Bollywood stars going on a publicity over-drive and making fleeting appearances on television shows and interacting with their fans at local malls before their films are rolled out in the cinemas is a tried-and-tested pattern of gaining attention.
But the actors from Ittefaq, a murder mystery releasing in the UAE on November 2, are straying away from the established pattern. Instead, they want to keep the mystery and suspense alive as long as they can.
So the stars are keeping mum and the only legitimate way you can find out more about this film is by watching it in the cinemas this weekend. But here’s what we have managed to scrape out about the suspense thriller.
Five things to know about Ittefaq:
1. Ittefaq is a murder mystery directed by BR Chopra’s grandson Abhay Chopra and is an official adaptation of the 1969 film by the same name which featured actors Rajesh Khanna and Nanda in lead roles. The original was directed by the late legendary director Yash Chopra. In the updated version that has been tweaked heavily, Siddarth Malhotra, Sonakshi Sinha and Akshaye Khanna are its key players.
2. Ittefaq is co-produced by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and producer-director Karan Johar and it is their tenth co-production after backing films including Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehnaa and Dear Zindagi. In a tweet, Johar called Khan his “partner in crime”. Also, in a recent interview, Johar de-mystified their stand of shunning interviews and press junkets for Ittefaq. “We want to protect the intrigue, mystery and thrilling point of the film. When actors go out for film promotions that time in a media interview, they reveal facts and details of the plot. So, B.R. Films, Shah Rukh Khan and myself, we all have mutually decided to protect the content of the film.”
3. Very little is known about the plot of this whodunit. All we know is that Bollywood actor Akshaye Khanna plays Dev, a determined police officer investigating a double murder.
The prime suspects in the murder cases are the characters played by actors Siddharth Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha. Upon questioning, they both have different versions on what happened on the night of the murders. While the actors are maintaining a low-profile, Johar in a recent interview in Mumbai said: “Sidharth’s character seems to be the first suspect, [and] there is Maya [Sinha]. Her character seems to have layers as she comes with a well-thought story that may or may not have happened. Both of them have different stories to tell, which keeps the guessing going,” said Johar, adding that subterfuge and deception cannot be ruled out.
4. Watch out for the reboot of the song called Raat Baaki from the Amitabh Bachchan-Shashi Kapoor blockbuster Namak Halaal, in Ittefaq.
The re-mixed version is now called Ittefaq Se and has Malhotra, Sinha and Khanna looking collectively brooding and alluring. They look as if they are housing several secrets in their lives and are shown with psychedelic lights flashing onto their faces in a dim room. “There is an easy, cool and mellow vibe to the track… This is the only time where we look glamorous in this movie,” said Malhotra in the making of the song video. But the song has been made for promotional purposes and doesn’t feature in the film, making it a rare feat in Bollywood. There’s also a good chance that Ittefaq will be re-made into the South Indian language, Telugu, soon.
5. The lead actors may not be doing any interviews in the run up to their film, but they have released short videos urging the viewers not to reveal the storyline after watching it in the cinemas this Thursday. Their ‘say no to spoilers’ is worth checking out and is laced with humour. Its producer, Shah Rukh Khan, even put forward his request by asking how would the audience like it if people revealed the mystery behind why Kattappa killed Baahubali or the suspense behind Ben Affleck’s dysfunctional thriller, Gone Girl. Point taken.
Don’t miss it!
Ittefaq is out in the UAE on November 2.