A newly wedded couples life falls in danger when the wife mysteriously goes missing
Format: Film (Direct OTT Release)
Platform: Disney Plus Hotstar
Movie Rated: 13+
Genre: Action, Romance, Thriller
Digital Premiere Date: 14 August 2020
What’s the story about?
Sameer Choudhary and his newly wedded wife Nargis both suffer job losses during the 2007 recession, which makes them look for work outside the border. When Nargis finds herself a suitable job at Noman and departs early, happy times are predicted for the family. But all is not well as she is abducted at the airport, making Sameer go in search of her and pin down the nasty men behind her abduction.
For starters, Khuda Haafiz doesn’t portray itself as a high-level action thriller and is quite happy to settle down at the lengths of a B-movie, trying to do it right. The good thing about the film is that it is engaging right from the first scene, putting the viewer in the middle of the situation along with the characters and delivering an engrossing first half that rarely has any lulls. The rapid pace that director Faruk Kabir narrates his story with is a big plus, and it goes big at the interval block where he places a bloody and kickass fight and chase sequence. Post the halfway mark, the film does drag a bit with some tropes not hitting the right mark, but it still qualifies for a good thriller that can be watched for sure. Despite not having a lot more action as expected, Khuda Haafiz somehow manages to keep us hooked for close to 80% of the runtime.
Vidyut Jammwal isn’t great when it comes to his emotional expressions, but he scores well in the action sequences of the film. His dashing outlook is a big positive and does make up for the other blips at many places. Shivaleeka Oberoi is a nice presence, but she barely has much to do in the film’s overall scope. Annu Kapoor who comes in as the cabbie is probably the best actor in the film, acing his part. The two other main actors in the frame are Shiv Pandit and Aahana Kumra, who are both good in their roles but could have avoided the fake Arab accent which doesn’t fit in perfectly.
Music and other departments
Khuda Haafiz is backed by a grand scale, with the locations truly being a feast to the eyes. Especially in the action sequences, there is a lot to cheer for in how the team has managed to capture the moments in the fictional country of Noman (Uzbekistan is where they actually shot the film). The music by Mithoon is another plus, with two good songs taking the cake. However, the film could have been cut short in the second half.
The fast-paced first half of the film and the action sequences are the real highlights, along with the film’s grand scale which aids our viewing experience.
A crisper and clearer second half would have definitely made the film a better one.
Did I enjoy it?
Yes. Despite its drawbacks, I really liked this film. It set out to achieve something that was accessible and did it to a fair effect.
Do I recommend it?
If you are someone who likes action thrillers that are set in fierce foreign backdrops, you could pick this. It is not perfect but surely worth a shot during this lockdown.