Two suspects, two murders, two versions. Debutant director Abhay Chopra brings to us a modern-day reinvention of the 1969 thriller starring Rajesh Khanna and Nanda.
Vikram (Siddharth Malhotra), a novelist from the UK finds himself caught between two murders on one dark night, none of which he admits to committing. Neither does Maya (Sonakshi Sinha) wife of the murdered lawyer. What lies next is discovering of the ‘coincidence’ that brings all of this together.
The story alternates between two intercutting versions of that one night. A(or more) murder weapon, some foot/fingerprints, the timings, we go through the discovering of the usual Bollywood murder case elements. Despite the intriguing premise and the setup of one rainy dark night, the film fails to retain the tension owing to this back and forth in the narrative. Mocking the audience’s intellect, it feeds us with all the information so tediously disintegrated that we have enough time to question all loopholes.The narrative is stretched to three days instead of a one-night tight sequence in the original one.
Considering that the script relies completely on performances, Siddharth’s deadpan expression is mostly a bummer to the intensity his character demands, and this is not one character that can fall back upon his good looks. Sonakshi Sinha on the other hand, is believable, whatever context Maya is placed in, but nothing extraordinary. Good news is Akshay Khanna.
His chic demeanour and inherent cynicism work brilliantly in holding together the loose ends of this otherwise dreary thriller. With a furrowed brow he walks around like the smartest guy in the whole movie and delivers some of the best lines too. The incessant banter between a few police sidekicks makes for well some sprinkled humour as well.
Ittefaq is not a taut thriller. But it is decently paced and well executed for an industry that doesn’t invest much in such no frill whodunits. That said, can wait for a TV premiere.