More and more film-makers are opting for themes
that defy the stereotype. Themes that don't
follow the routine formula. Themes that may meet
with diverse reactions/opinions. Some would go
for it, some wouldn't.
Vashu Bhagnani's aggressively-publicized and
much-hyped VAADA, directed by Satish Kaushik, is
one such film!
Revolving around three characters mainly, the
narrative starts focussing on the game of
one-upmanship between the two male characters
subsequently. The cat and mouse game - the duo
trying to outwit each other - succeeds in
arresting your attention intermittently.
But, to be honest, stories such as these have
their share of limitations!
Rahul [Arjun Rampal] and Puja [Amisha Patel], a
married couple, are completely devoted to each
One fine morning, they meet with a terrible car
accident and Rahul loses his eyesight. On a
business trip abroad, Rahul meets Karan [Zayed
Khan]. Impressed by his dynamism and business
acumen, Rahul asks him to join his business.
They return to India and Puja is stunned to see
her husband with old flame Karan.
Rahul's love for Puja is blind and
unquestioning. Karan's love for Puja is
obsessive and uncontrollable. Puja is trapped
between a blind husband and an obsessed lover.
Now begins a cat and mouse game between the two.
Rahul can see a web of deceit tightening around
him. Karan can see a devious trap being laid for
him. Will one of them succeed or will both fail?
First things first! VAADA bears a striking
resemblance to R.K. Nayyar's QATL , which
centered around a blind man [Sanjeev Kumar], his
deceitful wife [Sarika] and her affair with her
husband's best friend [Marc Zuber].
But, in actuality, VAADA borrows heavily from
director K. Subhash's Tamil film SABASH [Parthiban,
Divya Unni, Ranjith].
The best thing about VAADA is that the story
doesn't follow the mandatory Hindi film route of
songs, followed by romance and light moments,
before focusing on drama. In fact, director
Satish Kaushik and writer Rumi Jaffrey have
styled VAADA after Hollywood whodunits. The film
begins with a tense moment [murder or suicide?]
and the goings-on keep you on tenterhooks right
through the first half-an-hour.
The intermission point, when the cat is out of
the bag, takes the film to an all-time high. The
twist in the tale is sure to catch a lot of
But the post-interval portions are as erratic as
the monsoons in Mumbai. The screenplay has some
attention-grabbing moments - like the time when
Zayed and his attorney [Rakesh Bedi] drop by at
Arjun's house for a drink, as also the sequence
when Zayed and Arjun walk on the railway tracks.
But it's not without its share of glitches?
The game of one-upmanship gets quite silly and
childish at times. For instance, Zayed
stealthily arriving at Arjun's house at midnight
to place Amisha's jewellery back looks weird.
Under normal circumstances, no one in his right
senses would've risked going back, especially
when the police enquiry is on and Zayed is
supposed to be the prime suspect.
Even in the pre-climax, during the courtroom
sequence, when the eye-test is meant to be the
deciding factor [the judge is supposed to
pronounce the verdict on its basis], it's not
clear how Arjun manipulates the government
machinery till the end.
One glaring defect is that the story vacillates
between flashbacks and the current situations
without giving much clue to the viewer. So much
so that the viewer gets confused after a point.
Also showing the cops behave like buffoons seems
awkward. In a genre like this, it would've
appealed more had the cops looked serious while
investigating the murder.
However, the conclusion to the story is a saving
grace. The penultimate reel - when Arjun visits
Zayed in the prison and reveals the truth - is a
highpoint again. It's deftly executed, although
the unconventional end will meet with mixed
Director Satish Kaushik handles the complex
subject well, though the loose ends in the
screenplay do camouflage the plusses. The
sequences between Arjun and Zayed are the best
part of the enterprise. Rumi Jaffrey's
screenplay is flawed and not arresting enough.
Cinematography [Johny Lal] is efficient. Action
scenes [Abbas Ali Moghul] are well executed,
especially the fight on the beach.
Himesh Reshammiya's music is pleasant. 'Teri
Kurti', 'Main Ishq Uska' and the title track are
VAADA rests on two strong shoulders - Arjun and
Zayed - and though both deliver competent
performances, it's Zayed who walks away with
ceetees and taalis in the end.
Zayed's role is crafted on the lines of SRK's
character in DARR and though Zayed does go
overboard at times, the overall output is a
notch above the commonplace.
Arjun plays the sober part, a scheming man, to
perfection. It may not be a flawless
performance, but the sincerity shows. Amisha
Patel hams. She just doesn't deliver. Besides,
she's hardly there in the second half. Virendra
Saxena, Rakesh Bedi and Rajesh Vivek are
On the whole, VAADA will meet with mixed
reactions from the paying public. A theme like
this is bound to find its share of supporters
and adversaries. At the box-office, VAADA has
some chances at multiplexes mainly. It will have
to rely heavily on word of mouth to make some