Khuda Haafiz: Chapter II— Agni Pariksha strictly for Vidyut fans

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Vidyut Jammwal returns as Sameer in Khuda Haafiz Chapter II: Agni Pariksha Photo: Tree-Shul Media

The story “continues” from Khuda Haafiz two years ago. Sameer (Vidyut Jammwal) has just returned to Lucknow with his wife Nargis (Shivaleeka Oberoi) after rescuing her from a Middle-Eastern brothel. She is naturally traumatized and is under therapy after multiple rapes. In India, Nargis has been taunted whenever she finds more jobs and is right now at home, the couple’s intimacy gone kaput.

When Sameer suggests it, psychiatrist (Rukhsar Rehman) forbids pregnancy as Nargis is under psychotropic medicines that could harm a fetus. By chance, Sameer gets an opportunity to adopt an orphan girl, Nandini (Riddhi Sharma), and though Nargis initially resists her innocence, she later takes to her and happiness returns to the couple.

However, a local political leader Sheela Thakur (Sheeba Chaddha)’s grandson (Bodhisattva Sharma) and his cronies kidnap Nandini’s school-friend Seema (Anushka Marchande) from after school and because she is with Nandini, they take away the little girl too. Sameer is frantic. When the cops refuse to file a report, he takes the help of the only eyewitness, the old ice-cream seller (Bachchan Pachera) and goes to search for them.

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In the first take-it-or-leave-it absurdity in this film, he finds the seriously injured (they have been raped and brutalized) girls before the cops do, and when Nandini dies in hospital, he vows revenge. One reason also is that his wife is traumatized again and will have nothing to do with him until he eliminates the culprits. She leaves home and goes to stay with her mother.

Sameer now beats up the cop (Satish Sharma) who has refused to file the FIR and is jailed. In jail, he meets a benefactor—a noble don, Talha (Danish Husain) who helps him out. In an even more incredible sequence, Sameer and Talha’s jailed friends kill a rival gangster and his cohorts who have been ordered to murder him inside! In a prolonged fight sequence, the cops come in only after the brutalities are done with and Sameer is kept in solitary confinement for a while and then actually released!!!

The police boss (Pawan Chopra) then actually tells him where to locate the main culprit—Egypt!!!—as by then he has already eliminated one and turned the politician’s grandson into a witness—he too has a daughter, see? So we have Sameer and Seema’s brother (Ritik Ghansani) going all the way there, procuring weapons from a man who always decides to be with them for 100 American dollars (!!) and there is a fight to the finish of the villain and his father (Ashwath Bhatt), who is connected to Sheela Thakur! Back home, Sheela’s daughter-in-law, now her mistress (!!!) stabs her to death after unending humiliation!

In the happy ending, Sameer is offered a post in a political party and told of similar stories happening to others’ daughters (Part III, anyone?). And, yes, let us not forget two extraneous characters who, in the final analysis, do not make any real difference: the butcher Rashid (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) and mediaperson Ravi Kumar (Rajesh Tailang), two good actors who are totally wasted.

Technically average and musically mediocre, Chapter II continues on the hackneyed and studiedly unabashedly mass track of the first movie with some emotional touches in the first half. Having missed the press screening, I watched it in a mass theatre complex and heard cheers, whistles and shouts throughout.  But the hackneyed angle classifies this in the same supposedly mass category of Heropanti 2 and Rashtra Kavach: Om this year.

Vidyut Jammwal correctly pitches his character in a lower key and emotes well for someone branded as a hunk and nothing more. Shivaleeka Oberoi looks blank in several key sequences but is efficient in the initial trauma-driven sequences. From the rest, Danish Husain and Dibyendu impress in their limited roles.

And while there are references to Ramayan and Sita, we do not know who actually goes through the Agni Pariksha—the hero or us, the audience that likes standard rather than such entertainment, entertainment and entertainment!

Rating: **

Panorama Studios, Zee Studios & Cinergy present Khuda Haafiz: Chapter II—Agni Pariksha  Produced by: Kumar Mangat Pathak & Abhishek Pathak, Sneha Bimal Parekh & Ram Mirchandani  Written & Directed by: Farukh Kabir  Music: Mithoon, Shabbir Ahmed & Vishal Mishra  Starring: Vidyut Jammwal, Shivaleeka Oberoi, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Sheeba Chaddha, Rajesh Tailang, Danish Hussain, Ashwath Bhatt, Ritik Ghansani, Bodhisattva Sharma, Rukhsar Rehman, Riddhi Sharma, Anushka Marchande, Ashutosh Srivastava, Satish Sharma, Bachchan Pachera, Lokesh Mittal, Pawan Chopra & others

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