Film Reviews review

A Thursday: Yami Gautam makes for a worthy watch in this hostage thriller that speaks volumes

A Thursday is a thriller that has Yami shouldering the entire story. Everything is a mystery, right from start up until the end. It is not one of those run of the mill thrillers with an obvious motivation in the beginning.

Published: Wednesday,Feb 16, 2022 13:14 PM GMT-07:00
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Yami Gautam

The cast of A Thursday includes Yami Gautam as Naina Jaiswal (school teacher), Atul Kulkarni as Javed Khan (super cop), Neha Dhupia as Catherine Alvarez (ACP), Karanvir Sharma as Karan Mirchandani (Naina's fiance) and Dimple Kapadia as Maya Rajguru (Prime Minister), among others.

One fine day, Naina Jaiswal (Yami Gautam), an innocent, loveable 30-something preschool teacher, declares that she has taken 16 children from her nursery hostage enraging the Mumbai Police and the media. She makes a cautious statement mentioning how unless super cop Javed Khan (Atul Kulkarni) agrees to meet her list of demands, each child faces death. The tale revolves around Naina's day-long standoff with the cops.

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A Thursday that will wake you up

Just to reiterate, this isn’t a sequel to Naseeruddin Shah’s film, A Wednesday. Yes, the premise might resemble a bit, but the drama is very different.

Naina tells the cops that she has kidnapped 16 children from her playschool and that she has some demands that have to be fulfilled. Catherine Alvarez (Neha Dhupia), a pregnant ACP, cancels her doctor's appointment and heads to the playschool. She attempts to speak with Naina, but she requests Javed Khan (Atul Kulkarni) for further discussions. Just after Javed's entry, be ready to brace yourself for an exciting trip as he enters the crime scene. Naina creates an intriguing game in which numerous lives are at risk. She makes a number of demands to Javed, ranging from $5 million in ransom money to a meeting India's Prime Minister. 

The movie beautifully leads you to believe that the kidnapper, Naina Jaiswal is just a mentally ill woman and hence, she is creating all this trouble. And well, due credits to the team for maintaining the mystery and not making it too predictable.

The film is written by Ashley Michael Lobo and Behzad Kambata, and is a gripping narrative about a lady who is fighting the system for justice, after years of being a victim of it. It's powerful, moving, makes you wonder, and keeps you hooked till the finish.

There are a couple of scenes in the film that will leave you both surprised and terrified. Naina, for example, once asked the children to form a circle and recite "Twinkle Twinkle" with their eyes closed. As the innocent souls begin to sing, Naina records them on her phone while holding a gun to their heads. She gets into a fight in another nail-biting scenario, which is enhanced with the background score of a lullaby, and is definitely a piece of cinematic brilliance that will keep you gripped, among other things. Not to forget, the twist in the climax will make your pupils dilate (much like Yami's?).

Yami Gautam

What could have been better:

Every time Naina says a dialogue, zooming in on her face might seem unnecessary. And of course, one can't expect the Prime Minister to communicate directly to you and that, is something that does count for a huge illogical factor in the film.

Among other things, it is a little unsettling to see how a single person was able to take the kids hostage while the cops and commandos outside stood by and did nothing. However, these are minor flaws, and the second half's twists and turns more than make up for them and at the end of the film, you will have a better understanding of Naina's motivation, and the larger picture here.

Direction and Music :

Behzad Khambata’s direction screams about this drama from afar. He does of course, manage to create tension and nail-biting situations, but he also throws light on the current day usage of social media and perspective of media across all walks.

One cannot miss the shots captured by drones of the entire situation, for they look absolutely amazing with all the cars, umbrellas covering the spot, etc. It does create an impact and reek of the tension in the air. The film has no songs or melodrama and you won't miss it either as the background scores, the thrill and eerie sounds at necessary spots are apt.

Yami Gautam and Dimple Kapadia

Stellar stars:

Yami Gautam is sure to impress the audiences with her extraordinarily brilliant performance. She continues to ride high on the record she has created for herself, right from Kaabil to Bala and URI, and now, A Thursday. The script demands a lot from the actor, and she makes up for the highest screen time. While dealing with kids and carrying out the whole hostage situation, she has to shuffle between expressions of sweet and subtle to evil and revengeful, and in no time, she does it quite effortlessly. She manages to pull off a powerful climax which makes it worth the watch.

The Prime Minister's role is played by Dimple Kapadia. Though not many scenes in the film, she does make the most of it. The attempt to highlight how being a woman can be used against her, even at the highest levels of power, is just praiseworthy, and ironic, at the same time.

Neha Dhupia deserves all the praise for playing a pregnant woman and pulling off her role. She does the best job she can - right from the body language to pasting tight slaps on culprits, among others.

Atul Kulkarni is the perfect cherry on this cake. As soon as he enters the screen, he doesn't overshadow Neha, but enters the act and assists her. The actor is given a major role, but he doesn't have anything to perform until the climax, which heavily affects him and will also leave a mark on you.

Neha Dhupia and Atul Kulkarni

What works:

The film focuses on a timely topic that will connect with women all throughout the world. This isn't an adrenaline-pumping thriller that induces worry or fear, but it does dare to make a significant point, and that is a win-win. The director of the film effectively incorporates social media to enhance the tale, and it works. The movie also makes a good observation of sensational journalism and the 'breaking news' business.

 'A Thursday' won't disappoint you and is a surprise for thriller lovers.

Ratings: 3.5/5 stars

Dimple Kapadia Neha Dhupia Atul Kulkarni Yami Gautam

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