12 June 2009 | Peter_Young
A breathtaking picture that is both relevant, important and entertaining.
What can be said about this film? Like many other films made recently, this one is different from the typical Hindi masala flicks (nothing against them, I think they're wonderful), there are no songs, there is no combination of different genres in one film, it is not a three-hour film. It's a simple, small film of one hour and a half, yet it succeeds to depict an entire world in this limited time.
The story begins as an ordinary thriller about a common man who calls the police and informs them about 5 bombs he has allegedly placed all over Mumbai, which he'll get exploded if they don't release four terrorists. The way every scene is carried by the director is very impressive and the dialogues are realistic. The film flows as a great thriller as time passes by, but then unexpectedly becomes into a dramatic story as it unfolds the motives of this common man.
The film does not want us to side any party, it wants us to understand the consequences of war, violence and hatred. It wants us to understand how it affects ordinary people. The story is not bigger than life, nor does it intend to be one. The fact that Naseeruddin Shah's character is unnamed only contributes to the universal message of the film.
There are many sequences of different people shown in different portions of the film which are just amazing. The one when the officer played by Anupam Kher asks the policeman played by Aamir Bashir about his family status, and his willingness to find the bomb. The guy answers that he's married with a recently born baby girl, yet he'll do anything to find the bomb. Another, when Naseer recalls the young nice guy he met every day in the train, the one who was preparing to marry someone, and gets killed the following day at the 2006 Mumbai train bombings. People must get what happens as a result of terror.
The characters in this film are very well defined: a great and respected Police Commissioner, an ambitious journalist, a hot-tempered policeman who takes his job seriously, a common man who feels hurt, and many other policemen who'd give their life for the country. The film depicts national pride and the passion different people have for their work without going to large extents and unnecessary melodrama. It's done in a very realistic manner.
The entire cast is wonderful, from leading actors to extras. Naseeruddin Shah does not know how to give a bad performance. He doesn't have to speak a lot or make strange facial expressions to be convincing. He doesn't have to play a grandiose king to make his role bigger than life. His dialogues come from the heart. It is yet another unforgettable performance from Naseer, the one and only. Anupam Kher is restrained and brilliant. The difference between the way he portrays serious yet sensitive men and the way he portrays comic and funny people is thrilling and incredible. Jimmy Shergill is amazing in a small yet pivotal role of a intransigent, hot-tempered, angry, disciplined and serious policeman. So is Aamir Bashir. Deepal Shaw is effective.
Well, in conclusion, A Wednesday is an entertaining film with a universal message. Watch it, you'll enjoy it, and you will learn to look at certain things differently.