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A Wednesday Review

Anjum Rizvi, Shital Bhatia, Ronnie Screwvala, and Neeraj Pandey, under the UTV Motion Pictures and Friday Filmworks banners, produced the 2008 Indian thriller A Wednesday. Neeraj Pandey wrote and directed the film. Starring Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher, the movie is set on a Wednesday between 2 and 6 p.m. It tells the story of a confrontation between a police commissioner and an anonymous caller who threatens to blow off explosives throughout Mumbai if four terrorists are not released from police custody.

Bollywood has already established itself as a sturdy force, scoring many brawny points for its action plays with high testosterone levels. Now that its IQ-enhanced factories are producing stylish, thought-provoking films, it is also hell-bent on displaying brains. A Wednesday is a perceptive critique of terrorism that is creatively disguised as a gritty thriller akin to the Diehard series. In reality, Diehard 4's character Diehard 4 is directly based on the teenage hacker who pretends to be a college dropout by choice and ends up assisting the technologically handicapped detectives in apprehending the cyber-savvy bomber.

A Wednesday Review

On September 5, 2008, the movie opened in theatres. It received a lot of positive reviews from critics and became successful on the market. In the state of Maharashtra, it was also given tax exemption. It later received several honours, including the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Director Debut Film at the 56th National Film Awards. Later, it was recreated concurrently in Tamil and Telugu as Unnaipol Oruvan and Eenadu (both 2009), as well as an English-language Sri Lankan film, called A Common Man (2013).

Cast of the Movie

  • Anupam Kher as Prakash Rathod, Commissioner of Mumbai Police
  • Naseeruddin Shah as "The Common Man"
  • Jimmy Sheirgill as Inspector Arif Khan, ATS
  • Aamir Bashir as Inspector Jai Pratap Singh
  • Deepal Shaw as Naina Roy, UTV Journalist
  • Parag Tyagi as Inspector Aakash Duraivanshi
  • Alok Narula as Raj Sharma; Naina Roy's Cameraman
  • Rohitash Gaud as Ikhlaque Ahmed (A terrorist)
  • Kali Prasad Mukherjee as Ibrahim Khan (A terrorist)
  • Mukesh S Bhatt as Khurshid lala (A terrorist)
  • Vije Bhatia as Mohd. Zaheer (A terrorist)
  • Chetan Pandit as Chief Minister Sunil Nigvekar
  • Rajendra Chawla as Jaishankar Tiwary, Chief Minister's Assistant
  • Gaurav Kapoor as Arjun Khanna (Actor); Special Appearance
  • Virendra Saxena as Officer In-Charge (O.C) Baburao Patil at Colaba Police Station
  • Snehal Dabi as Shambhu, a.k.a. Electric Baba
  • Aayam Mehta as Shankar Patil, Chief Minister's Assistant
  • Apurva Mehrotra as Anuj Sharma, The Hacker
  • Shakti Bharti as Inspector Jai Pratap Singh's wife
  • Vicky Ahuja as a middleman who supplied RDX
  • Namrata Sawhney as The Common Man's wife; VOICE OVER


In a voiceover, Mumbai Police Commissioner Prakash Rathod announces his impending retirement the next day. He continues by describing the most difficult situation he has dealt with.

In the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station, an unidentified guy is seen carrying a travel bag that is thought to be filled with explosives. He then goes on to conceal the bag in the bathroom of a police station next to the Mumbai Police headquarters. Then, after setting up his center of operations on the rooftop of a newly constructed building with sim cards, mobile phones, and other technology, he leaves. He phones Rathod and tells him that he has planted five explosives around Mumbai, all of which are set to go off at once in four hours if the Commissioner doesn't cave to his demands and free the four terrorists. Rathod notifies his team to find the caller's whereabouts. A television news reporter, Naina Roy, receives a call from a caller who informs her that today will be "the most important day of her life."

Police officers Arif and Jai capture the four terrorists the caller had requested. Anuj, a teenage hacker, is assigned by the police to find the caller's whereabouts. The caller instructs the two police officers to leave the four militants near a bench on the runway of the Juhu Aviation Base. Still, Arif only lets three of them go and kidnaps Ibrahim Khan because he believes the caller won't reveal the locations of the bombs even after the militants have been freed.

The three terrorists are killed in an explosion when a phone placed under the seat rings. The caller admits that he is not a member of any terrorist group and that his intention was to kill the terrorists rather than release them. The caller, who claimed to be "just a stupid common man wanting to clean his house," wanted to exact revenge for the terrorist atrocities they had assisted in carrying out in important Indian cities, particularly the 2006 Mumbai train bombings. The cops must murder Ibrahim, or he would detonate all five explosives in Mumbai, is his ultimatum. Rathod gives Arif and Jai a covert order to murder Ibrahim while making it seem as if it was done in self-defense.

The caller makes one more call to Rathod to admit that he has not detonated any other explosives in the city after Ibrahim's demise is reported on the news. Rathod claims that since he already knew there were no more explosives, he did not choose to execute the last terrorist out of fear but rather confidence. Rathod arrives at the caller's location just as he is about to leave after destroying all of his equipment. The two briefly interact as Rathod gives the caller a lift home after recognizing him from a face sketch.

