually witness poetic justice, or rather, make it happen? How many of us graduate from being an exhausted pawn to an exhilarated vizier, in one’s life span?

Point to be noted Mr. Vidhu Vinod Chopra…. !!!

But again a game of chess is a patrician’s prerogative and not a plebeian’s privilege, isn’t it?

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About gc1963

A working woman with interests in reading, writing, music, poetry and fine arts.

19 responses »

  1. What a review! I was going to watch Wazir anyway, being a die-hard Amitabh fan, and this review enticed me further!

    BTW, thanks for introducing me to Mr Mehta’s blog. I’ve become fan of it and follow it. He has got a great taste!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Alok Singhal says:

    I gotta watch this Wazir now, I don’t think much anyway on how things progress – it’s just a source of entertainment for me.

    Have a great week ahead!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. jmathur says:

    Geeta Ji,

    So you have watched Wazir and gave your admirers another opportunity to have a dose of your philosophical thoughts in the form of a movie review. I agree to everything asserted by you in your analysis including the final lines apparently addressed to the filmmaker but (perhaps) actually being something like self-talk or loud thinking. I am also willing to turn tables on my stunned adversaries and make poetic justice happen but such things that appear to be possible in the reel life are seldom possible in the real life (especially of people like us).

    If I have to add something to your review from my side, I will simply assert that using someone for own interest in the name of friendship cannot be justified even if it is labelled as tutoring a friend to smile. This movie is another example that grinding own axe can also be labelled as benevolence. Using your friend as a pawn on the chessboard of your revenge-seeking gameplan can be anything but true friendship. But we, the Indians (or the human-beings in general), have mastered the art of justifying anything and everything done by us.

    More than the movie, it’s your review which has floored me.

    Regards.

    Jitendra Mathur

    Liked by 1 person

    • gc1963 says:

      Absolutely. You’ve elaborated on my thought when I said Panditji consistently manipulated Danish Ali in the name of friendship. Yaari, a beautifully composed song, is a misnomer, which along with the promo dragged me and many others to the PVR. Yet life is a big give and take too and label it what may you it is a changeless fact.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Another wonderful review from you 🙂 Whatever you write, you write with an impeccable dexterity, but I especially like your film reviews. They are one of a kind…. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hummingwords says:

    First of all, I really want to say that this is one of the best reviews I have read yet. It is so amazingly well written that I am tempted to watch this movie now!
    Farhan is one of the most talented actors we have however, I have no liking for Aditi rao but still for the chemistry of Farhan and Mr. Bacchan, I am surely going to watch this one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Maliny Mohan says:

    I confess that I learnt a couple of new words today. I cannot complain:)
    I haven’t watched the movie. I remember saying to my sis-in-law that Hindi movies, these days, should be either off beat or an epic one to be interesting. I loved Bajirao Mastani. I loved Ugly. I never watch Hindi movies for funnow . Most of the present day movies end up leaving me a splitting headache.
    Your review reads so professional. I particularly loved the rumination in the beginning. The writing is, as always, impeccably beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gc1963 says:

      Thanks Maliny for your beautiful and encouraging comment. Yes, Hindi movies are coming up with off beat themes which are being well received by the viewers. Now, they cannot blame it on the audience …which was customary for them to do when they subscribed to run-of-the-mill formulae.

      Like

  7. Nice to read your POV on wazir, I have seen the movie. Of course the performances of AB Sr and Akhtar Jr were riveting, however I felt that the some portions in the husband wife relationship could have been shorter. Btw have you seen Airlift? If you haven’t, pls do. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amit Agarwal says:

    A great review indeed…can’t wait to watch Wazir after reading it…

    Liked by 1 person

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