Khufiya : Vishal Bharadwaj-Tabu’s brand new release is a weak espionage drama,

The first half of ‘Khufiya’ has some good moments, but it is in the second half that the film completely nosedives.

Vishal Bhardwaj’s Khufiya is based on the espionage novel “Escape to Nowhere” written by Amar Bhushan.

It starts in Dhaka with the death of an undercover spy Hina Rehman (Azmeri Haque Badhon). Hina’s death sends shockwaves to the R&AW office in Delhi.

An investigation leads to the discovery of a mole, Ravi (Ali Fazal) who leaks sensitive information about India to other countries. Charu (Wamiqa Gabbi) is Ravi’s wife.

Tabu plays a raw agent named Krishna Mehra. KM Jeev (Ashish Vidyarthi) is her boss. He gives her the responsibility of catching Ravi.

For Krishna, this mission is not just professional but also personal because she had an intimate relationship with Hina.

The rest of the story is about whether Krishna is able to stop Ravi and what happens when Charu comes to know about the actual identity of her husband.

Second half falls flat

Before getting into the negatives of Khufiya, it is necessary to point out a few positive things.

The scenes between Tabu and Azmeri Haque Badhon are limited. But still, they give the film some of its best moments as they have so much warmth.

It also helps that Azmeri has a striking screen presence. The viewers wish that she had more screen time.

The first half of Khufiya has some good moments, but it is in the second half that the film completely nosedives.

The chief reason for that is the characterisation of Ali Fazal. The actor does a decent job in the first half. But in the second half, both the character and the actor lose the sheen.

Another issue with Khufiya is the serious hangover of both Kurbaan and Raazi. The scenes of Charu spying for Krishna Mehra are distinctly reminiscent of how Alia’s Sehmat communicates with Jaideep Ahlawat’s Khalid Mir in Raazi (2018). This déjà vu doesn’t help in any way.

The pre-climax and the climax are another sore point. Here again, the viewers are heavily reminded of Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019).

Performances

Tabu’s character has many layers. Apart from being a shrewd officer, she also deals with her own inner demons.

These include a failed marriage with Shashank (Atul Kulkarni) who has a brief appearance. She also has a troubled relationship with her son. Tabu portrays all these shades with her usual excellence.

Wamiqa Gabbi also gets a good arc. She starts off as this innocent housewife who presents a certain façade in front of her husband and mother-in-law. When neither of them is there, she is seen dancing with gay abandon and also smoking.

Once Charu gets to know about the real identity of her husband, she undergoes a transformation. The actress does a good job of showcasing those nuances.

Final take

To sum it up, the audiences have many expectations from this Netflix film, given that it was a reunion of Tabu and Vishal Bhardwaj. However, this reunion leaves the viewers with a bitter aftertaste!

(Views expressed here are personal.)

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