Rathod claims in a voiceover that the guy gave him his true name but that he does not want to share it since doing so would betray the man's faith. Rathod acknowledges that he was aware of the caller's distress at the government's inefficiency, but he never believed the average person would go to such lengths to accomplish this goal. Furthermore, he concedes that while the occurrence had uncertain moral meaning, he believes that whatever transpired was for the best. He also points out that the details of this incident cannot be discovered in any written record but only in the recollections of those who were really there.


A city is being seized, and five explosives are about to detonate. In response, the government flipped all of its resources. This and a lot more have been seen in Hollywood. However, when you take this simple premise, add some simple action to it, and cast the most amazing cast you could have, you have me in custody, and I don't want to blink.

It's interesting to see how movie titles are created because, in a sense, it shows how much regard the decision-makers have for their cast. It often happens that the titles are so noisy and glittery that you are compelled to skip the opening credits. I am thus intrigued when I see that half of A Wednesday's titles are just plain white text on a black backdrop with no sound.

In one scenario, the guy threatening to detonate explosives is on the verge of being apprehended. At that time, I was speculating about how awesome it would be if he were truly captured at this point and how the plot would develop. I was hoping he would manage to flee at the same moment. If he were to be captured, it would indicate that the film was almost at its conclusion. I was so engrossed in the suspense and the build-up that I wasn't even aware that it wasn't even an interval yet.

A Wednesday introduces us to its characters while simultaneously making fun of the role of "stars" in our film business, gender inequality in our culture, the "creation" of news by our media, and the overall mindset of our law enforcement authorities.

Along the way, it makes a point on how powerless our law enforcement agency is (although it was encouraging to see so many dedicated police officers in one place). And cleverly, the story exploits that same impotence to set things right.

Less than a day ago, I was praising a filmmaker for trying to give Anupam Kher a quiet, significant part. And this movie has him as the main character. Yes, he can use only some possible expressions an actor - especially this one - is capable of. But what it provides him in return is our respect as his audience. What can I say about Naseeruddin Shah? His character's confidence and anguish, whether well-placed or not, just left me speechless. Even yet, the finest genre to showcase acting talent is only sometimes thrillers.

Jimmy Shergill and Anupam Kher are what I refer to as the "soft faces" of the movie industry. Despite how harsh they may seem, you anticipate that they will eventually lose their hard edges. But because of their strong mindsets, you don't question it when Anupam Kher or even Jimmy beat up someone. The performances and the script are complementary to one another. The appeal is also there in the minor supporting players. The self-made kid hacker was adorable. Yep! I genuinely thought geeks were cute. Speaking of which, the other technical discourse didn't seem like jargon other than the funny pictures on the screen.

The only things that annoyed me were the histrionic background music used to build tension and the too-dramatic slo-mo stylization of Naseeruddin Shah's persona. I received the impression that the excessive drama was not based on artistic choices made from the heart but that the filmmaker resorted to them because he was required to from the tone of the film otherwise, notably the muted titles. Surprisingly, the climactic address didn't get too self-righteous. The main reason for this is that the motives seemed original but plausible. Naseerudin Shah and Anupam Kher, It's a real delight to see you two together, sirs! And in a thriller, no less.


A Wednesday brought in almost Rs 120 million in India. In India, the distributor's share of the movie was worth Rs 44,600,000. Producers, distributors, and exhibitors were happy with the outcome. A Wednesday won praise from the critics, and many people compared it to the Die Hard series of films. While praising Neeraj Pandey for a well-written movie with "red herrings, finely etched characters," a Tehelka reviewer also commented that "(for the film), the real Anupam Kher, whom we met in Saaransh, and the real Naseeruddin Shah, whom we knew from Bazaar and Mandi and Sparsh, both show up." According to Nikhat Kazmi, a reviewer for The Times of India, the movie was "an intelligent diatribe against terrorism, refreshingly packaged as a racy thriller, reminiscent of the Die Hard Series."It received three out of five stars from Rony D'Costa of Box Office India, who said that although it only required 100 minutes of your time, it will provide you with an entertaining and worthwhile moviegoing experience. Any day of the week is a good watch.

It's hard to describe how amazing A Wednesday is without giving away too much about the movie, according to renowned reviewer Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN, who rated it 4 out of 5 stars and a favourable review. Because, trust me, it's a movie that's best viewed without any preconceived notions. The appeal of the movie is in how it falls apart. Gaurav Malani, a reviewer for The Economic Times, said of A Wednesday, "It is one of those rare variety films about which one cannot say much despite a great desire for it may spoil your watching experience as an unappreciated audience. It's a movie that one wants to gush about, but even then, it's awkward to talk about the praise as they are the director's secret surprises that are saved until last. It's the type of movie that gets thoroughly examined after it becomes a cult classic. Additionally, he awarded it 4 out of 5 stars.

In the words of Anupama Chopra of NDTV, the film is "provocative theatre. Its message is urgent and relevant but also disturbing and dangerous." She thought it also struck her as "implausible" what it implied.


One of the greatest films is A Wednesday. It's a gripping thriller with excellent screenplay execution by the director and performances that leave a lasting impression on the audience. The film only lasts 1:30 hours, yet the director even finds time for a few humorous parts.

Yet again, Naseeruddin Shah demonstrates how unique he is. He transmits so much through his emotions, giving a compelling performance. Witnessing the two movie icons together is a delight since Anupam Kher is also excellent. Watch Jimmy Shergill, who gives one of his greatest performances to date.

Overall, A Wednesday is a must-see. It has the perfect ratio of all the elements, including a moving performance and a film that will stay with you long after you leave the theatre.

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