A popular novelist Vikram Sethi (Sidharth Malhotra) is being charged of a double murder of his wife Katherine (Kimberly Louisa McBeath) and a lawyer Shekhar Sinha (Samir Sharma) whose house he had apparently barged into by force as accussed by his wife Maya (Sonakshi Sinha) who was at home all alone at that time.
Did Vikram really carry out these murders? Or is he being drawn into some sort of trap?
Positive Points: –
- Ittefaq is engaging as hell! Smartly wrapped up in an acceptable runtime, it keeps you on your toes in spite of being severely flawed.
- Akshay Khanna’s standing-ovation-worthy performance.
- The trick of making films like Ittefaq is to identify certain elements on which the film stands. In other words, audience doesn’t look for logic in the movie as a whole, rather in jigaw puzzle like pieces which should join up to form a convincing story. This one trait keeps Ittefaq a bit ahead of its logical ambiguities.
Negative Points: –
- If you sit down with a pen and paper in the theatre and start jotting down all the flaws and plot holes in this film, you would have more than enough points to write a lengthy article. My fingers actually itch to mention all of them here but in order to prevent myself from leaking any spoilers, I would refrain from elucidating these fallacies. However, I will be alluding briefly about them in the next section.
- Abhay Chopra’s direction is actually substandard in this film and so is the writing.
Direction, Script & Other Technicalities: –
Okay! Let’s first appreciate Abhay Chopra for maintaining the intriguing nature of the film and managing to make things convincing, albeit superficially. But it’s important to note that one would be inspired to note down minute details in such murder mysteries and that gives away Chopra’s amateurish approach in handling his work. A simple example can be the attitude of the policemen towards the convict. The police barge into Maya’s house and finds Dev with a dead body but no one even points a gun at him! Even when the flashbacks of the stories 9that the suspects narrate) are shown, there are lots of directional flaws viz. Maya not escaping when the maidservant comes, her not shouting for help in the hall or trying to run away, Vikram leaving Maya unattended when the news about him flash, etc. It gets even more apparent towards the climax but as I mentioned before, Chopra knew how to play well with the elements of suspense and mystery which proved beneficial for him (and for us too!).
The screenplay by Chopra has its share of highs and lows and I have kinda mixed feelings for it. I have to admit that I liked and infact loved certain portions of it, all of them involved Akshay Khanna ofcourse, and the manner in which the plot unfolds is great. But it loses focus after a certain point and the recklessness in the scripting opens up. You see, Vikram is accused of a double murder but until the second half the police seldom investigate or question him regarding Katherine’s death. There are particular moments in the movie which aren’t related to the plotline and are meant for fun, but their fun factor is almost zero and their presence in the feature itself is questionable. Last but not the least was a botched up climax which in order to beguile the audience, actually messed up a seemingly better ending.
Tanishk Bagchi’s background music is superb and complements the tension created in the flick. The film is devoid of any songs in its runtime just like its original film and that’s a canny move. Michal Luka’s cinematography and Nitin Baid’s editing are also pretty good.
Akshay Khanna is the real star and the MVP of the movie. He steals the show right from under the nose of Malhotra and Sinha and his eyes are enough to express the anguish and sternness his character possesses. It seems that the upcoming award season’s will discern a tough competition for the Best Supporting Actor award.
Sidharth Malhotra is surprisingly good and this is his second best performance after Ek Villain.
Sonakshi Sinha doesn’t get much screen space like Khanna and Malhotra but she does her job pretty well within her character’s limits.
I don’t know the name (and I’m really sorry for that) of the actor who plays the role of the talkative constable but I need to mention that he was excellent in his avatar and was the second best thing in this film after Khanna.
Final Verdict: –
Ittefaq is pervaded by a plethora of flaws which are even ridiculous if observed properly. It’s a kind of a film which demands constant attention and if you are attentive enough, you will grasp these mistakes easily. But an intriguing premise, wonderful performances and certain intelligent elements might help the general audience to ignore these glitches and enjoy the flick.