Review - A Wednesday: A no-frills, engaging thriller

wogma rating: Buy the DVD already (?)
quick review:

An engrossing thriller with the most unlikely duo in the main lead - Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah.

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Wogma Review

A city under seize. 5 bombs threatening to go off. The administration, in turn, turning all its resources up-side-down. We've seen this and a lot more in Hollywood. But, when you take this basic plot, add some very basic action to it, cast the most wonderful cast you could have, you have me arrested - not wanting to blink once.

I like to observe how the titles of a movie are done, because in a way, it’s a measure of how much respect the decision makers have for their crew. Many a time there's so much noise and glitter during the titles that you are forced to not read the opening credits. So, when half of A Wednesday's titles are plain white text on black background with zero sound, I am hooked.

There's one scene where the person threatening to set-off bombs is very close to being caught. At that point, I was wondering how cool it'd be if he's actually caught at this point, wonder how the story will move on. And at the very same time, I was sincerely hoping that he escapes. Just in case, his capture would mean that the movie is close to its end. I hadn't even realized that it's not even interval yet, that's how much I was enjoying the thrill and the build-up.

While introducing its characters to us, A Wednesday also takes digs at the influence of "stars" in our film industry, gender bias in our society, "creation" of news by our media, and the general attitude of our law and order officials. Along the way, it comments on the impotency of our law enforcement department (though, it was refreshing to see a room full of committed police officers). And as a final bang, very smartly, the plot uses the same impotency to make right right.

Just less than 24 hours ago, I was applauding a director's effort to give Anupam Kher a non-loud, meaningful role. And here we have a movie which has him as the protagonist. Sure, it doesn't require him to go through the whole range of expressions an actor - particularly this one - is capable of. But what it gives him back is our - his audience's - respect. What can I say about Naseeruddin Shah - I was just left speechless by his character's confidence and angst, whether ill-placed or not. Even though, thrillers are not necessarily the best genre to display acting prowess.

Anupam Kher and Jimmy Shergill are what I call the soft faces in the film fraternity. However, stern their characters, you expect them to soften up sooner or later. But they have such strong attitudes here, that when you see Anupam Kher and even Jimmy beat someone up, you don't question it. Both the writing and the performances complement each other.

The smaller side characters also have their charm. Like, the young self-made hacker was cute. Yep! I actually found a geek adorable. Speaking of which, except for the amusing graphics on the screen, the other technical talk didn’t sound like mumbo-jumbo.

The melodramatic background score used to create suspense and the overdramatic slo-mo stylization of Naseeruddin Shah's character are about the only things that irritated me. From the tone of the movie otherwise, especially the muted titles, I got the feel that this excessive drama was not based on creative decisions from the heart but the director resorted to them because he was supposed to. Surprisingly though, the speech in the climax didn't get tiringly preachy. That's mostly because the motivations sounded novel yet believable.

Anupam Kher and Naseerudin Shah - truly a pleasure to see you on the screen together, sirs! That too in a thriller...

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A good amount of rather brash fist fights.
  • Sexual content: None
  • Concept: It's about the need to deal with terrorism and provides one rather shocking, ethically-questionable solution.

A Wednesday - Movie Details

A Wednesday - Trailer

Comments (15)

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Gaurav Suryavanshi:

Interesting review. Thanks.
Here's what I have to say about this movie,..
http://www.gauravs.com/movie-review/a-wednesday

satish:

hi meetu,
nice review, I really like the movie, Infact I do make it a point to have a dekko at your review before watching a movie.

A suggestion : Can you create a enhancement to your scribblepad/notepad section on each movies where readers can add to your observations.

cheers

meetu:

Thanks satish! That's a good idea, let me see if it's technically possible.

Veresh:

Nice movie , wish more such movies are made in bollywood . Naseeruddin and Anupam are two masters of acting.

Shantanu:

Dear Meetu,

I have been reading WOGMA(and referring it to people since a long time..) and this might be the first time I am commenting on one of your reviews..

I love movies.. watching them.. and occasionally making a short one too... and A Wednesday was one of those movies that I wait for... movies like Khuda Ke Liye, Mithya, Khosla Ka Ghosla... movies which don't have big budget production houses.. and which don't have the 'I-don't-give-a-damn-about-the-character' actors..

