Director/Screenplay: Aparnaa Singh
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Sagarika Ghatge, Divya Dutta, Sharad Kelkar, Rumana Molla, Prashantt Guptha
Strength: Thriller, Drama, Cinematography
Weakness: Amateur writing and execution
PLOT: An ex-army man, Parabjeet Walia (Naseeruddin Shah), is devastated by the death of his only beloved daughter Riya (Rumana Molla) to cancer. Upon setting out to find out the cause of his daughter’s death, he discovers that many other Punjabs in the area are dying of cancer due to the polluted water that is being supplied to them by the town. He embarks to find vengeance against the administrations who have constantly been ignoring poor conditions of the people suffering from the contaminated water. He is united with an Intelligence Officer Arjun Mishra (Arshad Warsi) and a journalist (Sagarika Ghatge) demanding justice for her dead boyfriend.
Review: “Irada” is a movie that aims to raise awareness against the big companies that are constantly neglecting the necessity of preserving the environment for their own financial gain. Directed by Aparnaa Singh, the film derives its inspiration from the Hollywood movie “Erin Brockovich (2000)”. The film does well initially, capturing the audiences’ emotions by portraying a desolating scene between the father Naseeruddin and his daughter Rumana, who dies of cancer. It conveys a message regarding how big pharmaceutical companies are fooling around with innocent lives by turning a blind eye to the sufferers. However, the film fails to keep up with its promise of providing an insightful and relatable “personal vendetta” story. The information it provides is ambiguous. If seen as a whole, the film is of limited value as it talks about the whole situation in a broader perspective rather than getting into the depth of the individuals involved. Rather than trying to bring out the individual stories of the people suffering, for example, the train’s passengers who were mostly cancer patients, the writers gave more screentime to the wrongdoers who were trying hard to cover up their misdemeanor. So, an intimate connection between the audience and the main characters is always missing, and that is what takes away the focus and emotion from the movie. The involvement of the journalist trying to avenge her dead boyfriend will at some point seem expendable to watch. Although Naseeruddin Shah shows strong acting, the villains Sharad Kelkar and Divya Dutta are absolutely burlesque. For a movie that wanted to raise social awareness, “Irada” falters to deliver such covenant.