Wazir is a breezy thriller that wraps up a series of twists and turns in a neutral hued pashmina shawl of grieving and unlikely friendship topped with more chess playing metaphors than a game of chess. At times, the film loses its focus and leaves everyone (including the characters) hanging before getting back on track.
I was also underwhelmed by one of the moments of exposition near the climax which seemed quite obvious from early on. Having said that, Wazir does have a really good premise and when all the elements do come together, we have an entertaining and engaging film on hand.
Both Bachchan and Akhtar give perfunctory performances that give the film the gravitas it needs – however, I wish the story had challenged them both further and not given the plot so much prominence over characterisation. Hydari’s grieving mother/wife/dancer has no scope or author backing and she cannot be blamed for phoning it in here. The best turn comes from Kaul who is suitably evil and cold as the ruthless politician.
Interestingly, Wazir was intended as a Hollywood project but then adapted to become a Hindi film. What would have been fascinating is if the film had retained its original ambition and had not tried too hard to be so commercial. Despite this, Wazir is watchable and certainly to be applauded for its creative premise and execution. A lukewarm but promising start to Hindi cinema in 2016 then!