‘KHUDA HAAFIZ’ | 14 August, 2020

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Panorama Studios’ Khuda Haafiz is the story of a man in search of his wife who goes missing in a foreign land.

Sameer Chaudhary (Vidyut Jammwal) gets married to Nargis (Shivaleeka Oberoi). They live in Lucknow. As bad luck would have it, both lose their jobs on the same day due to recession in the economy. They apply for jobs in the Sultanate of Noman through a recruiting agency run by Nadeem (Vipin Sharma). Nargis gets a job before Sameer and she has to, therefore, go to Noman before Sameer. As soon as she reaches there, she is kidnapped and pushed into the flesh trade. It turns out that Itzak Regimi (Nawab Shah) runs a prostitution racket in Noman, and Nargis has been kidnapped by him. Sameer rushes to Noman and, with the help of local cabbie Usman Ali Murad (Annu Kapoor), manages to save his wife but with great difficulty.

Faruk Kabir’s story is interesting in parts but lacks novelty. It starts on an exciting note but becomes routine as it progresses. His screenplay is engaging at places but predictable at others. Lack of novelty is the biggest minus point as one has seen such stories or tracks in earlier films. While the first half is fairly interesting, the same cannot be said of the post-interval portion which is long-winding and also boring at places. Too much usage of Arabic language makes it a little difficult to keep track of the goings-on although those dialogues are subtitled. Faruk Kabir’s dialogues are so-so.

Vidyut Jammwal acts rather well but his action scenes are so few that his fans will feel disappointed. Shivaleeka Oberoi looks pretty and does a fair job in a brief role. Shiv Pandit is effective as Faiz Abu Malik, officer of the ISA. Aahana Kumra makes her presence felt as Tamena Hamid of the ISA. Nawab Shah is impactful as Itzak Regemi. Annu Kapoor (as cabbie Usman Ali Murad) acts ably and although he is present all through, the viewers get the feeling that he has not done too much substantively. Ikhlaque Khan has his moments as I.K. Mishra. Rio Kapadia creates an impact as Ali Azam Ghazi. Vipin Sharma leaves a fine mark as agent Nadeem. Shahnawaz Pradhan (as Suraj Chaudhary), Gargi Patel (as Nandini Chaudhary), Suparna Marwah (as Nargis’ mother), Mohit Chauhan (as Nargis’ father), Yasir Khan (as Junaid), Ajit Shidhaye (as assistant commissioner), Anvar Kartaev (as Hakkan Rabbani) and Tamara Mirmahsudova (as Usman Ali Murad’s wife) lend fair support. Others are adequate.

Faruk Kabir’s direction is alright. He seems to have lost grip in the second half as far as both, his direction and script are concerned. Mithoon’s music is melodious but not of the popular variety. ‘Jaan ban gaye’ is the best song of the lot. Saeed Quadri’s lyrics are weighty. Amar Mohile’s background music is okay. Jitan Harmeet Singh’s camerawork is of a good standard. Action scenes (by Ivanov Victor and Andreas Nguyen) are quite exciting but not extraordinary. Production designing (by Bijon Dasgupta, Ranjit Singh and Sunil Nigvekar) and art direction (by Sudarshan Kamble, Prerna Katuria and Manali Revankar) are of a fair standard. Sandeep Francis’ editing is decent.

On the whole, Khuda Haafiz is an ordinary fare and will not make much of an impact.

Released today (14th August) on Disney+ Hotstar.