Generally speaking, iconic films are not to be tampered with. The 1969 ‘Ittefaq’ ( Rajesh Khanna was still a couple of months away from being christened the new superstar) was collaborated upon by the two titans of Hindi cinema — Baldev Raj Chopra and younger brother Yash Raj. The former’s grandson Abhay Chopra has drawn sufficient inspiration from the 1969 classic to have helmed a fresh instalment, almost half a century later.
All good things — and bad, it would seem — come in pairs. Two murders, two suspects, two varying versions and a couple of corny jokes by the constables in the opening stages of the film make up its essential plot.
The film opens with a car chase on a rainy night and an award-winning writer Vikram Sethi (Sidharth Malhotra) landing up at Maya Sinha’s (Sonakshi Sinha) house. Her husband Shekhar ( Samir Sharma) is later found dead in the house. Earlier, Vikram had found his wife Catherine dead when he returned from his book launch.
Though being a prime suspect, Vikram’s narration to top cop Dev Verma (Akshaye Khanna) deflects suspicion onto Maya.
Akshaye’s cat-and-mouse interrogation and the flashbacks it elicits serve as the suspense moments of the film. While Sidharth is no Rajesh Khanna, Abhay is no Yash Raj and John Stewart Eduri’s background score is a far cry from Salil Choudhary’s with Sidharth and Sonakshi, the two main faces in the film, barely getting a chance to show their acting skills.
But the saving grace is Akshaye Khanna’s tough cop act and his pliability as an actor — especially with the detective roles of late—gives him an edge over the ramrod Iftekhar of the 60s and 70s.
Thankfully there are no songs and despite the short runtime, the film seems a little stetched and for that writers Chopra, Jain and Mehrotra must be faulted for incorporating unnecessary coarse humour in a film of this genre.
On the plus side, the main plot leading to the finale is well handled. Watch the film without keeping the original version in mind.
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