Kunal Kohli’s film created by S Hussain Zaidi is more like an episode on a web series
Instead of making them into individual films, Kohli and Zaidi should have conceptualized their ‘Confidential’ flicks as a collaborative web series. Just like London Confidential, Lahore Confidential too works on the similar aspects of espionage, patriotism, some breather for a love story and almost no indulgence through thrill.
Watch the trailer here:
R&AW agent Ananya’s (Richa Chadha) life takes a drastic turn when she is posted in Pakistan for a mission.
Written by Vibha Singh, the story right from the first scene (literally the first scene) is predictable, right on your face. You exactly know why the protagonist is signing up for the mission, what her higher ups want from her, what will happen during the course and what will happen eventually in the climax. And of course, the cinematic guesser in you isn’t disappointed. Touted as a thriller, the film doesn’t have even an ounce of it. It’s a plain narrative. Simple from one point to another, it just passes its own time in making you believe things to be true.
Primarily a love story woven around R&AW and ISI and other terror talks and patriotism and humanity, the film doesn’t hold your attention for too long. The runtime at only 68mins hence is a respite. Having said that, had the film been longer with more elements at play, it would have been really engrossing. It does have potential. But in the limited time in an effort to show too much, the details are bound to be presented in haste.
Like a longish episode of a web series, this is an ideal watch when you want to pass an hour waiting for a train or while having lunch or dinner in your casual space. For that, neither too bad, not too appealing. A reasonably decent entertainment serves for a casual watch. The film is nothing more than that.
Needless to say, the film also lacks the seriousness to show how intelligence agencies of both countries in question work. You also question the naivety of certain characters, the lead for that matter and are completely unmoved by the emotional graph of the film. What is good is that it doesn’t show any country in bad light.
Richa Chadha gives a decent performance. Her character is shown to be emotional and Chadha puts forward that aspect well. She becomes the face of the film for the right reasons.
Karishma Tanna has a meaningful role with shades to her. She not only looks pretty but also comes across strongly. Yes, she is also extra loud and extra flamboyant in her body language in a few scenes.
Arunoday Singh is good. Impressive. He uses his muscular body and boyish charm to full advantage. His voice also makes it an endearing notion for his character to be etched out properly.
Khalid Siddiqui is just okay, mostly seeming to go a little over board.
There is one song that you really like when it appears. Soulful. Melodious. Gives the film depth. The score by Roby Abraham could be better. The entire film finds itself running at a same monotonous line, a lot of which has to do which a bland score.
Cinematography by Karthik Ganesh is interesting. The film has been shot during lockdown and it’s good to see how the makers have created Pakistan. You feel good to see some of the locations as the connect is integral to making you feel good about the film, at least for some portions. Production design by Rakesh Yadav also has to be applauded. The visual feel is maintained.
Editing by Nikhil Parihar is just okay. Nothing more actually. It’s more like a short film working to show too much in little time. The scenes seem fragmented and the flow breaks, only because it has to be made into a proper narrative.
A chance is wasted. Although it’s not too bad a watch for an hour, it’s also not something to recall. It will surely become a passé.