Neeraj Pandey’s A Wednesday is a well-received and appreciated Indian thriller Hindi language film released in 2008. This film is known for some of the phenomenal performances of the most cherished actors of all time – Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah, in the lead roles. A Wednesday! has been considered a sleeper hit, as it was a small-budget film with no over-the-top promotions. It grossed around Rs 120 million and received an Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director at the 56th National Film Awards, along with several significant nominations.
A Wednesday review was mostly positive, and despite its low promotions, it was declared a hit. The reason is the positive word-of-mouth and critics’ responses. Although the movie is a fictional one, it’s partially based on the Mumbai train bombings of 11 July 2006. In fact, the events that followed the bombings were used as a detailed script for the film. This article will hence include a few insights from this appreciated mind-boggling thriller film and review the movie. So let’s begin!
Neeraj Pandey-made A Wednesday! is a 2008 movie that Ronnie Screwvala, Anjum Rizvi, and Shital Bhatia co-produced under the banners UTV Motion Pictures and Friday Filmworks. It premiered on 5 September 2008 and did a business of 12 crores in total. The movie features a typical thief and cop’s run and chase story, which follows the 2006 Mumbai train bombings. The story is set between 2 pm and 6 pm on a Wednesday, hence the title. A Wednesday later inspired the 2009 movies like Unnaipol Oruvan (Tamil) and Eeenadu (Telugu) and a 2013 Sri Lankan movie, A Common Man.
The Star Cast
Anupam Kher plays Mumbai Police Commissioner Prakash Rathod, who is after Naseeruddin Shah playing “The Common Man” (Rajesh Kumar Sharma). Besides these two in the lead, other important stars include Jimmy Sheirgill as Inspector Arif Khan, Aamir Bashir as Inspector Jai Pratap Singh, Deepal Shaw as journalist Naina Roy, and Alok Narula as her cameraman Raj Sharma. The role of terrorists was played by Rohitash Gaud (Ikhlaque Ahmed), Kali Prasad Mukherjee (Ibrahim Khan), M.S. Bhatt (Khurshid Lala), and Vije Bhatia (Mohd. Zaheer).
A Wednesday begins with a retiring commissioner Prakash Rathod reciting the story of his career’s most challenging case. One day, an unnamed man (Rajesh Kumar Sharma), calls the police and informs them about the five programmed bombs he placed around Mumbai. He warns them of explosions within four hours if his demand for releasing the four terrorists isn’t fulfilled.
Here begins Rathore’s struggle to find out the man and diffuse the bombs. He alerts his team and hires a hacker Anuj (Apurva Mehrotra), to trace the caller’s location. While doing so, the caller asks them to surrender the terrorists on a bench near the Juhu Aviation Base runway. However, suspecting the caller’s promise, Inspector Arif leaves only three of the terrorists except for Ibrahim Khan. Eventually, a phone under the bench rings and explodes, killing the three terrorists.
For the first time caller reveals he is a common man with no terrorist connection, and he wanted to avenge those terrorists of the 2006 Mumbai train bombings that killed thousands of innocents. He finally offers to diffuse the bombs if the police themselves kill Ibrahim. Hence, Ibrahim is killed indirectly on orders of Rathod, only to learn that there were no bombs planted anywhere. In the closing scenes, Rathod reaches the caller’s spot of action but fails to recognize him while they cross paths. The film ends with an understanding of the fact how the incompetence of the governing authorities may push a common man to commit a crime. But, eventually, whatever happens, happens for the best.
A Wednesday Review
The story of A Wednesday moves smoothly from its beginning and proves how a non-masala film can do good business too. It only needs good performances along with an interesting script without fancy locations and songs. It’s a plain yet thrilling story that portrays the power of a common man and how his emotions are often ignored by governing authorities. Its simple yet influential deep, meaningful dialogues are unforgetful too.
“I,m just a stupid common man”
“We are resilient by force, not by choice”
“Insaan naam me mazhab dhoondh leta hai” (A human can find one’s religion by his name)
With an IMDb rating of 8.1, the film successfully impresses its audiences and critics. Nikhat Kazmi from The Times of India calls it an intelligent diatribe against terrorism while comparing it with the American series Die Hard. Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN praises the implementation of this movie. However, NDTV’s Anupama Chopra finds it to be a provocative theatre. Overall, in this article, the review for A Wednesday will be a positive one.