Having read quite a few reviews and after watching the movie twice, I feel the movie is a very good one, but a little below perfection. I am mentioning the points which I noticed in this movie, and not the ones I noticed in the original movie, ‘A Wednesday’.
PROS and CONS:
DIRECTION: Chakri Toleti
- The movie is well directed, right from the starting scenes where each character is introduced one after the other. The scenes provide a very good character sketch of every person.
- There are quite a few mistakes in direction. The most important one which I noticed was that the clocks in the WAR room wall were not working. For every scene, they were just reset to an appropriate time. The second hand of the clocks were not moving. This probably shows that there had been retakes, and the clocks therefore were kept at a constant time.
- When Inspector Arif arrives at Commissioner’s office, two constables wish him “Good Morning”. Sometime later, the reporter says that she received the call from the unknown person (Kamal Haasan) at 12 noon. Arif comes only after this incident happens. Which means, the constables must have wished him”Good Afternoon”.
- To diffuse the bomb, Kamal Gives the instructions in the following order: Join the blue and red wires and then cut the green wire. But while Mohan Lal conveys the same instruction to the Bomb Squad personnel, he tells it in the reverse order. But the personnel acts according to the original order. While dealing with bombs, the order might probably matter.
- As far as I know, there is no train that goes from Chennai to Madurai corresponding to the time mentioned in the movie. Probably it was some special train.
- The TV’s in the WAR room wall show the same video over and over again.
- The reporter is shown to be a smoker. She is shown holding the cigarette, lighting it, and taking it away from the mouth, in three different scenes. She is never shown ‘really’ smoking. A good one.
- Instead of bringing in the CM as is the case in the original, here, the CM’s voice has been used, which has turned out to be a really good idea. And also showing the Chief Secretary moving out of the CM’s house is a very good thought, because, the shot has been taken at CM’s residence in Chennai (or probably a replica of the residence,but still, a good idea).
- Portraying the Chief Secretary as a timid person but trying to hide her fear is really good.
- It is a bold move to make a movie in Tamil without any songs that break the continuity of the narration.
- I feel the direction was a bit better in the original hindi movie, ‘A Wednesday’.
The background score by Shruti Hassan is a let-down. The music starts and ends abruptly, at random places. Music plays a huge role in movies of this genre. they influence the mindset of the audience. From this perspective, the movie lacked a good background score.
- Not much deviation from the original.
- The incident which Kamal Haasan narrates as the one which affected him, is a bit too gruesome than the incident narrated in the original movie. I feel it was not required.
- Kamal Haasan has delivered his dialogues very well. But the highlights are areas where he speaks through his actions, without a word spoken.
- When Mohan Lal becomes too serious about what he is talking, he shifts to Malayalam, and that is very realistic and natural.
- The reporter mixes pure tamil with colloquial tamil very often. Sometimes, it sounds too odd.
- Some dialogues, which were very prominent and unique in the original. failed to impress in the tamil version. Sometimes this has been because of the background score. Two such dialogues that come to my mind are: “that(dropout) was by choice” by the hacker, and “I guessed so” by Mohan Lal, when Kamal Haasan says that there are no bombs placed elsewhere.
Overall, a few questions still linger in my mind:
Did the audience get the feel that Kamal Haasan was a common man? In other words, was Kamal Haasan suited for this role? This question needs an answer because, in Tamil Nadu, where Kamal Haasan is worshipped as a hero, it is really tough to find a place in the heart of the audience as a common man. I’d say, Kamal Haasan did justice to his role, but he was just not suited for it. Nazeeruddin Shah was more appealing as a common man, in the original movie (I have this feeling probably because that is the only movie of Nazeeruddin Shah that I’ve seen).
When a movie of such importance is made, with great actors and a greater story, perfection is expected. The better the quality of the movie is, the more the trivial mistakes matter…