Sidharth Malhotra, Sonakshi Sinha, Akshaye Khanna
When a production house says they are not going to promote the film, the stars will not be doing interviews and there will be none of the cameos that we see on television and stuff, you can be sure that they believe in their product and thus are willing to take the risk of under exposure. Despite the film being a remake, this level of confidence is rare.
Ittefaq is a remake of the 1969 film – starring Rajesh Khanna and Nanda, but of course it is not exactly the same film. The story revolves around Vikram and Maya. Vikram is an acclaimed author played by Sidharth Malhotra and Maya is the very expressive Sonakshi Sinha. Vikram and Maya lose their partner on one fateful night and are held as suspects to the murder, however both claim they have nothing to do with it. Both give inspector Dev (Akshaye Khanna) a different story, both seeming equally convincing and equally conniving.
While initially you are drawn to believing Vikram as we hear his side of the story first, you are equally convinced with what Maya has to say when she starts unravelling her side of the story. Of course, all the while you are watching Dev like a hawk because you are with him, taking cues from his expressions, just so that you can guess the killer before the climax. The thrill of wanting to unravel the culprit is equally entertaining as is the fear of putting your trust in the wrong one.
Despite the fact that the film is a remake, even those who have seen the Rajesh Khanna starrer will be wondering who-dun-it, which makes debutant director Abhay Chopra a fantastic story teller. It is in his genes and he proves it with finesse. The film really makes you think, and ponder...
Of course, we do not want to give away the story, which is certainly worth the watch. But we will warn you, that if you are looking for something numbingly fast paced, this might not be upto your expectations. The film is a quiet, menacing type of drama which takes its own sweet time to unravel. Of course, the intrigue and the thrill is maintained till the very end but it is not a shocking climax either.
What works best for the film are the actors, Sidharth Malhotra has really dug his heels into this genre like a pro. He is completely in sync with his character, his helplessness is palpable, as is his confusion. Sonakshi Sinha on the other hand is equally befitting everything Maya just like the promos tell you, her eyes speak volumes, she is sexy and also smart – which is a lethal combination, excuse the pun. Of course, the star of the film is only and only Akshaye Khanna - his presence in the film, his stance, his acting is superlative.
So watch the film for Abhay Chopra and Akshaye Khanna – and enjoy the coincidence.
Psst. Special mention for the music by Tanishk Bagchi and the cinematography by Michal Luka, both are as effective as Mr. Khanna himself.