The story centers around the friendship of grief-stricken Anti-Terrorism Squad officer Daanish Ali (Farhan Akhtar) and elderly wheelchair-bound chess teacher Pandit Omkar Nath Dhar (Amitabh Bachchan). Both are dealing with the terrible loss of a daughter. Ali responds to his loss by taking out the killers in the line of duty. Dhar must use the legal system to get justice for his daughter. While their tales of tragedy and frustration bring them together, the game of chess creates a bond of friendship.
Besides serving as the backbone for the relationship of Ali and Dhar - two players, one game - the film uses chess as a metaphor.
The game of chess came from the ancient northern India strategy game chaturaṅga which originated in the Gupta Empire in the 6th century AD and spread to Persia. The game setup is based on the "akshauhini" battle formation mentioned in the Indian epic Mahabharata which refers to four divisions of an army - elephants, chariots, cavalry and infantry - reflected in the chess pieces Bishop (Hasty/Gajah or Elephant), Knight (Ashva or Horse), Rook (Ratha or Chariot) and Pawn (Padati or Footsoldier). The ruling King (Raja) and Queen (Wazir/Mantri or Minister) make up the remaining pieces.
Wazir gets it's title from the most powerful piece in the game of chess - the Queen. When set loose, the Queen can rampage around the board moving in nearly any direction, easily eliminating opponent pieces. In order to gain a more favorable tactical position, a player may deliberately sacrifice a Queen. On 17 October 1956, 13-year-old Bobby Fischer entered history books in the "The Game of the Century" which culminated in a Queen sacrifice on move 17.
When we first meet Daanish Ali, he is at the top of his game in life. He has a happy family and an important job that he does well. When a violent tragedy changes everything, his life loses its meaning. He is pulled back from the depths of despair by chess teacher Omkar Nath Dhar who is also dealing with unresolved tragedy in his life. The game of chess gives them the opportunity to share their experiences of love and loss. Dhar helps Ali mend from his broken past. Their friendship and loyalty grow so strong that when Dhar is brutally attacked by an assailant identified as "Wazir", Ali steps into action.
Farhan Akhtar and Amitabh Bachchan take on these roles with all the dexterity you would expect from these performers. As the aging chessmaster, Amitabh Bachchan's Dhar proves he has some clever moves up his sleeve. As the action hero, Farhan Akhtar's Ali is driven by loyalty and revenge. In a Reliance Entertainment interview, Farhan Akhtar describes what drew him to the role of Daanish Ali:
"What I did like about him is his loyalty to his family and to his friend. Also his loyalty to his mission, he's not going to stop at anything before he gets it done. He's very, very focused about what he wants to do. He doesn't put himself first in any situation."
Emotional drama and high-octane action sequences drive this thriller. From the opening sequence that takes you from joy to tragedy in a few short minutes, you realize Wazir is one of those films that reflects the changing face of Hindi cinema. The supporting cast of Aditi Rao Hydari, Neil Nitin Mukesh, John Abraham, and Manav Kaul strengthen the story, building momentum for our main characters to achieve their goals. While the film includes a final plot twist at the end, it is delightfully not a predictable development.
Wazir offers the perfect mix of story, action, and drama to satisfy your movie-going palate.
The following playlist features teasers and trailers for the film Wazir.
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