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Netflix Movie Review: Vishal Bhardwaj’s Khufiya, a balanced film away from the fantasy world

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Few films from Bollywood in recent years have been seen as complete as ‘Khufiya‘. The best thing about this spy thriller released on Netflix is that it is written and directed by a creator like Vishal Bhardwaj.
The main idea of the film is taken from a best-selling novel ‘Escape to Nowhere’ but Vishal has tried to breathe new life into the story.

What strikes you most about Khufiya, is that this film revolves around three of the world’s top secret agencies, completely devoid of the artificiality of Pathaan, Ek Tha Tiger, or other such Bollywood fantasy spy films. Not even. This movie doesn’t give you incredible action and stunt sequences like Mission Impossible, and James Bond, but it’s still a great movie because it keeps you in the real world.

Krishna Mehra (Tabu) works for the Indian secret agency RaW, but finds herself responsible for the death of one of her assistants, Hina Rehman (Azmeri Haque Badhon), who is codenamed Octopus and is assigned a mission to kill Brigadier Saqlain Mirza of the Bangladesh Army. (Shataf Figar) but the American CIA warns Saqlain Mirza and Hina is killed in the mission. Hina is not only prepared for this mission by Krishna, but the two are also shown to have a physical relationship, i.e. both are homosexual. Krishna feels this urge even more intensely after Hina’s death. She is estranged from her husband and son because of her homosexuality.

The other side of the story is Ravi (Ali Fazal), another secret agent working for ‘RaW’ who is suspected by Krishna’s boss Jeev (Ashish Vidyarthi) of planting RaW’s secret spy minutes in a neighboring country. His wife Charu (Wamiqa Gabbi) and mother Lalita (Navnindra Behl) also come under suspicion. Finally, the plan to catch Ravi red-handed enters the final phase but just in time Ravi comes to know about the trap spread around him and he makes a plan to run away from India but Charu refuses to go with him and doesn’t even let her son go. Lalita shoots her daughter-in-law and mother and son escape leaving Charu seriously injured.

Charu asks for Krishna’s help to get her son back and in return she can help in arresting Ravi. With the help of Krishna, Charu reaches her husband but Ravi constantly doubts her. With Charu’s help, Krishna reaches out to Ravi and offers him and his family protection if he helps kill Brigadier Saqlain. In a dramatic climax, Brigadier Saqlain is killed and Ravi is deported back to India.

Even more crispy and thrilling than the film’s story is the screenplay of Khufiya. The role of screenplay in embellishing and making a film visible is seen only in the films of directors like Vishal.
Despite a short career to Vishal’s credit, several films can be called the director’s style or brand, including Maqbool, Omkara, Haider, Patakha, etc. Khufiya, has also been listed as one of the proudest films to Vishal’s credit.
In this film, Vishal has another credit in his account: the music department. The duration of the film is two hours and 37 minutes with 35 minutes of soundtracks and all these compositions are given by Vishal himself.

Talking about the acting, Tabu has left everyone behind due to his experience in the film, but Wamiqa Gabbi has given a surprising performance. There are many shades in her character which Wamiqa has handled well. There is also a bold scene of Wamiqa in the film which no other actress of this league would have agreed to do, but Wamiqa also compromised for this role.
Other actors include Ali Fazal, Navnindra Behl, Azmeri Haque Badhon, Atul Kulkarni, Shataf Figar, and last but not least Ashish Vidyarthi. Overall All is a Khufiya, Tabu, and Wamiqa film.

If you’re in the mood for a spy thriller that shows the world’s three biggest secret services battling each other in a very unbiased way, watch Khufiya at your leisure. Balanced films of this mood are rarely seen in India now.

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