Director: Aparnaa Singh
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Divya Dutta, Sharad Kelkar, Sagarika Ghatge
‘Irada’ covers the story which is based in the state of Punjab and the scenario of poisoned water which is affecting the people there with cancer. It’s always good to see cinema as a means to create awareness of the social topics and the harsh reailty that is going on around us.
It’s a delight to watch Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah again on screen after Ishqiya and Dedh Ishqiya. Honestly, it’s the performances of the cast due to which the film is watchable; otherwise the story and direction add nothing new or interesting to the premise.
A big shot businessman Paddy Sharma (Sharad Kelkar) runs a factory PPFPL which dumps the harmful chemicals deep down the surface and these chemicals get mixed up with the water supply and create hazardous effects on people of that region. This is a story of corruption, horrific realities, finding out the truth and fighting for the righteousness.
Aparnaa Singh gives good background to each character but the gradual unfolding of events with everyone having their own intention is predictable. Sharad Kelkar as big shot businessman, Naseeruddin Shah’s secret plans, Arshad Warsi’s dilemma to choose a side, Divya Dutta’s dominancy as a politician and Sagarika Ghatge’s never dying attitude for justice – all of these are really great aspects on paper that can give the film a good script but Aparnaa Singh convolutes it and stretches the movie with dull scenarios.
Image Source: Irada Entertainment
When Arshad Warsi starts investigating the case, the movie looks promising for a while as the screenplay written for that part is brilliant. The conversations between Arshad and Naseeruddin are deep, especially the Shayaris. The quotes of Naseeruddin like ‘Jungle mein ek sher hota hai aur sheher mein ek khalifa, baki sab sirf hote hain’ are amazing. But that’s the only highlight of the story. The rest of the characters have hardly any weight in the film and even the negative characters, i.e. Sharad Kelkar and Divya Dutta which are shown strong initially have very vague conclusions. They never felt threatening.
The big problem with Aparnaa Singh’s direction is she begins and develops the film in a way that hints a realistic storytelling but then it just concludes in a filmy way with twists and turns that are more theatrical. So much for the social topic.
Like I said, if there is anything that makes this movie at least watchable, it’s the performances. Arshad Warsi is a champion performer. The moment he enters the story, he lifts it with his funny acts. His investigation, way of talking to people is effective Naseeruddin Shah never disappoints. His Shayaris keep you thinking and his firm voice and intense expressions are smart and also make you sympathetic for him.
It’s an amazing journey how Divya Dutta has evolved as a skilful actress over the years. She is performing greatly. Her portrayal as a corrupt, cunning and loud mouth Punjabi politician is impressive and she dominates the screen with her dialogue delivery.
Irada covers a vital topic of Eco-Terrorism that is happening right under our nose but it is not handled well by Aparnaa Singh. The story doesn’t accelerate in an interesting way. Despite brilliant performances from the cast, sadly the movie is a let-down.