Neeraj builds a lot of tension and anxiety but the film doesn’t stand out in its pace and thrilling element as promised.
Director: Neeraj Pandey
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Sidharth Malhotra, Rakul Preet, Pooja Chopra, Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah, Adil Hussain and others
Director Neeraj Pandey, who tried the thriller genre in his series of previous films like Baby, Special 26, A Wednesday brings you all yet another seat edge thriller Aiyaary that joins the bandwagon of sloppy thrillers and nothing beyond. With Aiyaary, writer-director Neeraj Pandey has pen down a story that highlights the issue of corruption within the system of Indian Army that includes the illegal supply of arms and equipments.
Col. Abhay (Manoj Bajpayee) forms a secret team with Maya (Pooja Chopra), Major Jai Bakshi (Sidharth Malhotra) and others to expose the corruption but due to surveillance stint and clash of ideologies, Col. Abhay and Major Jai Bakshi have a fallout. Sonia (Rakul Preet) helps her boyfriend Jai to confront the truth while Jai join hands with ex Indian army officer Mukesh Kapoor (Adil Hussai). Will Col. Abhay be able to expose the dirty intentions of Jai and Mahesh?
Known for making content driven films in the past, Aiyaary is surely a disappointment from Neeraj Pandey. However, he has sketched his every character nicely. The good part of his writing is that he utilises each and every character in the most relevant manner. But the flak also goes to him for a poor execution. First half is too long but raises high hopes in the second half but by then it is too late to even realise it.
The conflict of the film is not clear even till the interval. Although, Neeraj builds a lot of tension and anxiety by inserting too many things happening at the same time but the film doesn’t stand out in its pace and thrilling element as promised. Seems like the non-linear screenplay does not work for this one as excess of flashbacks ruins the flow.
Manoj Bajpayee is the knight in shining armour of the film. It is so good to see him pulling off every tone and variation of his role effortlessly. His power packed performance in the film is an answer to those who considered method actors a lesser talent early on. Sidharth Malhotra has slightly improved with his previous performances, be it Baar Baar Dekho or The Gentleman but still he had a long way to go. Despite being a male centric plot, Rakul Preet has enough screen time and she looks pretty but an average performer. Pooja Chopra is good as a subordinate to Manoj and Sidharth. Anupam Kher is good in his brief role and Naseeruddin Shah is excellent. Adil Hussain looks terrific as a badass mafia. Rest, Kumud Mishra, Rajesh Tailang, Vikram Gokhale are just about perfect.
For a film like Aiyaary, there is no scope for any music because of its plot but the film could have been better paced, all thanks to the under-cooked narrative. Aiyaary is a throw away effort from director Neeraj Pandey, where the only saving grace is Manoj's act.