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6 Nov

Haute Review: Ittefaq

Something Haute rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Amongst all genres in filmmaking, suspense is one of the hardest to pull off. Whether it’s creating a dark ethos or building up the environment carefully enough to not reveal the true motive of the characters, a good thriller never reveals the truth until one eureka moment. The Siddharth Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha starrer, Ittefaq tries quite calculatedly to do exactly that.

Playing the whodunit-style narrative through and through, the film focuses on Siddharth as an acclaimed crime-fiction novelist Vikram Sethi and Sonakshi Sinha as Maya Sinha, and they are both suspects for the murder of two people in one night according to ace-policeman Dev Varma – played brilliantly by Akshaye Khanna. However, things are not as simple as they seem, as the two victims are none other than the significant others of the two and thus, a clear motive starts becoming obvious.

Creating a gripping 1 hour and 45 minutes, Ittefaq traverses through rain-drenched Mumbai as the perfect backdrop for this noir-centric film while the murder-suspects record their sides of the story, both blaming the other. However, knowing Bollywood and the genre, things have to take a turn for the worse to create a better cinematic experience for the audience, and so, the film does it to a tee.

 

Siddharth Malhotra’s journey from the framed husband to possible suspect is dotted with points of strong acting and equally weakening screenplay.

Directed by debutante Abhay Chopra, Ittefaq pays quite a strong homage to the original film of the same name, made by Abhay’s grandfather, BR Chopra. However, bringing a film from 1969 into 2017 is a task and a half and it shows. Where in particular scenes the film does look like a modern-day story, some parts seem and feel like they’ve been ripped out of a 70’s ‘how-to-make-thrillers’ to-do list.

In the same manner, in a plethora of scenes both the lead actors also try to fit into a clichéd cookie-cutter method of acting. Whether it’s Siddharth’s ‘framed-husband/mastermind’ or Sonakshi’s ‘distressed-wife-turned-murderer’, the characters scream stereotypical from afar.

The film, by no means, is flawless. While the first half of Ittefaq zooms past in a flash, post-intermission it feels as if it gets slower every time any character of the film says ‘I didn’t kill…’. Truth be told, Ittefaq could have quite easily cut the last 10 minutes, and still had a perfectly working film.

However, despite its screenplay flaws, the film is an enthralling experience that really shouldn’t be missed. Whether it’s the zero to none addition of music or the omitted Bollywood glitz, the film is a breath of fresh air that the industry desperately needed. If anything, watch it for the fact that one gets done with a Bollywood film in less than two hours!

Shahjehan Saleem

The author is Deputy Editor at Something Haute as well as a professor in the Media Sciences department at SZABIST, Karachi. Socio-cultural theories and geography fill up the rest of his time.