Vishal Bhardwaj, known for his prowess in delving into the enigmas of the heart, has taken a unique turn with his latest creation, ‘Khufiya’. While his spy thriller follows the journey of R&AW agent Krishna Mehra, played by the formidable Tabu, as she hunts down a mole leaking sensitive information to the nation’s enemies, Bhardwaj’s exploration of secrets and spies promises an intriguing narrative.
Unveiling Hidden Mysteries: Bhardwaj’s New Playground
‘Khufiya’ adapts its storyline from former intelligence officer Amar Bhushan’s novel ‘Escape To Nowhere’, venturing into territory that Bhardwaj hasn’t explored overtly before. While espionage and covert operations take center stage, it’s the mysteries harbored within the hearts of the characters that captivate us. After all, in the world of clandestine lovers, there are no bigger spies.
Treading the Fine Line: A Mixed Bag of Secrets
Despite the top-tier acting talent led by Tabu and Bhardwaj’s expertise in creating immersive atmospheres, ‘Khufiya’ lands as a mixed bag, more subdued than sensational. The unfolding of the mole’s identity is an integral part of the plot, but not a secret. The mechanics of espionage, such as tailing suspects, planting spy cameras, and high-stakes missions, aren’t groundbreaking, but they manage to keep us invested.
Crossing Borders: An Unconventional Perspective
The narrative weaves a tale of characters living double or even triple lives, providing a unique vantage point. The introduction of a Bangladeshi operative, played by Azmeri Haque Badhon in a Mata Hari-esque role, adds an intriguing layer to the story. The intricate relationships, such as KM’s ex-husband and their teenage son, aim to infuse ‘Khufiya’ with emotional depth, reminding us that even shadow-dwelling individuals have a softer, vulnerable side.
Chemistry That Falls Flat: A Missed Connection
However, the chemistry between Ali Fazal and Wamiqa Gabbi, who play Ravi Mohan and his wife Charu, doesn’t quite ignite. This crucial aspect of the film fails to hit the mark. As the story progresses, it transitions into a slump, with Mohan’s family hiding out in snowy South Dakota, waiting for the inevitable shift—a scenario that is part and parcel of a spy’s life.
Subtle Tension and Missing Tabu
Moments of peril and impending discovery are interspersed with tense laughter and tenderness. For instance, a dinner scene featuring rogan josh and suspicious glances among the guests, or the frisson between KM and her passionate operative, provides some upliftment. However, these moments aren’t sufficient to maintain consistent engagement.
And whenever Tabu is absent from the screen, her presence is sorely missed. More of her and Badhon’s characters would have added depth to the narrative. We yearned for the older Bhardwaj who has a knack for making every scene resonate.
In conclusion, ‘Khufiya’ offers a blend of secrets and espionage but struggles to keep the intrigue consistently alive. While it may not be a resounding success, it remains a testament to Bhardwaj’s willingness to explore new realms, even within the confines of the spy thriller genre.