Director Faruk Kabir’s film is a combination of family emotions and action, built in a cinematic fantasy world, a true mixed bag
In very early moments of Khuda Haafiz, you are hit by a fresh breeze when you see an inter-religion arranged marriage. What also comes as a welcome move is while the film involves raw action, you don’t see Vidyut Jammwal getting on with it full throttle like his regular image. He plays a software engineer, and that’s what the makers have done right. Mostly right, few things wrong is what the film is about.
Watch the trailer here:
Sameer (Vidyut Jammwal) and Nargis (Shivaleeka Oberoi) are a happy couple in Lucknow when in 2008, recession hits almost all service sectors. The situation forces them to look for jobs in other countries. While they apply together, Nargis lands a job earlier in a middle eastern country. She however goes mysteriously missing once she reaches there.
Written by Kabir himself, the story is essentially a love story told in the times of adversities. Cross country situation, inner politics, friends and enemies, the embassies and their procedures, internal security affairs, and a whole lot of mafia form the crucial elements of the narrative.
The film initially, infact for the major part is quite real and you do learn a big lesson on what and how things could go wrong in times of helplessness. While it is just a film, it seems inspired by real events that we come across in news several times. This makes the film engaging and you are invested in the drama.
Things in the film remain catchy for a major part of the narrative, when after the first half, they do begin to lose. Drama takes over the realism and after you’ve watched the entire film, you do feel that the actual harshness of the matter wasn’t actually conveyed. Thankfully the makers haven’t resorted to the regular tropes of hero being a one man army and blowing the entire country out. But even then, the makers could have taken a little different route than what they have chosen to make things more relatable. Having said that, the film from a masala point of view is perfectly served.
There are scenes that are sweet and also some that keep you intrigued. But the right treatment for this intrigue hasn’t been served. For instance, it seems a great plot twist when Sameer doesn’t board the flight. But nothing major as a consequence happens. While you totally enjoy some portions, you don’t hate the other and only wish they were handled a little differently. Credits to the makers though for making the protagonist stick to the character. The first proper action that Sameer undertakes is brilliantly choreographed. It is violent and raw but very logical keeping in mind the character.
Vidyut Jammwal is very good majorly because here is your protagonist and not a hero figure. He sticks to his character and does things that a man in such a situation would do, without going overboard. While a lot of credit for this goes to direction, Jammwal makes sure he remains in those boundaries. It’s so good to see him act and that too very well as per the role.
Shivaleeka Oberoi is fine, although she has very little scope. She is a fine actor, which she has proved in her first film Yeh Saali Aashiqui. Wish there was more of her.
Annu Kapoor lends an able hand in acting and he makes a mark. He is good. So is Vipin Sharma in a very small appearance. He does a decent job.
Shiv Panditt is very good, catching the accent and delivering a powerful performance in an important role. Aahana Kumra, also maintaining the accent, steals the show as a very crucial member in the plot. Nawab Shah has a small role and he does the major talking through his enormous body structure.
Music by Mithoon deserves special mention. The songs are not only soulful but they suit the narrative. In times when so many remixes are coming your way, it’s refreshing to listen to songs in the course of the film that are original. The songs infact make the viewing much interactive. Amar Mohile’s background score suits the nature of the film. High octane.
Cinematography by Jitan Harmeet Singh is simple and straight. The arial shots and the landscapes of the middle east have been captured well. The colours also have played an important role in transporting you to that land. Production design by Bijon Das Gupta, Ranjit Singh and Prerna Kathuria is good mostly for the middle eastern setup. The work with the colours has been done thoughtfully.
Editing by Sandeep Francis is satisfactory. Of course, there are a few dull points where the film gets slow, but the makers are quick to get back to action. Mind you, it is not a very fast paced film.
The film is enjoyable. While you should not be expecting great merits, it is not a disappointment. It is a good one time watch with good doses of entertainment.