Ittefaq Film Review: Nothing Coincidental About It

| November 4, 2017 | 0 Comments

My personal opinion is that suspense thrillers should not be remade.Reason is simple. Suspense is known,mystery is already solved.So even the best of starcast giving best of the performances in a remake have cosmetic value.

Ittefaq touted and promoted as a remake of 1969 movie from House of BR, is thankfully, not a remake. Just an inspired version.

The Rajesh Khanna-Nanda starrer movie itself was inspired from Monte Doyle’s murder mystery Signposts To Murder(1964), that was adapted as a Gujarati play Dhummas, from which Ittefaq was made as a screen version.

Now the interesting bit is that the story of Yash Chopra directed movie was credited to BR Story Department. Well even in those days writers did not get their rightful credits.Or BR Films was too non-chalant about disclosing its sources then.

Nonetheless, the drama in original was really engaging. That too had a protagonist being held responsible for double murder, whereas he pleaded not guilty.

In debut director Abhay Chopra’s version also a mystery novels hot- shot writer Vikram Sethi (Siddharth Malhotra) is running away from law as he is accused of murdering his wife. He takes a shelter in the house of Maya Sinha (Sonakshi Sinha) who accuses him of murdering her husband too. Vikram denies it saying in fact Maya murdered her husband.

Now whats the truth. As the investigating officer Dev Verma ( Akshay Khanna) is given just three days to solve this murder mystery that has two versions of the murder and a truth.

Whether Dev is able to crack the case is what rest of the 107 minutes of film is all about.

Suspense, if not able to make you keep pushing to the edge of your seat, or not able to make you bite your nails, or giving you goose bumps, is not worthy of its genre.

Ittefaq’s Achilles heel is its pedestrian screenplay (credited to three screenplay writers including the director), some convenient and predictable ploys to join the missing links, and all round average performances that take the bite off a potentially crackling whodunit.

Amongst Sid Malhotra, Sonakshi Sinha and Akshay Khanna, the latter does look and behave as a no non-sense investigating officer, but the spoiler is that Akshaye did a similar persona and delivered a similar performance in MOM. There his performance looked fresh and focussed.

Here,though he outshines others, he still gives you a feel of deja vu.

Abhay Chopra, the grandson of great B R Chopra handles the material in an efficient manner. But that’s it. There is nothing in his narrative that makes you have an adrenalin rush, or heart skipping a beat or two.

So much so that even a new twist towards the climax though surprising, leaves you unsatiated.

The sharp edit, crisp cross-cutting, some dark humour, occasional witty one-liners are not enough to save you from attention deficit.

It is not an Ittefaq (coincidence) that after raising expectations with some savvy promotions and publicity,the movie is unable to provide a real paisa vasool murder mystery. Its,in my opinion, sheer audacity,arrogance and assumption of production houses of Karan Johar, SRK and BR Films, that has led this average thriller to a lacklustre audience response.

Coincidences also need logical linking in hindsight. Unfortunately that is missing here.For that,I can only say, nothing coincidental about it. Audience response is for real.


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Category: Reviews

About the Author ()

Dhieraj Mohan is Hindi cinema's keen observer. With earnest interest in its dynamics and constantly changing milieu he revels in dwelling on the discrepancies, idiosyncrasies,contradictions,masala and the formula that defines Bollywood.He is a poet and a screenwriter too,who simply adores Hindi cinema's chameleon like traits.

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