10A Wednesday – 2008
There have been a number of Hindi films which dealt with the subject of ‘terrorism in the big city’, but none of them could get as much love and appreciation as ‘A Wednesday’ did. Written and directed by debutant director Neeraj Pandey, the film starred veterans like Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shan and Jimmy Shergill in lead roles and released on 5th September, 2008, without any song. The film opened to extremely positive response from the critics and did excellent business at the ticket window. Subsequently, it went on to clock several awards including the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director at the 56th National Film Awards.
The story of the film unfolds between 2 pm and 6 pm on a certain Wednesday, when Mumbai’s Police Commissioner Prakash Rathore (Anupam Kher) receives a phone call from an unknown person (Naseeruddin Shah). The person demands the release of four militants who are charged with serious crimes, failing which he threatens to explode a number of bombs which he has planted across the city. Without wasting any time, the commissioner and his team comes into action, but unable to trace the whereabouts of the caller, they decide to hand over the militants to the unnamed man.
‘A Wednesday’ is one of the best engaging thrillers we have watched in recent times. It has a series or twists and turns which keep the audience hooked to the screen. The film is loaded with a well-thought storyline, meticulously written screenplay and outstanding performances, and, not to forget, solid direction by Neeraj Pandey. Made at a small budget, ‘A Wednesday’ grossed around Rs. 34 crores worldwide and emerged as one of the most profitable ventures of the year.
TRIVIA: Reportedly, the character of Anupam Kher in the movie was inspired by Rakesh Maria, a real life Mumbai cop.