Khufiya review: Tabu shines in spy thriller adapted from a book
Acclaimed director Vishal Bhardwaj delivers a gripping spy movie filled with surprises, surveillance cameras and secret agents
THE espionage thriller based on Amar Bhushan’s novel Escape to Nowhere recently premiered on streaming site Netflix.
When an Indian secret agent is murdered, while on a mission, it emerges she was likely betrayed by a mole. Her no-nonsense handler is given the task of exposing the prime suspect and using him to find out who the puppet master controlling him is. Through flashback we learn more about the deceased and in the present, there is an unexpected turn.
Acclaimed director Vishal Bhardwaj delivers a gripping spy movie filled with surprises, surveillance cameras and secret agents. There is also an intriguing game of cat and mouse, as a group of determined agents try to catch their suspect, along with exposing a potential bigger conspiracy. There are also intriguing layers added, including a very subtle romantic sub-plot and characters that are not all what they seem.
The pacy film keeps you engaged, largely thanks to deft direction and stand-out performances from the lead cast. It is no surprise that Bhardwaj turned the male protagonist into a female one played by Tabu. She is superb as the tough woman, trying to catch a traitor, who also has to balance the pressure of being a mother and a past pain.
The rest of the cast play their respective roles really well and Ali Fazal is great in his antagonistic avatar. The main weakness of Khufiya is it is around 20 minutes longer than it needed to be. The tension is also broken with some unnecessary musical breaks and scenes. Some may find that with the great build-up, the ending needed to be bigger.
That doesn’t take away from this being one of the better Bollywood films released this year, with a terrific turn from the truly brilliant actress Tabu.