Written and directed by Faruk Kabir, Khuda Haafiz follows a man’s journey of finding his wife who has gone missing in a strange foreign land after initially applying for a job there. Set during the financial crisis of 2007-08, this film is inspired by true events, however it just passes by like yet another Jamwal movie, however this time the action sequences also take a hit, literally.
Whenever Vidyut Jamwal is on the poster of a film, one can expect hardcore action sequences, and rightly so, he has created that kind of following for him. However, in this film, the first action sequence doesn’t come till the end of the first hour, and when it does, it seems like he can do much more, but seems tied down because his character is a common man. Khuda Haafiz starts with Sameer Chaudhry (Vidyut Jamwal) being captured by the police but being assisted by officers of the Indian Embassy in a Middle – Eastern land called Noman.
The film then goes into a flashback, and explores a Hindu-Muslim arrange marriage setting between Sameer and Nargis (Shivaleeka Oberoi). Somehow, the conversation that starts with Jamwal asking her if she is marrying under pressure, immediately changes with him giving romantic gazes as soon as she TALKS. It’s as if expected that girls cannot talk and suddenly while she is speaking, the film cuts into a romantic song. There was a premise right there which could’ve been explored more, the marriage. The couple goes through their ups and downs and in 2008, lose their job due to the global recession, and to get out of it, apply for work in the Arab country of Noman. Nargis leaves first, and as expected, disaster strikes and she disappears as soon as she lands there.
This premise is not new by a long shot, and has given birth to blockbusters like Taken, wherein Liam Nesson is searching for his missing daughter. Similarly, Sameer is thrown into Noman, where the writer has tried to keep the roots intact by making most characters speak local language, however it doesn’t add anything to the story or screenplay and starts to look gimmicky.
Anu Kapoor plays Usmaan, a taxi driver who can speak hindi, which reduces Sameer’s problems, but only momentarily. Anu Kapoor’s tender smile elevates some frames but it still doesn’t do anything to aid a film which at its core is just a man trying to find his wife. The film, largely shot in Uzbekistan offers stunning visuals, however that’s not enough to carry forward a loose plot.
The director expects a lot from Vidyut Jamwal as well, and it clearly shows. Jamwal here has to play a common man, showcasing variety of emotions. He tries really hard but the ones that stand out are his stark aggressive stares before a fight sequence, as he has been perfecting those since ages. The film’s screenplay doesn’t do a good job in creating any sense of hurry or determination for our protagonist also and hence even the revenge story takes a beating.
Faruk Kabir’s Khuda Haafiz tries to tick multiple boxes, however fails to make a mark on any front, becoming yet another film with a flat storyline, and flat performances.