wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)
An engrossing thriller with the most unlikely duo in the main lead - Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah.Read more
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
Thumbs up, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...a terrific cast of underutilised actors, comprising Jimmy Sheirgill, Aamir Bashir, and especially Anupam Kher... full review
Thumbs up, by Jaya Biswas, Buzz18 : ...As one might be deceived by the promos, A Wednesday, directed by Neeraj Pandey, has nothing to do with the 2006 train explosions, and is not another Mumbai Meri Jaan... full review
Thumbs up, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...Though you are unremittingly glued to the screen throughout its runtime, it’s the superlatively intelligent pre-climax that catches you unaware... full review
Thumbs up, by Amrita, Indiequill : ...This is perhaps because it is not a message movie, as much as it is a watercooler movie - the kind that makes you think rather than handing you an instruction manual.... full review
Thumbs up, by Phoenixnu, Passion for Cinema : ...where is he hiding ? or is he already busy signing multi film deals ? Because A Wednesday is one of the best debuts of this year and a must watch! ... full review
Thumbs up, by Joxily John, Planet Bollywood : ...Anupam Kher. Despite all those silly inane roles that have plagued this mans filmography, some rare roles like this give us an insight into this actor’s worth.... full review
So-So, by Jahan Bakshi, Now Running.com : ...So even while I find myself complaining and cribbing about the film's lack of significant depth, A Wednesday does make an eminently watchable film ... full review
So-So, by Subhash K Jha, Now Running.com : ...Cleverly the narration manoeuvres all the physical action away from the two aging protagonists to a couple of hot-blooded young cops played effectively by Jimmy Shergill and Aamir Bashir... full review
So-So, by Pavan Jha, Passion for Cinema : ...I am happy that it ended in 95 minutes and saved a lot of time specially on the nonsense it could have been if it had been a full length feature in terms of our average movie length... full review
Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, Mumbai Mirror : ...I suspect the larger problem with the picture is not as much with its point, as that we need unsubtly find one, and be disappointed by it.... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
A police officer narrates the most interesting case of his life a day before he is going to retire.