Movie Review: Wazir

Posted on 09 Jan 2016 under Essays

There is no doubt that Amitabh Bachchan is a fine actor. In particular, I’ll remember this one scene in which his character in Wazir teaches a kid how to deliver a particular line. It was a 5-second masterclass. But there’s only so much a fine actor can do in the hands of a mediocre director in a film with a mediocre plot line.


Wazir is not a bad film, it’s worth a watch. But it does leave a lot to be desired. It has a bit of everything (although I’m not sure that’s a good thing). There’s the soppy romance between Farhan Akhtar and Aditi Rao Hydari, the heart-wrenching tragedy of a young girl dying, some mystery in the plot in the form of the mysterious eponymous character, etc. But the story is not complicated, and it will not force you to think about it after the titles roll, because everything is dumbed down for you in the final few minutes.

While it’s a fairly short movie (given Bollywood standards), it’s still a little too long. The aforementioned tell-all scene felt like an unnecessary tack-on. All six of us who saw it said the same thing — “Anyone with a half a brain could have put the pieces together, so why was that last scene there?” The expose should have been the crescendo, but unfortunately, it feels like a big let-down when it finally happens. If you’ve been told this is an intelligent movie, please question the intelligence of the person who told you so.

As for the acting, as I wrote earlier, Amitabh Bachchan is solid, as expected. I have a lot of respect for Farhan Akhtar, he’s multi-talented and his understated style of acting feels genuine. On the other hand, Aditi Rao Hydari must never act again. To be fair, I’m forming this opinion on the basis of her performance in a film that required only three things of her — look pretty, laugh on demand, and cry on demand. Neil Nitin Mukesh gets acting credits, but really only appears in a couple of scenes in an overstated, exaggerated manner. And then you have the guest appearance by John Abraham, who does what John Abaraham does — look big and tough and talk in a thick, deep voice. Anjum Sharma does ok as the Sikh friend and good cop, but he struggles to convince he’s actually a proper Punjabi Sikh (of course, that’s a deeply ironic comment coming from me, I recognize). Why can’t you just find a real Sikh to portray an on-screen Sikh? As for Manav Kaul, who plays the primary antagonist, there’s a reason I haven’t mentioned him so far. Because I can’t think of a single frame he owned, not can I think of anything he did terribly badly either. “Meh” would be the appropriate way to describe his performance.

A note for the special effects. Amitabh Bachchan’s character is legless and wheelchair-bound. It’s quite convincing. I remember being impressed by this in Forrest Gump with Lt Dan’s character. 22 years later, Bollywood has done just as fine a job. Yay.

To summarize: Wazir is a mediocre film, with average acting and not enough brains to keep you engaged throughout. It’s not bad, but don’t pay too much for the ticket, eh?

Score: 6/10


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