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A Wednesday!

Promotional poster for the film
Directed by Neeraj Pandey
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala
Shital Bhatia
Anjum Rizvi
Written by Neeraj Pandey
Starring Anupam Kher
Naseeruddin Shah
Jimmy Shergill
Deepal Shaw
Aamir Bashir
Music by Sanjoy Chowdhury
Cinematography Fuwad Khan
Editing by Shree Narayan Singh
Distributed by UTV Motion Pictures
Release date(s) 5 September 2008
Running time 103 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi

A Wednesday! is a 2008 Indian thriller drama film written and directed by Neeraj Pandey. It stars Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah in the lead roles. The film depicts an about-to-retire police commissioner narrating a sequence of events that unfolded on a particular Wednesday and which do not exist in any written record, but only in his mind and in those of several individuals who were involved in it, both willingly and unwillingly, and how those events affected the lives of all the concerned people.

Contents

Plot

The film opens with Mumbai Police Commissioner Prakash Rathod taking a respite after a jog, describing in a voice-over that he is going to retire from office the following day, and how numerous people have been recently questioning him about the most challenging case he had to deal with in his entire career, and how he has been deliberately evading such questions. As his voice-over ends the film switches into a narrative, showing the events that occurred on a certain Wednesday, which the Commissioner specifically recalls when being asked the said question. An unnamed man is shown to strategically carry a travel bag, assumed to be explosives, in the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station and proceeding to place the bag, under the false pretense of lodging an FIR, in the toilet of a police station located near the Mumbai Police headquarters. He then arrives on the rooftop of a building under construction where he has set up his base of operations, equipped with various modern technology gadgets and instruments. He calls up Rathod and informs him that 5 bombs have been placed in different locations throughout Mumbai, which are programmed to explode simultaneously within four hours unless the Commissioner gives in to his demands and releases four militants. In response, Rathod immediately alerts his team involved in intelligence research and surveillance, tapping all the available resources in gathering preliminary information and tracing the location of the caller. Meanwhile, the caller tips off television news reporter Naina Roy, telling her to reach the police headquarters immediately as it is going to be "the most important day of her life". Rathod initially suspects the anonymous caller to be bluffing, but his doubts are dispelled as the caller, to prove his seriousness and the police force's helplessness, reveals that a bomb has been planted in the police station right opposite to the Police headquarters. He tries to trigger the bomb through a cell phone, but it is located in the nick of time and defused, just as Roy reaches the scene on the caller's instructions and reports about the situation.

. Rathod's men find out that the caller is using advanced software to automatically switch the numbers and locations of his mobile phone SIM card every minute, rendering their manpower and the obsolete equipments useless and prompting them to employ the services of a young hacker. Once there, the caller confirms the identity of all the four men via a conference call with Arif and Rathod, and then asks Arif and Jai to unlock their handcuffs and leave them at a particular spot.Arif decides not to hand over Ibrahim Khan to ensure all the information regarding the locations of the bombs can be forced out from the caller. Jai argues with Arif and demands he do as ordered but Arif forcefully grabs one of the terrorist and walks away. As they leave behind the remaining three, the caller, unaware of the ongoing fiasco, uses a cell phone placed under a rigged bench at the spot to detonate an explosion in which all the three terrorists perish. Arif relays this information to Rathod, which is confirmed by the anonymous caller as he reveals that he is just a "stupid common man", not belonging to any terrorist outfit, and his plan was not to free the terrorists but to kill them, avenging all the terrorist attacks they had helped carry out in Mumbai and other major cities of India, specifically for the 2006 Mumbai train bombings, thus "cleansing the roach-infested house". Rathod tries to reason with him but then the caller threatens to blow up the remaining bombs across the city unless Arif and Jai kill Ibrahim Khan. Rathod discusses this with the state's Chief Minister and his deputy, coming to a conclusion that the situation is just an "accident", and orders his men to kill the terrorist. As Roy reports the scene on television, the young hacker traces the caller's location and Rathod leaves abruptly towards the site.

The caller calls up Rathod, as he is en route, for a final time to further reveal that he had not planted any other bomb in the city. At this point, Rathod surprisingly declares he already knew there were no more bombs which makes it clear that his decision to kill the last terrorist wasn't taken in fear but in confidence. Rathod reaches the caller's location just as the latter is leaving the place, having destroyed all his gadgets and equipments, leaving behind no evidence. The two meet briefly when Rathod, identifying the anonymous caller on the basis of the face sketch, offers the man a ride home and introduces himself. The film freezes momentarily just as the man begins to smile and utter his name, when Rathod's voice-over cuts back as he says the man told him his real name but he doesn't wish to reveal it since anyone will look for a religious basis in it. The film ends on an idealistic note, with Rathod admitting that they all knew the common man was disturbed because of the insecure environment and the incompetence of the governing authorities but he never imagined a common man to go to such lengths and have the guts to do something like that. He also repeats that the facts of this incident cannot be found in any written record but only in the memories of those who actually witnessed it, and acknowledges that although the incidence has ambiguous moral significance, he personally feels that whatever happened, happened for the best.

Cast

Reception

  • Subhash K. Jha, newkerals.com, 27 August 2008, "Anupam Kher impresses Narendra Modi with 'A Wednesday'"
  • Elvis D'Silva, Rediff India Abroad, 5 September 2008, "Watch Wednesday"
  • Nikhat Kazmi, The Times of India, 5 September 2008, "A Wednesday - Best shot by Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah"
  • Gaurav Malani, The Economic Times, 5 September 2008, "A Wednesday: Movie Review"
  • Rajeev Masand, IBN Live, 6 September 2008, "Masand's Verdict: Any day, watch A Wednesday"
  • Nikhat Kazmi, The Times of India, 5 September 2008, "A Wednesday"
  • Nikhil Kumar, ApunkaChoice.com, "'A Wednesday' -Could make your day"
  • A Common Man, [1], "'A Wednesday' - A Story of an Aaam Aadmi that gives you the feel of Freedom!. A must watch movie!"

The film was remade as Unnaipol Oruvan (Someone Like You) in Tamil with Kamal Haasan in the lead role. In the Tamil version, he is joined by veteran Malayalam actor, Mohanlal, whilst in the Telugu version of the film, titled Eenadu, actor Venkatesh pairs with him.

Awards and nominations

The awards it won are highlighted in bold.

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Star Screen Awards

Filmfare Awards

Asia Pacific Screen Awards

Prequel

On 14 April 2009, it was announced that a prequel for A Wednesday is being planned by the film makers.[2]

Remakes

The film is remade into Tamil/Telugu starring Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal/Venkatesh as primary roles. In Telugu it was remade as "Eenadu" and in Tamil it was remade as Unnai Pol Oruvan.

References

  1. ^ www.asiapacificscreenawards.com, "Asia Pacific Screen Awards"
  2. ^ "A Wednesday prequel now?". IndiaFM. Sify.com. 2009-04-14. http://sify.com/movies/bollywood/fullstory.php?id=14880604. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 

External links


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