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Film review: Wazir

It’s not often you can say you’ve watched a Bollywood film that consists of an original storyline, but Vinod Chopra has masterfully achieved this very skill in his latest offering Wazir. A cleverly unfolding sharp thriller with a tenderness that only Indian cinema can achieve, it’s a tale that leads the viewer through a journey of tragedy, love and revenge, with a satisfying medley of twists and turns along the way.

The film centres on the friendship between a retired wheelchair-bound chess addict (Amitabh Bachchan) and a police office (Farhan Akhtar) who are brought together through grief yet bond over revenge. Alongside these two masterful actors the film stars John Abraham and Neil Nitin Mukesh. YES four incredible Indian superstars. With such an ensemble male cast and the promise of a thriller, it’s easy to assume that perhaps this is a ‘man centric movie’ that will only appeal to a select few, but thankfully this isn’t the case.

Wazir’s storyline is key; this isn’t just a mass shoot-out crime romp filled with nonsensical violence, it’s an engrossing, well-paced drama with enough elements of plot and emotion to reel you in, and keep you hooked to the very end.

Though some viewers may work out the major twists before the conclusion, it’s satisfying to witness the jigsaw puzzle (or should that be chess board?) fall into place. It’s no surprise that the Big B delivers his role fully refined and with integrity, that John is impressively bulked up and ready for action and that Farhan captivates us in every shot with his authenticity; but what is a surprise is the villainous charm of Neil’s character. A psychotic stranger, shrouded by darkness who as soon as he appears on the screen, commands your full attention.

At just 1hr and 47minutes, Wazir is a film that’s tightly told so will appeal to those who fear the lengthy nature of Indian films, sentimental enough to satisfy Bollywood fans and intelligent to the point it could compete against thrillers on an international scale. Don’t be surprised if the Western remake follows.

Wazir is released in cinemas worldwide on 8th January 2016.

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