Rating: 1.5 stars
Quick take: Shoddy execution murders noble intentions
Director: Sourabh Shrivastava.
In the world of filmmaking, great intentions can be destroyed by dismal execution. Irada is a resounding example of that fact. It has a great idea, noble intent, a stellar cast comprising of Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Divya Dutta, yet this film squanders its promise with aplomb. The clichéd story telling, the jaded treatment, this film massacres its objective – that of highlighting the rampant pollution of habitats in Punjab. The only silver lining to this film is watching the great cast trying to lend respectability to a movie that least deserves it.
The story starts off with a father and daughter duo practicing hard to have the girl enrolled into the armed forces. Things get messy when the girl is diagnosed with an advanced stage lung cancer. Cut to a few months later, it’s revealed that their city’s nuclear plant and its corrupt waste disposal company are responsible for degenerating the environment and causing wide spread cancer amongst the local population. The grieving father (Naseeruddin Shah) starts stalking the corrupt company honcho (Sharad Kelkar). The waste disposal company is blown to bits one day and that kick starts an investigation where wily cop Singh (Arshad Warsi) arrives on screen like a desi combination of Sherlock meets Dirty Harry. Only the tired writing doesn’t give Warsi the scope to perform any iconic scenes. His exchanges with the self absorbed politician (Divya Dutta) do make an interesting watch, but The movie clearly doesn’t have enough scenes featuring the two together.
Irada tries hard to mix a social message with a formulaic thriller. It even get a down to showcasing real footage of actual cancer victims. But even those moving images are reduced ineffective in the wake of the jaded storytelling. Ten minutes into this film and you can guess how it ends. Sad part is, it gets to the predictable end with no attempt to rework the formula. Bad guys remain cocky and the good guys turn the tables miraculously right at the end.
Thankfully this thriller with a social cause has no song and dance routines. But when you’ve got the insanely compatible Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi together, anything less than Ishqiya level camaraderie and fun is a disappointment. Irada sadly, doesn’t even promise to be that good. It stays content just having the stellar names on board. At no point do Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Divya Dutta or even Sharad Kelkar and Sagarika Ghatge get a chance to impress.
The use of CGI, the editing and the writing remain lacklustre and amateur at best. The only silver lining to Irada is its brief insight into the malicious world of corporation driven pollution and it’s adverse effect on the quality of human life. For a film that had a subject as relevant as that of Udta Punjab, this movie turns out to be a major let down.