Vishal Bhardwaj’s latest film, “Khufiya,” based on Amar Bhushan’s novel “Escape to Nowhere,” is a spy thriller set against the backdrop of RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) and real-life incidents. With a star-studded cast including Tabu, Wamiqa Gabbi, Ali Fazal, and Atul Kulkarni under Bhardwaj’s direction, the film had the potential for an exhilarating cinematic experience. However, while “Khufiya” has its moments, it falls short of the expectations associated with Vishal Bhardwaj’s brand of cinema.
Khufiya Movie Review
A Spy Thriller with Political Intrigue
The film’s plot revolves around the aftermath of the 1999 Kargil War, where India and Pakistan closely monitor elections in Bangladesh. During this period, a spy known as Octopus is exposed and killed in Dhaka during a covert operation. RAW head Jeev (Ashish Vidyarthi) informs one of his key officers, KM (Tabu), that a mole within their organization led to Octopus’s death. The suspected mole is Ravi Mohan (Ali Fazal), a devoted family man.
Unrealized Potential and Character Depth
While “Khufiya” begins promisingly with the murder of Octopus and KM’s emotional connection to the case, the film struggles to maintain its initial momentum. Vishal Bhardwaj, known for crafting complex characters, seems to grapple with the character development in this film. KM’s emotional turmoil remains secondary to her professional duties, and Ravi’s transformation from a loyal citizen to a traitor lacks depth.
Shift in Focus and Pacing
The film’s second half shifts the focus to Wamiqa Gabbi’s character, Charu, with portions set in Alberta that are less engaging. Character decisions, such as a risky phone call, raise questions. The climax, unfortunately, appears farcical and leaves the audience wanting more clarity.
Tabu delivers a solid performance, but KM’s stoic character doesn’t make her particularly intriguing. Wamiqa Gabbi shines more in the second half, while Ali Fazal’s performance falls short in emotional scenes. Ashish Vidyarthi’s portrayal of the RAW chief is commendable.
In conclusion, “Khufiya” offers glimpses of potential with its intriguing premise and talented cast. However, it struggles to fully deliver on its promise. Despite Bhardwaj’s talent for crafting complex characters and engaging plot twists, the film faces challenges in character development, pacing, and narrative focus. “Khufiya” is streaming on Netflix.