Khufiya (2023) Review: Vishal Bhardwaj’s engaging thriller on Netflix

Khufiya Cast:

Tabu, Wamiqa Gabbi, Ali Fazal, Azmeri Haque Badhon, Aashish Vidyarthi, Atul Kulkarni, Shataf Figar, Alex O'Neill, Navindra Behl, Meet Vohra

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj

Release Date:

The mystery thriller was released on 5th October 2023 on Netflix

Khufiya (2023) Hindi Movie Review:

The film begins with the murder of Heena Rehman, also known as Octopus (Azmeri Haque Badhon), who delivers a gift of a poisoned perfume bottle to Bangladeshi Brigadier Mirza (Shataf Figar) and is subsequently killed by him upon discovery of the poison.

Krishna Mehra, alias KM (Tabu), an R&AW operative, arrives at the New Delhi headquarters and confronts an individual, initiating a physical altercation. Her boss, Jeev (Aashish Vidyarthi), intervenes and diffuses the situation.

Jeev and his team harbor suspicions about Ravi Mohan (Ali Fazal) being the prime suspect responsible for leaking information about their plan against Brigadier Mirza. To confirm their doubts, they conducted surveillance on Ravi and his wife, Charu (Wamiqa Gabbi), for several days.

Jeev assigns KM the task of exposing Ravi's involvement. The narrative unfolds as KM and her team embark on this mission.

"Khufiya" skillfully portrays KM's struggle to balance her personal and professional life, including her efforts to manage her son's resentment. The film is elevated by exceptional performances from Tabu, Wamiqa Gabbi, and Azmeri Haque Badhon.

Wamiqa Gabbi, in the role of Charu, steals the show with her compelling transformation from a loving and caring wife to a determined mother, willing to do whatever it takes to reunite with her son. Her dance performance in the song "Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani" by R.D. Burman deserves special mention.

Azmeri Haque Badhon delivers a brilliant performance as Heena, also known as Octopus, with her expressive eyes effectively conveying emotions. If you haven't already, consider watching her outstanding performances in "Robindronath Ekhane Kawkhono Khete Aashenni" and "Rehana Maryam Noor."

Tabu, a favorite choice for Bollywood directors portraying strong female cop or R&AW agent roles, once again impresses with her convincing portrayal. "Khufiya" marks the fourth collaboration between Vishal Bhardwaj and Tabu, following "Maqbool," "Kuttey," and "Haider."

Ali Fazal, as Mohan Ravi, had limited screen time and character development in the script. Given his previous roles in series like Mirzapur and Ray, his character could have been explored more deeply.

In terms of the writing, co-writer Rohan Narula and the director have done a commendable job in adapting Amar Bhushan's novel, "Escape to Nowhere," to create a more engaging screenplay.

The film could benefit from more concise editing, reducing its runtime by 20-30 minutes. Given the expectations associated with a Vishal Bhardwaj film, some viewers might find the climax to be slightly underwhelming.

The film is produced by VB Films Production, the director's in-house production company. Cinematographer Farhad Ahmed Dehlvi and Vishal Bhardwaj's music composition deserve praise.

In conclusion, "Khufiya" is an engaging thriller with notable highlights including Vishal Bhardwaj's skilled direction and outstanding performances by Wamiqa Gabbi, Azmeri Haque Badhon, and Tabu.


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