Wagt the race against time is the story of a father and a son between whom there is a special bond. Ishwarchand Thakur (Amitabh Bachchan) and Sumitra Thakur (Shefali Shah) are a married ... See full summary »
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Konkona Sen Sharma,
An ordinary 60 plus couple - Vidhyadhar Patwardhan and his wife are forced to search for their faith in human values and society after the death of their only son Amar. In the process they undergo the most testing struggle of their lives.
Wagt the race against time is the story of a father and a son between whom there is a special bond. Ishwarchand Thakur (Amitabh Bachchan) and Sumitra Thakur (Shefali Shah) are a married couple who run a toy factory together. They have a son called Aditya Thakur (Akshay Kumar) who does not have any interest in responsibility or what he wants to do in life. It gets even worse when he elopes with his girlfriend (Pooja, played by Priyanka Chopra), the daughter of Natu (Boman Irani). When Pooja gets pregnant, both Ishwar and Sumitra decide to make Aditya realize his responsibilities, as he will have to take care of his wife and child. Both take drastic measures and even chuck Aditya out the house along with Pooja. The farce becomes so bad that Aditya begins to hate his father and they do not speak to each other for a long time. At the same time Aditya becomes aware of his role in life. However, Ishwar has done all this for a reason and is hiding something from Aditya. Ishwar is trying to ... Written by
WAQT is a perfect example of a chicken soup not exactly for your soul. The broth unfortunately has lost its actual taste thanks to all the excess dilution and garnishing that went into its making.
What's surprising and disappointing about WAQT is that it comes from a director who stayed away from the usual clichés of Hindi cinema in his first venture but who in his second outing gives in for all the stereotype film formulas. While Vipul Shah had the conviction to show something as implausible as blind men robbing a bank in AANKHEN, he just fails to induce life in the entire packaging of WAQT that is based on something as conceivable as a father-son relationship. Adopted from a Gujarati play Aavjo Vhala Fari Malishu, WAQT does have a sensible storyline with a social message to back up. A mature look on the father-son relationship, a father's unconditional love towards his son and a son's responsibility towards his family. Ishwar Chand Sharawat (Amitabh Bachchan) who has established his entire empire on his own from the scratch leads an affluent life with his wife Sumitra (Shefali Shah). Their only son Aditya (Akshay Kumar) never had the need to strive for anything since he got everything tailor-made and spoon-fed in life. Ishwar's pampering has only spoil him all the more.
Aditya dreams to turning into a superstar but does nothing to make his dreams come true. In the meanwhile he marries his ladylove Mitali (Priyanka Chopra). Ishwar hopes that marriage will make Aditya a more responsible man but he is disappointed. Aditya is still at his blithe best leading a carefree life.
The endurance limit finally collapses when Ishwar expels Aditya from his house. The sudden change in the attitude of his affectionate father towards him and his now expecting wife baffles Aditya. He has no option left but to strive for the livelihood of his wife and his unborn kid. He starts turning into an independent man but the rift in the relationship between him and his father grows.
The story is simplistic while the uncomplicated screenplay has a very elementary approach. One can easily identify and relate with the credible characters of both the father and the son. If you are not one of the two, you at least might have come across individuals like them somewhere in real life.
Add to it director Vipul Shah's easy handling of the screenplay. With a family affair like this, any other director in his place would have added in tons of melodrama in the proceedings as per the cinematic laws of Bollywood family dramas, turning the film into a compulsive tearjerker. However Shah excels in the effortless handling of emotions for most part of the film.
Clear-cut example of his unpretentious direction is palpable in the pre-interval scene where the father expels the son from his house in a rather frivolous manner. The purpose of the scene is achieved without blotting a brunt on the audiences' brains. Ditto for the scene in the second half wherein the now separated father son have a flippant conversation. That's what differentiates WAQT from a KABHI KUSHI GHUM or an EK RISHTAA and in fact places it one level high in terms of treatment.
But after gaining all the distinction points, one may wonder where does WAQT still fail in? The problem lies in the fact that while WAQT distinguishes itself from the others in it's league in terms of treatment, it gives in to the glitches in the terms of packaging. What with the director forcing in song-n-dance every now and then in the first half. There's a Johar kinda shaadi song, a Chopra kinda Holi song, a father son disco dandia song, a dream song and a dream come true song inducing sufficient yawns in the viewer. Picture this... the father has just ousted the son from his house and the son is dreaming of a song in Moroccan mountains with his wife. Out of place! Out of reason! and the audience Out of seat.
The film just drags in the first half and the actual story starts only in the second half. The director has wasted too much WAQT on unnecessary elements. The much talked about dog chase sequence isn't bad but is not redeeming either. However Akshay Kumar's taandav dance is simply ridiculous. Imagine he qualifies for the star hunt in the movie with this (unintentionally) hilarious histrionic. Add to it the climax set at the finals of the star-hunt where the son bursts out with emotions. That's so archetypal! Also the editing pattern could have been reversed to conceal the father's reason for the change in attitude towards his son.
Anu Malik's music is fine though unnecessary in the proceedings. Santosh Thundiiayil's camera-work is competent enough though not much demanding. Aatish Kapadia has come up with some good dialogs for dramatic moments.
Boman Irani and Rajpal Yadav make up or the light moments in the film very efficiently. While Rajpal Yadav has been going overboard with his comic histrionics in many films off lately, this time he underplays his character and is completely restrained. His deadpan expressions are perfectly complimented with Boman's over-the-top histrionics.
Shefali Shah is convincing in the mother's role. Not to be taken as a censure but she is flawless in both playing and 'looking' her character. Priyanka is gorgeous and performs her part well.
Of course the major applause deserves are Akshay Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. Akshay is especially expressive in the scene where his doting father intentionally berates him to make him aware of his responsibilities. Though Bachchan goes a bit dramatic in a couple of scenes, his brilliance strikes throughout the film.
To sum up, WAQT is like a soup whose ingredients are both tasty and nutritional but the final recipe somehow isn't as much appetizing.
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