Two players are engaged in a tense game of chess. One tries to decipher the story of the other's death through the moves in the game. By the end of the game, the player is changed forever.Wikipedia
In the end Wazir is moody and atmospheric, and gripping for a large part. What it needed was a tighter script with fewer holes.
There’s enough to watch in ‘Wazir’ despite its flaws. It reaffirms something we’ve always known: that there’s nothing to beat a plot-driven film (co-written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi). That the supreme importance in a thriller is to keep it going. And that strong performances are the pivot of any film: watching Akhtar and Bachchan joust and manoeuver around each other is this film’s high point.
It has competent moments, but is too generic to be memorable, and that's a shame for it could so easily have been a winner.As it stands, Wazir is the one thing a chess player can never afford to be: Obvious.
Despite the smaller flaws and the slightly botched up ending, the film is definitely worth a watch.
A story that uses chess quite literally as a game and as a metaphor, we'd have loved to see it check-mate us. We'd have loved to lose to the storyteller and have all our guesses proved wrong by the time the end credits rolled. But sadly, this game leaves a lot to be desired.
Wazir is at best a one-time watch, if only for the academic interest of viewing Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar in the same film.
Consistent hard focus over sentimental soft-focus would have let these shatranj ke khiladi blow up that chess board. As it is, they complete their game - but don't check-mate smartly enough.
Worth one visit for sure for AB Sr's superlative acting and some ceetee-worthy dialogue (why don't we write like this anymore?). As a thrilling drama, it has some bite, but as a suspenseful tale, it lacks teeth.
In a nutshell, Wazir is a commendable attempt by Nambiar. Watch the film for its performances.
Wazir is a missed opportunity. It is a story that could have been gripping but suffers from a bad treatment, thus leaving you disappointed. Farhan and Big B do their best to save this botched up plot but they can’t. So basically, it’s like the audiences will end up saying Check Mate to the makers.
WAZIR, despite boasting of some of the great performances, reasonably fails to leave the desired impact because of its convoluted script. At the box office, the film may just about appeal to a handful of the multiplex audiences who would want to get a taste of Bollywood entertainment in absence of any new film releases since past three weeks.
Even those who can’t second guess the outcome, the climax is convenient and inane. The emotional depth and the complex character behaviour that engages you through the first half are slavishly abandoned for action-movie thrills. It’s all well done. The production, the sound, the action is all top notch. But the writing is King of the game in a film. The technique is merely a pawn. You can sacrifice the pawns but not the King.
If you are planning to watch WAZIR (I suggest you do), track every move, analyze every act on screen; it will help you decipher the Wazir: the winning move that wins the war!
Wazir is a con job, endeavouring to show us layers that it chooses to do almost nothing with.
What works against the film, however, is loads of groan worthy cliches, predictable storyline and worst of all, it also suffers from the common woe of most Bollywood thrillers; lack of subtlety. There is nothing left to audience's imagination as the director goes about painstakingly explaining every move, every turn of the story. 'Wazir' is a good, one time watch.
Writers Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi might have cracked an interesting storyline, originally planned in English as ‘The Fifth Move’ in 2003, but over the years its lost its sheen. And that’s a shame, really.
Audience Reviews for Wazir
With its IMDb page created 14 years ago before the film finally released, the makers' attempt at checkmating their audience with their crime drama only results in a stalemate where the game is mostly declared a draw.
The story starts with a death, as dutiful and physically fit anti-terrorist operations officer Daanish (Akhtar) regrets his decision of impulsively going behind a known terrorist when he is out with his family. Seeking vengeance, he goes on a rampage and gets himself suspended, only to meet Dhar (Bachchan), a widowed and physically disabled chess enthusiast, who is fighting his own devils after his teen daughter was killed in a mysterious accident. They become friends, and so starts a game of chess as Daanish becomes a friendly yet courageous horse for Dhar to find his daughter's killer.
Slow motion and suspended audio hook effects in the initial sequences marvelously entices its audience's attention, and it stays that way through the first act. However, Hydari's character evokes a sort of necessary but terse drama into the narrative which continues to happen throughout the movie. With good dialogs and a well-written screenplay, stylistic antagonists appear and drive the story forward. Mukesh's aura is appreciably different for what he's worth, and Nambiar fancily uses his charm to herald a new type of villain into Bollywood that is away from the deadpan elements we have been seeing in celluloid these past years.
However, the story has one too many flaws. Minor ones like Dhar driving a vehicle without his limbs in place can be forgiven, but if one digs deeper into the story that lays itself out in the second act, one will realize that the game which started with 8 ferocious pawns only has one pawn left and it is up to this pawn to take the film forward to a conclusive end. Of course it does, and it does beautifully, but the speed of this transition of a humdrum crime case turning into a thriller is too fast. Flip flops between the drama and the case affects the narrative, only to create an unrest in the audience.
So, as the pawn sets out to find the mysterious wazir, queen dies, and the king is high on vodka. Since the queen is dead, the game is more or less over. The wonderful climax is all that saves the pawn from going out on a limb, and manages to salvage the whole game.
Cast is brilliant; Akhtar and Bachchan are both good, but one will find the latter more believable in his character. Hydari just mops and sobs, while Mukesh does better acting in his 60-second space than in all his rest of the filmography combined. All said and done, Nambiar's attempt thankfully does not get convoluted, and is read out clearly in its 100 minute running time, but still the story has its flaws and the gist of it is nothing new that our palettes haven't tasted before.
BOTTOM LINE: Bejoy Nambiar's Wazir is an inventive thriller whose base story may be ordinary, but watch out for the titular character, for he may impress you with his faith and power and sheer thirst for retribution.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
Brand New concept.... I don't know why negative reactions coming from the critics and audience... You need to dive into the storyline to understand it fully.... Panditji's psychological sufferings and duality are outstanding portrayal.. you need to look into the tragic situations of the two major characters and the game played by them; chess or life revenge game made the climax more curious.. the final touch is the revelation of the mystery and the game played by Omkar Nath.... in one word "outstanding".... Mukesh's performance is really awesome.... a psycho duality of Panditji... All did well... good direction.. rapid or dynamic movie....you must watch if you are looking for mystery thriller... but I confess, it deals with drama... good to watch movie..
Wazir is a 100mins runtime action suspense drama replete with phenomenal acting and gnomic dialogues. Both Farhan and Amitabh had a dazzling appearance in the film. And both of them should be eulogized for their acting. The performances in the film are masterly pleading and are spirited with laborious signs. Bejoy Nambiar’s direction work was of a mediocre state. The dialogues were spine tingling and spruced up the film but the vacuity of scenes doesn’t work at all. The story revolves around Danish Ali (Farhan Akhtar) and a chess master Panditji (Amitabh Bachchan). Panditji’s wife is killed in an accident and his young daughter Nina dies a mysterious death. Panditji soon approaches Danish to look into his daughter’s death case. She is claimed to have died after falling from the staircase at a minister’s residence. Danish helps Panditji as he also lost his daughter in a gun-fire exchange between him and some terrorists. Panditji suspects that it is a murder. During this investigation, Panditji is attacked by a man called Wazir. Who is Wazir and will Danish be able to find him? Wazir is a good movie to watch. The suspense created doesn’t gratifies much but still it is a winsome watch for Akhtar and Bachchan fans. Wazir deserves 50% of 5 from me.
But sadly the movie didn't quite live up to its full potential!