Yet another revenge drama laced with all the gravity-defying action sequences and clichés available in the world of Indian cinema released last week. It is called Khuda Hafiz Chapter 2 Agni Pariksha. Sheeba Chaddha as Thakur is the only sincere effort that the film could have made otherwise. Khuda Hafiz Chapter 2, written and directed by Faruk Kabir, was released last Friday and stars Vidyut Jammwal, Shivaleeka Oberoi, Divyendu Bhattacharya and Rajesh Talang. †Also read: Khuda Haafiz deserves 2 3 crore in two days

Shivaleelika Oberoi and Vidyut Jammwal play husband and wife, struggling to return to normal life after being kidnapped and raped. But more often than not, the real struggle for the public is to empathize with them – love, loss, pain or grief don’t seem natural with this couple. A woman struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder after being kidnapped and raped in a foreign country. Her husband, in all his “love” for her, prepares her breakfast and accompanies her to counseling, only to declare that everything is fine if she doesn’t feel the same.

The man, Vidyut as Sameer, brings a five-year-old girl who recently lost her parents and decided that this was the cure to normalize their lives. Does the woman, Nargis, want the same? We don’t know, nobody wanted to ask her. Sameer assumed that she would love the child and become happy. And that’s exactly what happens. After a few scenes to underline how disinterested Nargis is in the child, a dog attacks the young one, activating all the maternal instincts and love in Nargis. Soon it is a smooth adoption and a happy family. However, another tragedy strikes soon enough and unleashes the actual plot – an untrained man (Sameer) is the one-man army fighting the thugs of his life, the corrupt police and even a dozen hardcore criminals when he’s locked up in a prison.

Things get a little better when Sheeba comes on the scene – a sari-clad woman who runs the whole house and her henchmen. With her rudraksh necklace, her tightly tied bun, chunky cotton saris and overwhelming presence; Sheeba’s character is supposed to be at the center of all the troubles for our main character. It could also have served a similar purpose for Sheeba’s career, had the part been written for a better movie.

Despite the writing difficulties, Sheeba lifts the film with her powerful presence and sharp acting. The Thakur goes to great lengths to protect her grandson from getting caught, even as she continues to attack a woman in her own home.

The composure with which Thakur orders her henchmen to commit crimes such as murder is horrifying. The unwavering, adamant and confident look around her sets her apart from the villains we usually see in such revenge action movies. She doesn’t panic when the hero gains the upper hand, nor does she get overconfident when she wins.

Despite being placed in a poorly written movie, Thakur will still be listed as one of Sheeba’s best performances.


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