But I found it quite disappointing...

I agree that 'brave' movies like these have to be lauded... the fact that such movies and directors find support in multiplex audiences and production banners is appreciable.. but I believe that just because a movie is brave.. doesn't make it a good movie...

The movie has too many cliches... a room full of techies who turn together on hearing a phone call... a young hacker talking to his girlfriend in front of the SP..(not to forget the false accent..)... A cop who beats another cop but the media doesn't arrive(when you show that the media is sick... how can you overlook this..)...
The intelligence people are busy changing wallpapers and refreshing their desktops..(whatever happened to details..)..

The second half of the movie is speedy.. and the supporting actors(the cop who wrote Nasir's FIR.. the Muslim don...The minister...) are all good..

Naseer is the best part of the movie... his acting.. his voice.. his lines.. are just perfect... (I remember cursing Khuda ke liye for its shoddy supporting actors and flaws in the script.. till Naseer appeared on screen and his speech that gave goosebumps..) His is one role that is perfect in this movie...

But I believe Anupam Kher overdid his part... some parts of the movie are simply unbearable.. there are sharp cuts... when Anupam shouts at his two commandos.. it makes a sorry scene rather than a stong one..(my personal opinion..)...

On the whole I believe.. A Wednesday was a nice movie.. must watch.. but lets not overlook its flaws...

And yeah...

Keep up the good work...

(I used to write short reviews for some time on one of our sites.. http://www.themovieanalyst.com... but I read your reviews to neutralize my opinion on any flick...)

Ajay:

Its definitely a fresh take on the subject which has been in many movies off late. I thought the movie was desperate in some places (like forcing us to think Naseer is the head honcho), but for that, its definitely a nice watch for a multiplex movie goer.

meetu:

Thanks Shantanu. For your compliments and you detailed thoughts on the movie. I'm sorry, I didn't understand - "I read your reviews to neutralize my opinion on any flick…" this mean...Please elaborate :)

meetu:

Fixed, Vimal. Thanks for pointing it out. It was a technical glitch, all 'See Full Review' were broken :(

Mr.Inkenti:

Hi,

You linked my Weblog's reviews to this page before. It took me a while to watch this film, but i watched it and reviewed. Visit the blog if you would like to link it here.

thanks. great work! keep it up!

meetu:

Hey Prashant, not necessarily all good films are master pieces. They are good films. We can keep arguing about the things we disagree on, but its just a point of view. This time we agree on some and differ on other details.

Shantanu:

Hi Meetu,

I used to write for this movie review site started by one of my friends.. http://www.themovieanalyst.com
And as is.. I am very passionate about movies... especially the offbeat ones... and so am often biased.. so before writing reviews for that site I used to read your reviews and IMDB user comments to neutralize whatever bias I have for a movie.. :D

And I think I agree with Prashant... while we must applaud the movie for its originality.. we must not call it a masterpiece if it has flaws... it is doing injustice to movies which deserve to be called masterpieces.. something like 'Pather Panchali' or 'Pyasa' or 'Satya' or 'Saaransh'....

This movie could have been taken to a different plane altogether had the director been wise enough to make this movie taut..

That is the reason perhaps why everybody is debating over how many stars this movie must get...

Anyway, as you and Sakshi believe.. To Each His Own... :D

Take care and keep churning out the reviews...

p.s.: Can we have more English reviews...? I came here looking for some of them and didn't find any.. :)

meetu:

@shantanu, why would you want to neutralize your opinion? Sharp and articulate opinions is what we need.

And I did not call the movie a masterpiece. A masterpiece anyway is a time bound tag anyway, only after a movie/piece of art has lived long enough in its audience's memories can it be termed a masterpiece.

Do you not believe in 'to each his own'? If so, I'm very interested in knowing why.

Like Anand pointed out, guest reviewers do review English movies every once in a while. Check them out here - http://withoutgivingthemovieaway.com/main/category/hollywood/

meetu:

This is more about an idea, a 'what if' rather than the believability of it happening. Goodness, I hope its nowhere close to reality.

Giftsomeone:

I think the movie is one of the best I have ever seen...it is simple but carries a great concept behind it.Naserruddin Shah..enacted the role of a "common man" very well.

JJ:

A film that respects its audience

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