Subhash K Jha reviews Halahal for IWMBuzz

Review Of Eros Now’s Halahal: A Well-Intended Misfire

Halahal (Eros Now)

Starring Sachin Khedekar, Barun Sobti

Directed by Randeep Jha

Rating: **

An ever-reliable actor, Sachin Khedekar is in fine form as a bereaved father determined to get justice for his murdered daughter.

Woefully, a bigger tragedy overtakes the father’s grief. It is the tragedy of a script that crams events into its 90-odd minutes with the franticness of a long-distance runner who knows he must get home before sunset.

There is an unnecessarily cramped feel to the storytelling, compounded by the bustle of Ghaziabad. It’s an anxious story set in a town that never sleepless with loopholes large enough to fill the craters in the moon. For starters, we see the unfortunate girl’s body being burnt on the street by goons in the middle of a highway.

How could heinous crime possibly be passed off as a “suicide” by the criminals? So packed with doctored events manufactured drama is the plot that Khedekar’s character barely gets time to express its shock. The absurdities mount as Khedekar is joined by a rogue cop, the kind we know will come around to a point of moral rectitude before too long.

Barun Sobti who was excellent in Tu Hai Mera Sunday and 22 Yards struggles to give the characters a coherent shape. Part of the fault lies with the writing. Till about 40 percent of the footage, we don’t know even know the cop’s name. Only when he tells Khedekar about his childhood as a butcher’s son do we realize Sobti is playing a Muslim character.

The character profile doesn’t quite fit in with a circumcision joke made earlier in the storytelling. Nothing quite fits in properly. As the plot progresses the desperation to hold our attention gets the better of the writing. While the action is revved up the central relationship between the grieving father and the reformed cop is never in any detail.

What we get is a half-baked drama where the question, does the wronged father get justice , begs no answer. We really couldn’t care less.

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