Ittefaq Hindi Movie Review
'Ittefaq' is a remake of the 1969 film of the same name which was a remake of the 1965 Joanne Woodward film Signpost to Murder. Akshay Khanna is a policeman who has to solve two murders over the long weekend.
There's a gigantic flaw in the film which no one saw when trying to make a suspenseful film: No cop will ever leave an interrogation halfway and go home. Especially when the boss has asked you to solve the case of a double murder over the weekend. Cops can be relentless. They ask you questions and ask you questions until you break down.
In this film, Akshay Khanna (Plays Dev) talks to the murder suspect in a rather civil fashion (no Indian cop ever loses a chance to hit the suspects, if cinema tradition is to be believed). Yes, there is sarcasm, and Akshay Khanna manages to convince us that is right for the role. In fact, that he is the best part of the film. He is stern with the subordinates and the fun he has with the constable Shinde and other cops makes the movie worthwhile.
'Just because the crime scene is a home you thought it was okay to make tea?' He asks Shinde, who is petrified and begins taking a step backward. Akshay Khanna steps forward and after a dramatic pause asks, 'Is there adrak (ginger) in the tea?' and proceeds to take a cup of tea for himself.
The cool cop and his ridiculous subordinates act works only that far. You wish they had polished the stories that the two suspects put forward are also believable. Maybe Sidharth Malhotra needs a couple of semesters in acting school because he just isn't convincing enough. At least Rajesh Khanna hammed himself into being the 'menacing madman' role that he essayed in the 1969 version of the film. Yes, Rajesh Khanna hammed and how! But the sad sack writer that Sidharth Malhotra plays here (and he holds that expression through the film, alas!) makes you yearn for the hamming and the madman role Rajesh Khanna played...
Never thought one would have to ever say that hamming is better than playing needlessly morose. At least the 'madness' made allowances to the unpredictable behavior that would alarm Nanda in the original film.
Sonakshi Sinha plays the role of Maya, in whose home Sidharth takes shelter after escaping from the cops. There he kills her husband is finally arrested. Now they want us to feel Maya is not as nice as she is supposed to be? Nanda does the damsel in distress act rather well. Here Sonakshi Sinha looks like she could kick butt and how! So the shrinking violet role seems to be rather wrong. And why does she behave like a predator? She keeps touching Sidarth so much, you wonder if he's going to do the 'bhagwan ke liye mujhe chhod do' act any moment. Of course this is a suspenseful film, and every character has to act suspicious. So Sonakshi Sinha is shown locking her bedroom door and sneak out a torch from the bar...
So back to the original flaw: Despite the urgency, Akshay Khanna lets the suspect tell his story in bits and then her story in parts... And you actually want to enter the dull grey walled artistically lit police station and tell Dev, please don't go without asking Vikram Sethi (Yes! That's what they call the author turned murderer Sidharth Malhotra!) Why he was so disorientated when they showed up in Maya's house. You also want to ask the cops to pick up the littered papers... They could be clues...
And yes, this could have been a good film. They add a needless twist in the film where an airport scene is added. By this time, you are so bored of the whole thing, you don't want Akshay Khanna to say, 'There's a bomb on the flight!' (Easiest way to stop a flight these days!) Or the movie would have gone on and on and on.