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A Wednesday

September 8, 2008


Title: A Wednesday

Language: Hindi
Year of Release: 2008

Director:
Neeraj Pandey
Actors: Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah, Jimmy Shergill and others…
Verdict: ****1/2 ( Must Watch!!!)

There is a Chinese proverb which says “星星之火可以燎原” (it means…”A spark can start a fire that burns the entire prairie.”) Quite similar to the “Butterfly Effect” which says that “A butterfly beating it wings in America can start a hurricane in China.” The reason why I quote this has got a lot to do with this spellbinding movie I saw on Sunday titled “A Wednesday”.

“A Wednesday” is the story about a police commissioner and his tryst with an anonymous caller on a Wednesday. The caller has no name, he can’t be traced, there are no records of him…almost a phantom like figure. He demands the release of 4 dreaded terrorists in exchange for information on the locations where bombs are planted across Mumbai. To give a jist of how serious the demands and consequences (if demands are not met), the caller informs the commisioner about the bomb which he had planted in a Police Station right opposite the Commissioner’s office. When the bomb squad does infact find six kilos of RDX, the entire team realises the gravity of situation and are on tenterhooks every moment. The commissioner who sees a clear picture of the vulnerability of the situation convinces the Chief Minister and others that the release of these terrorists is in the best interest of the denizens of the city. And dancing to the caller’s tunes he sends his best men to finish the job which he’s been told to. What follows is a edge of the seat thriller which is both compelling as well as thought-provoking turn of events leaving a definite mark in your heart of having seen a genuinely brilliant movie.

I find it hard not to use some superlatives for this flick, because it’s among the rarest and the first of many things. If my memory doesn’t fail me, Hindi movies over the past several years have stuck to the genre of Romance and Slapstick humour. But thanks to some film-makers who are fiddling with some naive subjects, we now can look forward to something different from seeing the landscapes of Europe or Australia…where characters are always named as Raj and Priya and the likes of them…And “A Wednesday” can be credited with several things which have been missing over the past few years. This is the kind of movie which needs to be shown in every multiplex across the country…with a running time of around 100 minutes, it’s in a way tailor made for the multiplex crowds. And that running time means the editing has to be so crisp and to the point leaving no room for additional stuff just to please the audience. Thank God!!! I feel finally at peace for having seen a movie which’s made without including any songs (item songs!!!) or fights, romance tracks just for the heck of it. For some odd reason all these elements have been used to prove the existence of characters other than the hero and in most cases he’s depicted as the blue-eyed macho man who will have the last laugh!

Coming back to the story, the film belongs to Anupam, Naseeruddin, Jimmy Shergill, the music director Sanjoy Chowdhury, the editor Shree Narayan Singh, and most importantly the director of the filck, Neeraj Pandey. Almost all the protagonists in the flick deliver their best but when it comes to Anupam and Naseeruddin, this flick is another example why these two are among the finest actors of the contemporary cinema. Each frame with them locking horns with each other produces a spark and as the film progresses and the motives behind everything is revealed, there’s no way you can find fault with one person. Both of them are right in what they did…it’s like two sides of the same coin and you end up liking both of them. Anupam Kher is brilliant as a helpless cop who will do anything to maintain law and order in the city at the same time conflicting with his conscience when he lets go his fate to someone’s control. On the other hand, Naseeruddin Shah who starts off as a cunning and compulsive strategist who will go to any length to get his work done does a complete turn-around towards the end of the film. His explanation behind why he has done all this is truly one of the best monologues about fear, agony, and to what extent a tortured soul can retaliate. This is where you see the “Butterfly Effect” spring into action. I really can’t give you out further details about the plot..you should go and check it out yourself.
Among others, Jimmy Shergill impresses and so does all the other characters who appear throughout the flick…if only they had worked on Deepal Shaw’s accent!!! Also note the brilliant efforts by the people behing the screen, a fabulous background score by Sanjoy Chowdhury runs through the entire length of the film. And what can I say about Shree Narayan Singh, the editor of the flick, his style takes the film to a whole new level. Dialogues are brilliant, there are absolutely no cliche’s targeting any community or religion. If Anupam and Naseer are two pillars of this movie, then the third one is its director…Neeraj Pandey. A compelling debut, heralding a new age of film-making which I certainly hope will continue in years to come….am eagerly looking forward to see more of Neeraj’s work and others like him. The final pillar of this film is the story itself…the premise that it doesn’t take an angel to solve the most dangerous problems around us…all it takes is an ordinary man who’s resolved to do some extra-ordinary things. And what better impact can it be, if that ordinary man was someone like you…someone like me….we are proud of what we are…who we are…we run through the blood and veins of life, enduring life as it takes us, there’s nothing common among us, but when we stand up…the world sees us as the one…who knows what he’s doing. We are the new age super-heroes and we are more in number than the total ammunition ever produced…it’s our spirit which takes us beyond the realms of our boundaries….we are…”The Common Men” of the world.

P.S: I never thought, I would recommend a bollywood movie to the rest of the world. But there is someone who loves Indian Cinema and doesn’t like his time wasted by utter nonsense then this is a must watch! And please do yourself a favour….watch “A Wednesday” on any given day.
P.P.S: The last sentence has been copied from Rajeev Masand’s review on ibnlive.com
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Gaurav Suryavanshi permalink
    September 9, 2008 5:13 am

    Interesting review. Thanks.

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

  2. March 3, 2009 9:19 pm

    Unfortunately, i watched this on small screen (laptop).There was a standing ovation! Well,to be honest i did have a hunch this would be a blockbuster.

    • Hemanth permalink*
      March 3, 2009 9:24 pm

      I had no clue about this flick before it released…it was during the last 30 mins I realised…WTF!! This is so brilliant!!….Overall, a landmark movie in 2008…Brilliant stuff!..:)

  3. Anirudh permalink
    July 24, 2009 5:49 pm

    One of the best hindi films i’ve seen in recent past. Amazing direction and great on-screen performance from veterans like anupam kher and nasser.
    BTW Nice review !

    • Hemanth permalink*
      July 24, 2009 5:52 pm

      yeah! It was one of the best flicks last year…now they are remaking it in Tamil and Telugu as well…:) And thanks! Btw, how did you come across this post (and my blog)??…

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