Two suspects, two stories, one truth Image: Twitter
Cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Sidharth Malhotra, Akshaye Khanna
Direction: Abhay Chopra
You'll like this if you liked: Deewangi
It is no Ittefaq that even though two of the biggest production houses were involved in the making of this film, they refrained from all the promotional circus, especially at a time when films and their respective PR agencies are going the extra mile with city tours and what not. And in the bargain, Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment have given us something refreshingly different, quietly intriguing, something that piques your interest as you spot the poster precariously pasted on washroom mirrors.
The film itself stands out, unlike other typical Bollywood films, simply by virtue of the fact that there are no song-and-dance sequences, not even inside a dream. So far, all +1s, even though the film risked casting life-like Michelangelo's David statue, Sidharth Malhotra, as the lead.
Ittefaq is a three-legged stool, relying only on Akshaye Khanna, Sonakshi Sinha and Sidharth, in descending order of acting capacity. For most of us who've watched (and loved) the 2002 Akshaye-Ajay Devgn-Urmila Matondkar starrer Deewangi, we've seen Akshaye on this side of the table, although this time around he is far more in control. Sonakshi uses her best feature — her eyes — perfectly well in keeping the mystery alive. Sid tries his best to look more believable than his awesome eight-packs, but fails.
On the surface, this is a remake of the 1969 thriller of the same name, starring Rajesh Khanna and Nanda. But apart from the bare skeleton, the rest is vastly different, and thankfully so, for what's a thriller if we already know the ending? Maya (Sonakshi) and Vikram (Sid) hail from rich, affluent families, with their lavish apartments and home bars stuffed with expensive liquors. Though their affluence is of little consequence to the storyline, it is as if Karan Johar fought to get it into the film, just so he could identify with the story, because anything less lavish would not be worth KJo's coffee. Dev's (Akshaye) Colaba police station, by that logic should have been a stark foil to that setting — gritter and dirtier — but apart from that one odd flickering tubelight, it was pretty clean. Romantic even.
The background score, the intermittent patter of raindrops and the sound of shoes trampling over fresh muck creates an eerie sense befitting the plot. But eventually, you know what's coming, simply because what we see is far too elementary. A few elderly guests almost walk out of the theatres expecting the end credits to roll, but just like Akshaye's police jeep, they take an about turn and run back to their seats to catch the ending. Without giving out spoilers, the ending is as gripping as Deewangi, only marred by the lack of Sid's facial muscle movement. Brownie points for trying, but Sid, you still have a lot to learn from the original brooding Sid of Dil Chahta Hai.