Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Divya Dutta, Sagarika Ghatge, Sharad Kelkar
Direction: Aparnaa Singh
Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes
Irada is one of those rare Bollywood movies that talks about hazardous environmental issues and debutant Aparnaa Singh has made a good attempt in addressing the problem.
Plot: Parabjeet Walia (Naseeruddin Shah) is an army officer. He is completely shattered when his daughter Ria (Rumana Molla) dies because of lung cancer. Digging more, he realises that many people in the state of Punjab are dying because of cancer. He aims to expose the whole nexus behind this which involves the State Government and a giant pharmaceutical company. Joining the fight is Maya (Sagarika Ghatge), whose RTI activist boyfriend (Nikhil Pandey) is murdered and soon NIA officer Arjun Mishra (Arshad Warsi) joins the mission. What’s left for the viewers is to see how these three work towards unfolding the truth.
Being marketed as an eco-crime thriller and having a great star cast, the film tries to make a strong social point. Inspired by the Hollywood thriller Erin Brockovich, Irada is a movie that we usually don’t expect from Bollywood.
At times it loses its pace and grip. It is not your typical Bollywood movie, where you will whistle; but a film that’s inspired by reality.
The sole problem with the film is its execution, but it will appeal to conspiracy movie buffs. Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi are brilliant on-screen. You feel sad and disheartened looking at Parabjeet and sympathise with the character. The scene where Naseer recites Dushyant Kumar’s shayaris will definitely surprise you.
Officer Arjun Mishra is an interesting character. He isn’t your normal film police officer who dances and fights. The director very subtly shows the thermal plants overlooking the city and perfectly establishes the point through some shots. The villains Paddy F Sharma (Sharad Kelkar) and Chief Minister, Ramandeep Braitch (Divya Dutta) are perfect for their role. Every time Divya appears on the screen, you enjoy her performance.
You also have a track featuring Maya who is trying to get justice for the murder of her boyfriend’s death and helps Arshad in unfolding the case. Sagarika does a good job.
The screenplay at times is random. For example: The scene with the “cancer train” that travels between Bathinda and Lalgarh with ill patients & their relatives. The scene makes you cringe and makes you a bit uncomfortable as well. However, it doesn’t leave the impact you would expect.
The film had the potential to be a great one but ends up being a good one. One thing that can be said is, the maker had a brilliant idea but not enough depth to be a heartfelt film. However, though Irada lacks some things here and there, the Ishqiya duo try to make up for it.
There is the right amount of dark humour and punches. Director Aparnaa Singh’s Irada is a good watch this weekend.