Wazir (transl. Vizier) is a 2016 Indian Hindi-language action thriller film directed by Bejoy Nambiar and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Written and edited by Abhijat Joshi and Chopra, the film stars Farhan Akhtar and Amitabh Bachchan in the lead roles alongside Aditi Rao Hydari, Manav Kaul and Neil Nitin Mukesh. John Abraham makes a special appearance. The film’s dialogue and additional dialogue were written by Abhijeet Deshpande and Gazal Dhaliwal, respectively. The music was composed by several artists including Shantanu Moitra, Ankit Tiwari, Advaita, Prashant Pillai, Rochak Kohli and Gaurav Godkhindi, with the background score composed by Rohit Kulkarni. Sanu Varghese served as the film’s cinematographer.
Based on the original story by Chopra, Wazir follows the story of a suspended Anti-Terrorism Squad officer who befriends a chess player who is a wheelchair user. The idea of the film came to Chopra in the 1990s and he started writing it in English with Joshi over a period of four years starting in 2000. It was supposed to be Chopra’s first Hollywood film, with Dustin Hoffman playing the protagonist. However, its producer died and the film was shelved for nearly eight years. Chopra and Joshi later re-wrote the script so it could be produced as a Hindi film. Principal photography began on 28 September 2014.
Wazir opened on 8 January 2016 to mixed to positive reviews from critics who particularly praised the action sequences and the performances of both Bachchan and Akhtar, but criticised the predictable nature of the film. The film performed well at the box office, with approximate worldwide revenues of ₹78.69 crore (US$12 million).
Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officer Daanish Ali (Farhan Akhtar) lives with his wife Ruhana (Aditi Rao Hydari) and little daughter Noorie. One day, while Daanish is driving with his wife and daughter, he spots the terrorist Farooq Rameez and chases him. Noorie is killed in the ensuing shootout while Rameez escapes. Ruhana is shattered and blames Daanish for Noorie’s death. Daanish later kills Rameez during a police operation, angering his seniors, who wanted Rameez alive to find out which politician he was going to meet.
A grief-stricken Daanish is about to kill himself at Noorie’s grave when a mysterious van appears, driving off when Daanish yells at it. Daanish finds a wallet lying where the van was, goes to return it, and meets its owner, a handicapped chess master named Pandit Omkar Nath Dhar (Amitabh Bachchan), who turns out to have been Noorie’s chess teacher. Pandit starts teaching Daanish chess and tells him about Nina, Pandit’s daughter who also died. Nina (Vaidehi Parashurami) had been teaching chess to Ruhi (Mazel Vyas), the daughter of a government minister, Yazaad Qureshi (Manav Kaul), and had fallen down the stairs at Qureshi’s house and died. Pandit is convinced that her death was not an accident. Intrigued, Daanish tries to meet Qureshi, but police officers at the minister’s office threaten him with arrest. Daanish later meets Ruhi at her school to ask her about Nina, but Ruhi is taken away by Qureshi who threatens her for talking to Daanish. That night Pandit is brutally attacked by Wazir (Neil Nitin Mukesh), a hitman sent by Qureshi, who warns Pandit and Daanish to stop chasing Qureshi.
Pandit leaves for Kashmir, where Qureshi is headed. Wazir calls Daanish and threatens to kill Pandit. Daanish frantically chases Pandit’s van but Wazir blows it up killing Pandit. Determined to exact revenge and discover who Wazir is, Daanish makes a plan with the Superintendent of Police (SP) Vijay Mallik (John Abraham). During Qureshi’s speech, SP detonates explosives, causing a panic, and holds back the police to give Daanish time to act. Qureshi escapes in the confusion and goes to where he and his daughter are staying, but Daanish breaks in and asks him about Wazir. Qureshi claims he does not know anybody called Wazir. Crying, Ruhi reveals to Daanish that Qureshi is not her father – he is actually one of the militants who massacred her entire village and posed as her father when Indian Army troops arrived. Ruhi had told Nina this, so Qureshi killed Nina. Daanish realises that Rameez and the other terrorists had come to meet Qureshi, and kills him.
A few days later, while watching Ruhana’s play – based on chess and dedicated to Pandit – Daanish realises that Pandit was in fact the play’s “weak pawn” who befriended a “strong rook” (Daanish) who would kill a “wicked king” (Qureshi). Shocked, Daanish finds Pandit’s housekeeper, who says that she did not actually see Wazir on the night he attacked Pandit. She gives Daanish a USB pen-drive which Pandit had told her to give to Daanish if he came looking for Wazir. The pen-drive contains a video of Pandit, who explains that Wazir never existed – he was just a persona created by Pandit, who knew that, due to his handicap, he was powerless against Qureshi. Pandit intentionally dropped his wallet near Noorie’s grave so Daanish could find it and befriend him. His knife wounds from Wazir’s attack were self-inflicted, and he had used voice recordings to pose as Wazir on the phone. Pandit had sacrificed himself to ensure that Daanish would kill Qureshi and get revenge for both of them. Shaken by the revelation, Daanish and Ruhana reunite.
Farhan Akhtar as Daanish Ali, Ruhana’s husband
Amitabh Bachchan as Pandit Omkar Nath Dhar, Daanish’s friend and Nina’s father
Aditi Rao Hydari as Ruhana Ali, Daanish’s wife
Manav Kaul as Yazaad Qureshi
Neil Nitin Mukesh as Wazir
John Abraham as Superintendent of Police (SP) Vijay Mallik
Prakash Belawadi as Deputy commissioner of police
Vaidehi Parshurami as Nina Dhar, Daughter of Pandit Omkar Nath Dhar
Anjum Sharma as Sartaj Singh, Daanish’s colleague
Nassir Quazi as Rameez
Murali Sharma as Mahesh
Nishigandha Wad as Ruhana’s mother
Seema Bhargava as Pammi, the Pandit’s housekeeper
Avtar Gill as G.B. Singh, police commissioner
Mazel Vyas as Ruhi
Gargi Patel as Ruhi’s minder
Reem Shaikh as cameo appearance
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