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ITTEFAQ is flawed, but quite engrossing!

Clocking just a little over quarter-to-two hours, ITTEFAQ is a double murder mystery that has its fair share of suspenseful drama and engaging twists. But with several glaring flaws in the screenplay, it fails to live up to the legacy of the 1969 classic that it’s a remake of. Nevertheless, it’s riveting enough to deserve your time this weekend. Go for it!

The Story: Dev (Akshaye Khanna), a police officer, is investigating a double murder case that has only two witnesses, who are also the prime suspects. The suspects - Vikram (Sidharth Malhotra), an acclaimed writer, and Maya (Sonakshi Sinha), a young homemaker, have different narratives about the events of that fateful night. Both the stories seem true but there can be only one truth. Dev is torn between the two versions of the story, and will not settle till he finds out what happened that night.

Stylishly mounted and crisply edited, this whodunit provides great entertainment value owing to its constant sense of mystery around the characters and the plotline. Also adding to the deliciousness is the fact that the two prime suspects have two completely different stories to tell. And just when you think it’s all predictable from here, you find there is more to it. For audience in general, these things are drivers enough to urge you watch this film. But, if you’re a really well-informed movie lover, you end up feeling underwhelmed, as it takes too many easy-way-outs and far-fetched logics to prove its point.

The one major flaw is that the police interrogation with each of the two characters (which takes place separately) is itself divided into parts, which matches with the progress of the other. What I mean is, that the investigating officer should ideally listen to the whole of one suspect’s side of the story and then to the whole of other suspect’s story. But in this case, Akshaye Khanna’s character abruptly stops in between the narration with Sidharth’s character and even Sonakshi’s story proceeds till that very point. He then resumes with each of them in several such divided interrogations, finally concluding later. Now this is even more unbelievable given the fact that his character is shown to be running against a very tight deadline to close this case. The climax will take most by a surprise, but I felt that the climactic scene was a bit implausible. If you overlook these script problems, the film overall is an absorbing affair, which keeps you on your toes almost all the time.

Of the actors, Akshaye Khanna is the binding force here. He is his usual dependable self, and plays his part of the not-so-easy cop extremely well. Sidharth Malhotra is also quite convincing and consistently delivers exactly what his character requires. But Sonakshi Sinha is a dampener here. Her character is sketched flimsily and even her depiction lacks the desired conviction. She looks totally out of form this time. All others are passable.

In all, ITTEFAQ isn’t as amazing a film as its plot promises to be, yet it manages to keep you glued and is a watch-worthy cinema piece for this weekend. Go for it, you won’t be disappointed!

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