When one of Bollywood’s best thrillers is remade, there’s bound to be excess scrutiny to not only live up to expectations, but also work upon the original in such a way that the new film carries its own signature. Well, Ittefaq does tick most of the boxes in its first half and you get the feeling that Bollywood may have delivered a good murder mystery after some time. Alas, some of those boxed get un-ticked in the second half, leaving you a tad disappointed. So, let’s get down to the Ittefaq movie review:
Told from two perspectives, Ittefaq deals with a double homicide where Vikram Sethi (Sidharth Malhotra) – a highly successful writer residing in London and down in Mumbai for his book launch – is a suspect for both murders and Maya (Sonakshi Sinha) – a bored housewife married to an upmarket lawyer – is suspected for one of the murders. The film seesaws between their theories about what happened over the course of one night – Vikram finds his wife/publisher dead in their hotel room, flees from the police when they suspect him of murder, and, coincidentally, takes refuge in Maya’s house, whose husband, also, coincidentally ends up being murdered in the same house.
For the first half, the film stays true to its title, where you keep questioning what’s coincidental and what’s planned? Is poor Vikram a victim of being in two bad places at different bad times; or is he guilty of his wife’s murder but coincidentally landed at the scene of another crime; has Maya been coincidentally drawn into an unwitting conspiracy; or is a third party involved who’s using them both has scapegoats? Such questions leave you coddled in a shroud of mystery, with the core essence of the original film being retained, yet a lot of revamping being done to keep aficionados of the 1969 film hooked while viewers with no baggage of the Rajesh Khanna starrer will enjoy the oscillations of tease and intrigue at the heart of the plot.
(Also Watch: Bappi Lahiri’s special message to Sonakshi and Sidharth)
However, the movie goes slight off the mark post interval as you get the feeling that Director Abhay Chopra and his cowriters (Shreyas Jain, Nikhil Mehrotra) find it slightly difficult to keep the suspense at par with the first half. Also, a few flaws and logical loopholes creep into the second half, too, especially with the introduction of one or two new characters. Finally, the big twist that comes during the climax doesn’t leave you feeling as rewarded as you would have hoped for. For instance, when the big twist appeared in Shah Rukh Khan’s Don, at the end, everyone enjoyed it because we were shocked, and Farhan Akhtar truly left his mark on the remake. But here, we just feel more tricked than rewarded because Abhay Chopra falters in his effort to leave his mark on the remake with a fantastic new twist.
Moving on to the performances, Sonakshi Sinha does her best to leave us guessing what she’s really up to, but there’s only so much any actor can do when their role is reduced to mere glimpses in the second half. Akshaye Khanna steals the show for most of the runtime, and walks away with the best line. Unfortunately, Sidharth, who gets the author-backed role, makes a total meal of it.
Ittefaq will be remembered as a remake that promised to carve its own niche, but stumbles toward the end in its zeal to reveal something earth-shattering. Technically, it’s quite a well-made film and keeps you curious for the better part, with your attention dipping for only in a few places. For a slow-burning thriller, it’s a decent bargain, and if you can look past the loopholes, there’s quite a bit of suspense to keep you engrossed. And that brings the curtain down on our Ittefaq movie review.
Movified Rating: 3/5
Images Source: Red Chillies