A remake of the original 1969 thriller with the same name, Ittefaq is a modern day reboot of the Yash Raj classic and an addition to the genre of murder mystery thrillers churned out from Bollywood. While newbie director Abhay chopra crafts out a visually arresting thriller with some interesting twists and turns, the film falters with uneven pacing and a shoddy climax.
This stylishly made thriller comprises of two deaths, two suspects and various possibilities. A best selling author Vikram seth ( Sidharth Malhotra) is on the run and is a primary suspect for killing his own wife. The same night, he lands up at Maya’s ( Sonakshi) house where her husband is murdered inside the flat. Enters Dev Verma ( Akshaye Khanna) , the police officer who gets the charge of investigating this convoluted double murder case, and gets into the act to dig out the veracity of both the accused and their versions of that fateful night.
Laced with an intriguing premise, the film carries on at a brisk pace and keeps you engaged for the most part. The narration oscillates between past and present, with the suspects weaving their side of the story alternatively. But the film starts losing steam in the latter portions with contrived circumstances coming to the fore. The big climactic twist, although well shot, is not entirely convincing. The director also fails to gear up the film with the required sense of urgency and tension which could have elevated this film to be the perfect thriller of this year.
But more than the mystery engulfed in Ittefaq, the bigger mystery for me was why we see so less of Akshaye Khanna on the big screen. He is absolutely brilliant in the film. As an unfathomable officer unravelling the truth of this complex murder case, he is a mirror of grit and gumption in the film’s more authentic intense scenes. Watch him chiding his juniors in the crime scene or interrogating the suspects in the jail’s locker room – you just dont want to move away your eyes from him . Equally convincing is Sidharth Malhotra, who blends vulnerability and passion in equal measure to weave out an honest act. The same cannot be said about Sonakshi though, who comes up with an enervated and one dimensional performance, with she doing very little to invest energy into it.
Ittefaq is sleek and stylish, but its not compelling . And thats a bad news for a film which promises to be taut thriller. But the good news is that we have Akshaye khanna in Ittefaq, who makes up many of the films flaws with his bravura performance.
POPCORN ENTERTAINMENT RATING – 3/5