A Thursday – the new Hotstar Multiplex movie begins with Naina Jaiswal returning back to Lil Dots play-school from a 3-week sick leave. The kids’ parents, the school’s helper and the majority of the locality consider Naina as the perfect teacher who can control these little brats. The kids also love their Naina teacher. She plays with them, nurtures them, and show them their favourite cartoons. But as the kids start making noise, Naina shhh them with an evil gaze, and you get a hint that she has returned with ulterior motives.
Soon, Naina informs the police that she has abducted 16 kids in her playschool, and she has some demands. Pregnant ACP Catherine Alvarez (Neha Dhupia), cancels her doctor appointment and reaches the playschool. Catherine tries to speak to Naina, but the latter asks for Javed Khan (Atul Kulkarni) for further negotiations. As Javed comes into the crime scene, we are set for a thrilling ride. Naina sets up an interesting game where multiple lives are endangered. Naina initiates a series of demands with Javed, from 5 Crore ranson money to a conversation with the Prime Minister of India. Within no time, Naina creates havoc in the city.
What makes ‘A Thursday’ interesting is that the film quickly jumps into thriller mode. Within 10 minutes of the film, we get to see a sweet-loving Naina, turned into a cold-hearted, ruthless kidnapper. It’s a no-nonsense thriller that keeps you interested till the end. As the film hits the interval, you will feel to get back quickly to see what will happen next. The film addresses a burning issue and the need-of-the-hour to eradicate it. But apart from that, it also takes a dig at the work ethics of media professionals. How social media craves negativity. How the netizens consider a ‘game of death’ entertaining.
There are a few moments in the film, where you be astonished and scared at the same time. Like at one instance, Naina asks the kids to form a circle and recite ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ with their eyes shut. As the innocent souls start singing, Naina records them in her phone with a gun pointing at them. In another nail-biting scene, Yami gets into a fight, and it is layered by the background score of a lullaby, that’s another cinematic moment that will keep you hooked. Even the climactic twist will surprise you in a big way.
Talking about performances, Yami Gautam Dhar has stunned us with her act. Yami’s pretty eyes echo chaos. She emotes pain, despair, anxiety, anger, hatred with sincere conviction. It’s hard to believe that a beautiful face like Yami can be so ruthless, could shoot a child with zero regrets. This is the most challenging character for her, but the actress aced it with flying colours. Atul Kulkarni’s role of inspector Javed Khan instantly connects with the audience, as he portrays it with utmost realism. His presence, his dialogue delivery, and the variety he showcased in his act make us realise his absence from the big screen.
Neha Dhupia deserves special mention as she played the role of ACP Cathrine with commendable sincerity and perfection. Neha was pregnant during the shoot, but she took this challenge to showcase her acting chops. The film is set during the monsoons, and Neha does some hardcore thrilling moments in the midst of rain. That’s where you realise that she’s a performer at par. Karanvir Sharma plays the role of Naina’s fiance Karan Mirchandani. Even though he had a short stint, he gives it a praiseworthy performance. Last but not the least, Dimple Kapadia shines as the Prime Minister, Maya Rajguru. Dimple’s character thinks from heart, and she feels for the lives of the children. Maya prefers emotions over protocols, and clearly mention not being a puppet.
Director Behzad Khambata has made sure to keep the film as crisp as possible. The film has no songs, it ditched melodrama, and although Naina’s demands look unreal, her motive makes it believable. The background score of Kaizad Gherda goes in sync with thrilling moments, and it makes it more interesting.
A THURSDAY is a song-less film. Roshan Dalal and Kaizad Gherda’s background score is one of the USPs of the film and contributes to the thrill factor very well. Anuja Rakesh Dhawan and Siddharth Vasani’s cinematography is very good. Madhusudan N’s production design is rich. Ayesha Khanna’s costumes are realistic and non-glamourous, as per the demands of the script. The same goes for Vikram Dahiya’s action. Sumeet Kotian’s editing could have been tighter towards the beginning of the second half but overall, it’s good.
On the whole, A THURSDAY springs a huge surprise. It is laced with a taut script, first-rate execution and the finest performance ever by Yami Gautam Dhar. It’s a film that should have ideally come in cinemas. Had it been released on the big screen, especially in the Women’s Day week, it would have emerged as the sleeper hit of the year, if not the sleeper super-hit. Highly Recommended!
Review by rahul000994