Film – Irada
Directed by – Aparnaa Singh
Produced by – Falguni Patel, Prince Soni
Cast – Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Rumana Molla, Divya Dutta, Sharad Kelkar, Sagarika Ghatge
Music by – Neeraj Shridhar
Duration – 1 hour 49 minutes
Censor Rating – U/A
Irada is yet another movie with a great theme but a failed execution. Eco-pollution is a major concern these days and it is but natural that Aparnaa Singh decided to direct a film on this gripping challenge. But calling it an “eco thriller” seems far fetched.
The story revolves around the problem of groundwater contamination by pharmaceutical industries that are now mushrooming around urban settlements. Irada does not even come close to Hollywood flicks based on the same central idea such as Erin Brockovich.
The plot of Irada revolves around a retired Army man played by Naseeruddin Shah whose beloved daughter dies of cancer. Mystified and deeply anguished, he investigates into the real cause of her death and discovers that others in the vicinity are also suffering from cancer caused by contaminated groundwater.
A pharmaceutical giant is at the root cause and the city administration ignores the health hazard. He teams up with an Intelligence Officer played by Arshad Warsi to solve the case.
Naseeruddin Shah is a legend and comes across as the only reason one may want to watch the movie. Arshad Warsi is good, too. Divya Dutta is plausible as a corrupt minister and ruthless tycoon Sarad Kelkar, too, seems believable enough. What, then, is wrong with Irada, one may ask. It is perhaps Kapoor’s Irada to make an impactful movie. The debutant director fails to leave the audience enraged with the rampant pollution shrouded by corruption. The script is weak and the treatment lukewarm.
Neeraj Sridhar’s debut as a composer in Irada is an average offering. The film offers four tracks – “Irada”, the title track, “Mahi”, a folksy song, “Chaand Rajai Odhe”, a lullaby, and “Mitran De”. Of these, “Chaand Rajai Odhe” by Papon seems to be the best, splendidly delivered and set to a wonderful backdrop.
“Mitran De”, sung by Master Saleem, Kaur B and Earl Edgar, evokes the Punjabi notes but sounds rather flat. The title track, sung by Nikhil Uzgare, is good but fails to deliver a punch as well. Apart from Harshdeep Kaur’s voice, nothing seems to work for “Mahi”. The song fails to register and leave a lasting impact.
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The theme, the actors and the soulful poetry that makes part of the dialogues are the things that work for Irada. Art must reflect social issues and looming concerns such as environmental pollution must be addressed by films. Shah and Warsi form a wonderful team and it is a delight to filmgoers that they share a screen.
To start with, the script was a weak one. A wonderful theme has been squandered away by the writers and treated immaturely by the director. We only wish Kapoor had not played into a desire to deliver a hybrid between a Bollywood hit and a documentary, failing at both. Even the subplot of a journalist seeking revenge seems to fall flat. Ultimately, not even the music has managed to hoist Irada and support it through the 109 minutes of run time.
Picking a dark theme and delivering a blockbuster is not everyone’s cup of tea. It certainly isn’t Kapoor’s. Our final word is that Irada is, at best, a one-time watch if you do not have much happening over the weekend. It is best, otherwise, to sit back and wait for a television premier. Irada could have been brilliant. It wasn’t even close!
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