my thoughts.....

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Wednesday - Review

When you watch artists like Naseeruddin Shah perform so brilliantly in films like Wednesday, you painfully realize their inadequate celebrity status and their carrying the useless and burdensome prefix "character" in front of their title. It is not cold and the absence of cold (hot), but It is hot and the absence of heat (cold). Similarly, It is not character artists and artists, but It is artists and non-character artists. Naseeruddin Shah is an artist and a great artist.

Wednesday is an excellent movie, packaged with an interesting story, fast-paced script, brilliant editing, good direction and great performances. The movie opens with a long montage capturing the craziness and discombobulation being experienced in the day-to-day life of people in Mumbai. It then zoom focuses on to a common man, looking like a retiring clerk, traveling in the metro. In the next shot, it walks into the office of city police commissioner Prakash Rathod. He receives a call from the common man with a bomb threat and a demand for negotiation if the attack should be stopped.

The common man is Naseeruddin Shah and the police commissioner is Anupam Kher. Then there are three more characters along with these two whom the movie sprints around for 99 minutes. One of the three roles is that of Jimmy Shergill as an ATS officer. His role interestingly and metaphorically complements to some of the sensitive perspectives of the theme. He does not have big opportunity for acting but his presence in the movie is very important throughout. His dual with one of the terrorists in the climax is critical for the objective.

While the director mainly focuses on terrorism, he smartly touches upon some of other relatively trivial but very annoying social attitudes too. When a budding actor Arjun Khanna seeks the help of police commissioner on a crank call demanding 25 lakhs, he claims he is targeted as he belongs to a minority in an industry dominated by khans. It is likely a sarcastic dig at a similar claim from an erstwhile cricket player? In an another satirical scene, an UTV reporter sensationally covers a drunkard falling into a pothole in the city and being stuck into a nearby electricity pole
for 15 minutes and through a live wire in the hole and then the 'electric man' ferociously taking on the city for its mistake! This scene serves the sorry state of news hungry TV channels with a flavor of dark comedy.

In a fast-paced thriller like this, editing is very important. Editing is what shapes the face and sets the pace of the movies and its role is even more critical in a movie like this. The movie is 240 minutes long in reality and 99 minutes long on screen. If editing 'd been underdone, the movie 'd have looked out of contest. Conversely if it 'd been overdone, the whole movie 'd have looked distastefully scrambled. Given this tough job, Narayan Singh has done a commendable job.

The suspenseful inter-cut of the two scenes of Jimmy Shergill ending up in the wrong under construction building in search of the common man and the common man sitting on the top of another under construction building and hearing a sound at the same moment is well done. One of very few sore points in the movie is the casting of Deepal Shaw as the UTV reporter. She does not have any screen presence even for this small role. She looks totally out of place. She has got a hot body though. But it does not certainly suffice. As she faces the camera for the first time in the movie and makes sure she looks OK, she repeats "It is good" pointing to each of her forehead, cheek and chin. She points to, in my opinion, the wrong places rather!

The last 20 minutes of the movie is simply awesome. The depth and breadth of acting by Naseeruddin Shah during those moments is mind-boggling. His expression of anger, frustration, disappointment and determination through his deceptive sitting--on-an-easy-chair body language and quickly-shifting-but-controlled-yet voice modulation is simply out of words to explain here. In front of his giant silhouette of acting, Anupam kher stands certainly tall as Prakash Rathod.

The relevance of A Wednesday is very high in our current weeks filled with terrorism.


  • good one!!

    By Blogger rk78, At September 6, 2009 at 10:58 AM  

  • Thanks, Buddy!

    By Blogger Mani, At September 6, 2009 at 7:17 PM  

  • A Wednesday is an excellent movie... every artist (ur word) in the film except for the Tv reporter was done exceptionally well...

    nice definitions

    By Blogger Pins N Ashes, At September 9, 2009 at 5:09 AM  

  • I hope Kamal's remake does justice to the original.
    I really hope he doesnt include his usual douche bagism in it...


    By Anonymous Anonymous, At September 10, 2009 at 8:03 AM  

  • @ Pins N Ashes: Thanks.

    @ Prem: I completely agree. I am afraid If Kamal can match Naseeruddin Shah despite his pricey tag of "greatness"

    By Blogger Mani, At September 12, 2009 at 2:26 PM  

  • Mani,
    I saw Kamal's remake...
    The good:
    He didnt change much of the story line.Made it a little more elaborate.
    None of Kamal's heroics are there...
    The bad:
    Characters seemed to lack the punch that the original movie had.

    Overall i think the Tamil version is worth watching, and for people who didnt see the original i think it will be good.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 21, 2009 at 7:16 AM  

  • Prem,

    I agree with you on the characters lacking punch in the remake. I am also not impressed with certain alterations the director did it to the original flow. I also think shah's acting is more powerful than hasan's.

    - Mani

    By Blogger Mani, At October 21, 2009 at 5:31 PM  

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