Arshad Warsi in 'Irada'
Director: Aparnaa Singh
Cast: Arshad Warsi, Naseeruddin Shah, Sagarika Ghatge
When the curtains went down on this film, the parting thought was: how does one botch such a fantastic concept? Well, that's where cinematic sensibilities of a filmmaker come into play. Debutante director Aparnaa Singh's intent cannot be questioned and her groundwork on the subject is top-notch. However, the novice, despite all her hardwork, fails to put together an engaging film.
Tackling a fairly simple story, she takes on the plight of people in Punjab reeling under the repercussions of reverse boring in Punjab. After a blast razes a Bhatinda tycoon's factory to the ground, the chief minister (deliciously grey Divya Dutta) orders a fake investigation into the matter. NIA cop Arjun Mishra (Arshad Warsi) is brought on board to bury the matter. The lure of working at the Prime Minister's Office is enticing enough for him to sell his soul. It takes a vengeful father (Naseeruddin Shah), who lost his daughter to cancer, and a grieving woman (Sagarika Ghatge), whose RTI activist-fiancé was killed by the tycoon, to get him to don the 'Singham' cape.
It's an overcrowded plot with facile characters, and lacks both the required energy and depth of the subject. There are too many parallel narratives and Singh's limited directorial skills aren't enough to handle the snags. She spends the entire first hour creating the milieu and setting pace. It is horridly unbearable to sit through a bunch of unrelated scenes, appearing one after the other, that fail to stir an impact. The characters have a tendency of being overtly verbose (what's with the shayari codes, man?). The documentary style of storytelling (diagrams, et al) isn't exactly captivating. The drama of the climax and feeble final shot is, perhaps, the last straw.
You could fault the glowering villain (Sharad Kelkar) for failing to induce any fear. Or even Sagarika's ill written part, as she pops up time and again with no effect. But the infallible duo, Shah and Warsi, not even once hit a wrong note. Their camaraderie is a lot less infectious than what it was in the Ishqiya series. This lacklustre stint only creates anticipation for 'Ishqiya 3'. Full marks to the ambition, but this hotch-potch of a movie is good reminder that compelling movies are made of much more than a hit pair and a good idea.
Watch 'Irada' trailer
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