Set to hit the theaters on December 9, Sanjay Mishra and Neena Gupta’s Vadh is a fleeting thriller that works in parts but fails to do justice to its essentially compelling plot. The film revolves around Shambhunath Mishra, a school teacher who leads an unusual life with his wife Manju (Neena Gupta). He is constantly harassed by a loan shark named Prajapati Pandey (Saurabh Sachdeva), something he deeply resents.
Vadh reminds a bit of Drishyam. Both films essentially deal with the struggles of underdogs and attempt to blur the lines between right and wrong. However, Vadh fails to reach the standards set by the Ajay Devgn-led thriller as the screenplay is not up to the mark.
Sanjay Mishra’s film opens with a series of scenes that give us a glimpse into Shambhunath’s life. While these sequences are well-intentioned, they don’t do an exceptional job of building the film’s world.
As a result, a person cannot get into his predicament. The sequences between the heroine and her son also don’t really work as well as they could. They had to be more subtle to make an impact. The same applies to the scenes involving Shambhunath and Prajapati.
They had the potential to be deeply moving and unnerving, but that doesn’t happen because the silences don’t really speak. The scenes set in the police station are somewhat engaging but lack the intensity of what was seen in Drishyam. There is an attempt to make them funny, something that backfires and diminishes their impact.
That said, Vadh is not a lost cause by any stretch of the imagination. The pre-interval has a fair amount of ‘shock value’ and manages to set the stage for the second half.
Similarly, there is a twist towards the end that tests the dynamics of the film.
Sanjay Mishra sinks his teeth into a layered and complex character with ease. He uses his eyes to hide Shambhunath’s true intentions in the second half. She also shows her sensitive side in a heartbreaking scene where she is beaten by the villains.
Neena Gupta complements Sanjay Mishra quite well. He is best in the scene where he cries “paap hogaya”. That said, one finally feels that one deserves a meatier role.
There is no option for music. The makers of Vadh wisely refrain from filling the narrative with unnecessary songs. Unfortunately, the background score seems too generic at points, a major fault for this thriller. Other technical aspects like editing and cinematography are decent but not truly phenomenal.
To sum it up, Vadh is an ordinary thriller and can be enjoyed if you watch it without any expectations.