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Ittefaq  : An Original Copy
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Friday, November 3, 2017
Drama
Abhay Chopra
Siddharth Malhotra,, Sonakshi Sinha, Akshaye Khanna, Parul Gulati

Like Farhan Akhtar did with Don, there are three things that director Abhay Chopra gets right with his debut film. He stays faithful to the template of the 1969 song-less thriller. Then he gives his own spin to it so that those who remember the iconic Ittefaq have something new to chew their fingernails on. And those who weren’t around in 1969, have a spanking new film for which they don’t need to reference the original.

 

There’s been a double murder with double or more suspects. The night is re-lived by Maya during interrogation by investigating officer Dev. But her version clashes with the way writer Vikram Sethi narrates it to the police officer. Who should Dev believe? As a cop on a murder trail, only the evidence, of course.

 

The whodunnit keeps Dev and the viewer guessing as it throws up a new twist now and again, right up to the end.

 

But remarkably, the murder mystery is free of moroseness and heavy tension, with just the right touch of wit. The director is aided enormously in this by Akshaye Khanna who may be ageing but plays Dev with his own unique gravitas and with a twinkle in the eye. As a viewer, you so want him to crack the case. Does he? 

 

Sonakshi Sinha is comfortable as Maya, the married woman into whose house Vikram Sethi has forced his way. But, maybe she welcomed his company? Siddharth Malhotra looks the part of the distraught author who’s just lost his wife and has turned into a murder suspect. Should Dev buy his narration or has fiction writer Vikram just concocted another story?

 

In a crisp 107-minute thriller, the three questions keep taking turns. Luckily, Abhay Chopra sticks to the genre and doesn’t pad it with item songs or get waylaid by a humour track or romantic distractions though Mandira Bedi as Dev’s wife is a cute addition. 

 

Ittefaq therefore works as a thriller that keeps the guesswork going. Could it have been tighter or better? Perhaps the end with a heavy one-sided dialogue could’ve been better handled for a more wholesome balance.

 

For refreshing an unforgettable old thriller and giving it a new flavour, Ittefaq gets a 3* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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