A Wednesday

“A Wednesday” Review

Cast

Bomb-Planter……………………….Naseeruddin Shah
Prakash Rathod…………………….Anupam Kher
Arif Khan…………………………….Jimmy Shergill

Credits

Director……………………..…….Neeraj Pandey
Producers…………………….….Shital Bhatia, Anjum RIzvi, Ronnie Screwvala
Writer……………..…………..…..Neeraj Pandey

Well, after ‘Peepli (Live)’, here’s another breathtaking Indian film. “A Wednesday” is a risky film, especially in a land where there can be uproar for the smallest of things; yet, Neeraj Pandey pulls off this difficult movie with aplomb. With a tightly knit screenplay and a fantastic ensemble performance, “A Wednesday” is a brilliant film with an important message for each and every Indian and human being.

The movie revolves around events that occur on a particular Wednesday, events of which there are no record, be it with the police or otherwise. The events are only engrained in the minds of each and every person involved. The story follows a man who phones up the Mumbai police and tells them that he has planted five bombs in five different places in the city. The Commissioner of Police (played excellently by Anupam Kher) suspects that this is a crank call, but is shocked to learn that the bomb-planter is al business, as he has rigged 6kg of RDX to blow in the Mumbai police headquarters.

Knowing now that this is definitely not a crank call, the Commissioner of Police asks the bomb-planter (played incredibly-well by Naseeruddin Shah) what he wants. Shah says that in exchange for the locations of the five bombs, he wants the release of four notorious terrorists, responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent civilians. Release the four terrorists who will kill hundreds more tomorrow, or let the five bombs kill thousands today?

He’s got a real catch22 situation to deal with, and this begins a period of four tense and havoc-filled hours where the Mumbai police try everything to stop this man. They believe that the bomb-planter himself is associated with the four terrorists he wants released, and they suspect him to be linked with the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group. The Mumbai police try everything and use every resource at their disposal to try and beat this man, but eventually are left with no choice but to release these four terrorists.

But when it is time to hand over the terrorists, things begin to take a confusing turn, which raises far more questions than it answers. Who is this man? What does he want? Where are his bombs? Why is he doing all this? These are just some of the questions that come up, and Pandey leaves the viewer guessing all the way until the fantastic, shocking and moving climax.

Neeraj Pandey has created a masterpiece of a script, but what matters more is the execution. Every single member of the entire cast plays his or her role pitch-perfectly, and this comes together to create a brilliant and thrilling film. Indian film legend Anupam Kher is great as Prakash Rathod, the strong-willed yet utterly helpless Commissioner of Police. He excels as the man who spearheads the attack on this unknown bomb-planter. However, the actor who stands out the most and really drives this film is Naseeruddin Shah. His portrayal of the mysterious bomb-planter, and he never sets a foot wrong, much like his character, throughout the film. In addition to this, even the supporting cast was excellent. The supporting cast member I was most impressed with was Jimmy Shergill, who played Arif Khan, one of the police officers at the centre of this whole predicament. He is remarkable as the almost-psychopathic police officer who sometimes pushes the limit in order to catch a perpetrator.

The screenplay, of course, must be commended. It never drags, and is thrilling right from its beginning to when the credits roll. Throughout its 100-minute runtime – a very short in Bollywood terms – there is never an unnecessary scene, never a silly or stupid moment. The end result is a marvellous film that has a significant message. This film makes the viewer think, especially the Indians amongst the audience, and has powerful comments on society, the government, and the entire system.

“A Wednesday” is an important film. It is vital that people see it, for the comments it makes are true and powerful. There are many problems in India and around the world, and some of these problems are brought forth in this psychological thriller. It really makes the audience think, and has a very important message that every person – Indian or not – must hear. Go and watch this film – if not for its message, then for its stellar cast and brilliant narrative. This thought-provoking social thriller is a must-see.

FINAL SCORE:

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