Once every while, there comes a film that focuses on making you look up, think and ask questions instead of just entertaining you. Irada is one such film. Revolving around how the industries are getting closer to cities, Irada uncovers how the shift can be hazardous and its harmful effects may have already begun. While making you aware, it also makes an attempt at reminding you how important it is to look beyond what meets the eye. An eco thriller directed by debutante Aparnaa Singh, Irada will leave you aware and angry about what’s happening around you and how your ignorance is allowing the one’s with devious intentions to get richer and mightier.
Here’s what India.com thought of the film Irada that stars Arshad Warsi, Naseeruddin Shah, Sagarika Ghatge, Divya Dutta, Sharad Kelkar in pivotal roles.
What’s it about
The film is set in Punjab’s Bhatinda that went from being country’s wheat bowl to India’s cancer belt. Irada talks about how the improper management and lack of surveillance of how the industrial waste is disposed off is rendering the soil and water unsuitable to use. However, what is unnerving is that those who can get hurt the most from this toxicity are the ones who are unaware of this threat. Irada introduces you to one such family of a father-daughter duo whose hopes and dreams come crashing down when the daughter is diagnosed with lung cancer. The father, played by Naseeruddin Shah, a retired army man, has a personal interest to bring those down who run the plant in the heart of the city and are responsible for releasing the poison in the bloodstream of its citizens. He is up against business tycoon Paddy Sharma, played by Sharad Kelkar and his ally Divya Dutta, the corrupt Chief Minister of the state of Punjab.
A massive blast at Paddy Sharma’s plant might just unravel the ugly secrets of the contamination caused by his business and the various life threatening chemicals that it releases in the nearby area. But Ms. Politician and Mr unethical Businessman together plan a fool proof cover up when they appoint NIA agent Arjun Mishra played by Arshad Warsi as an investigating officer. He has strict instructions to close the case within a week and reserve his seat at the Prime Minister’s Office as a promotion or get demoted and end up getting transferred at a Naxalite area. But while on the case, he meets Naseerudin Shah and Sararika Ghatge, a braveheart journalist who wants to avenge the death of her boyfriend-RTI activist’s murder (Nikhil Pandey). Investigating the case also takes him on the ‘cancer train’ which further shakes him up and stirs something inside him. Will he still side with the mighty but guilty?
The biggest challenge for an eco thriller film is to make the issue relatable and drive home a point. And Irada gets full marks for doing that. The issue that it takes on hand is something that calls for increased alertness and awareness amongst not just those in power but also the citizens. It highlights the simple fact that ignorance can result into the creation of a pitfall where everything important can disappear. Best part, it doesn’t get preachy but calls for attention and action. (ALSO READ: Hey Akshay Kumar, Arshad Warsi is eyeing the third installment of Jolly LLB – watch EXCLUSIVE interview)
Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi who have worked together in Ishqiya and Dedh Ishqiya earlier share an amazing chemistry. Warsi’s natural performance complement the veteran actors art. Their play of words is beautiful and you’ll lose you heart to Naseeruddin Shah when he recites a few lines by Nawaz Deobandi. Sample this…
Jalte ghar ko dekhne waalon,
Phooss ka chappar aap ka hai,
Aage peeche tez hawa hai,
Aage muqaddar aap ka hai…
Sharad Kelkar and Divya Dutta are impressive in their menacing characters. Sagarika Ghatge is confident as the reporter. Over all, the performances alleviate the films story to the next level.
The film falls in the thriller genre but still fails to keep you on the edge of the seat. The details of the hazards being caused by the industrial waste scam will disturb you but they lack the shock element. The investigation seems rather easy and doesn’t keep you on the edge of the seat. (ALSO READ: Running Shaadi Movie Review: Amit Sadh – Tapsee Pannu’s film struggles to make you fall in love with it)
What to do
Irada might fall short of being a brilliant film but it is still a well made movie with some beautiful performances and deserves a watch. It also successfully attracts attention to an important subject which is not only relevant but the severeity of which transcends boundaries.
Rating: 3 stars