The climax of the film almost makes up for the lackluster ninety minutes preceding it. At the crux of 'A Thursday' lies a very sensitive issue that needs to be talked about, but as a movie it's not as gripping as I was hoping it would be after watching the trailer. A key problem with the film is that it does not have enough in its story. The runtime has been stretched to over two hours simply because of plot convenience.
THINGS THAT WORK :
1. The reveal towards the end and Yami Gautam's acting in those scenes are the strongest aspects of the film. The problem that she talks about is very real and one can't even imagine the plight of all those girls who have to go through the ordeal. The reveal and the climax changes the mood of the film and leaves a deep impact on the viewer.
2. The acting performance of Atul Kulkarni as Javed Khan felt a little forced, and also it wasn't a very well written character, but since Atul Kulkarni is such a seasoned actor, he has managed to put up a decent performance. Dimple Kapadia and Neha Dhupia have done pretty decent job considering the limited scope provided to them by their respective roles. Karanvir Sharma as Rohit Mirchandani is quite impressive.
3. There are no songs in the film, which was quite a relief. Finally, Indian Filmmakers have realized that there are certain films in which songs end up breaking the flow, regardless of how beautiful they may be.
THINGS THAT DON'T WORK :
1. The movie takes a lot of time to get to its point. For a long period of time you have no idea as to what is the plan and why exactly is Naina Jaiswal doing what she is doing. The movie tests your patience so much that at one point you feel like saying exactly what Atul Kulkarni says in the film, "Why don't you tell me everything at the same time!" This film has a similar setting to that of Neeraj Pandey's 'A Wednesday', but a key difference is that while 'A Wednesday' had a twist at the end, this one has a reveal. We keep waiting for some sort of explanation as to why Naina is doing what she is doing, but we only get those answers towards the end, whereas 'A Wednesday' misdirected us into believing one thing and then shocked us at the end. The basic idea behind both films is quite similar, but 'A Wednesday' was much more gripping throughout its runtime. It's wrong to compare two films, but this film has taken so much inspiration from 'A Wednesday' that I can't help but think about it.
2. The first thing that the technical team of Police does in an investigation is to find out if the suspect or criminal has any previous crime history or he/she is mentioned in the Police records. In this film, it never happens. Police only start looking when Naina asks them to look into their records. Police just stood there doing nothing, waiting for Naina's order, I don't think that's how it happens. If they had searched their database, they would have found out about Naina much earlier.
3. Yami Gautam is a pretty good actress, but in this film her acting was quite inconsistent. She wasn't quite convincing as a villain. Every time she had to threaten someone with a wide eyed expression, she just couldn't deliver the scene with full conviction. She has a lovely screen presence, but her psychopath act just didn't come across as believable.
4. it's difficult to believe that a single woman, who is confirmed to be not associated with any terrorist organization, could not be overpowered by the armed forces. I don't think something like that can happen in real life. In one particular scene, armed policemen are trying to enter the house, and as soon as Naina fires a gun shot, they retract and decide not to go ahead, now how often does that happen ?
5. If a situation like this arises in real life, no matter how desperate the kidnapper may come across, the Prime Minister won't go in to have a meeting with her in person. That was a bit too unreal. I know things can get tricky if small children are held hostage, but to think that it would force the Prime Minister to get involved, is a bit too much.
6. Naina pretends to kill a child at the beginning of the film, and after that the child just disappears. He doesn't make a sound, doesn't feel hungry, he doesn't feel like going back to his friends and doesn't feel like something is off in the house. The writers and the director just casually brushed it under the carpet hoping that viewers won't really pay much attention to this plot hole.
'A Thursday' has a critically important social issue at the crux of it, but whether the solution that it asks for is correct or not, that's up for debate. While there is no denying that rapists deserve the most severe form of punishment, but it still has to be proven. Taking the word of a victim as proof and giving the suspect capital punishment could be dangerous, as not all cases are authentic. What's more important is to bring a change in the society as a whole, parents need to provide their boys with the right guidance, teach them to have respect for every individual and make them understand the importance of consent. A number of movies are tarnishing the image of women by showing them as objects of desire, this needs to stop, and filmmakers need to start treating women as human beings, who are working as hard as the men in building this world.