Critic’s Rating : 2.5 / 5
Zindagi Shatranj Hai Movie Review : Hiten Tejwani’s suspense thriller quickly builds tension before losing steam
Zindagi Shataranj Hai review: Director Dushyant Pratap Singh’s film carefully builds up the suspense, and most of the time, viewers will wonder about motives and who is really double-crossing whom. This draws you into Natasha (Kavita Tripathi) and the mysterious character (played by Hiten Tejwani), who pretends to be her husband’s story. What is the purpose of his visit? Is he a crook or a fortune seeker? He accumulates so much evidence that even local cops are convinced that his story is true. Natasha’s nightmare begins as a result of no one believing her.
In parallel, the mystery killer’s plot becomes entwined with the couple’s life. However, the transition between the tracks of an imposter husband and the hunt for the mystery killer isn’t smooth. Although the narrative is appealing, the screenplay jumps from one story to the next, disrupting the flow of events.
Seasoned actor Hiten Tejwani tries to save this murky rendering with some quality acting. But every time you want to invest in their characters, the director shifts your attention to loud cops (played by Ashutosh Kaushik, Ekta Jain and Rajkumar Kanojiya), who are investigating both cases simultaneously. Additionally, actress Kavita Tripathi is a misfit and bites into more than she can chew. Given that she and Hiten are the main characters, her performance is the weakest in the movie. She cries out for help in an overly dramatic (read-laughable) way in a crucial scene. Vasu, the couple’s housekeeper, is convincingly played by Hemant Pandey.
The film is primarily shot in one luxurious bungalow, capturing every detail of the setting. Daler Mehndi’s song ‘Gadbad Gadbad’ is upbeat but not as good as his other hit songs, which you can hear in the loop.
This 85-minute thriller is sharp and keeps you on edge until the intermission, but it loses its grip and becomes predictable once events begin to unfold. Overall, if you are a suspense thriller fanatic, this film might let you down, but it is still watchable to some extent because of its premise and the way it builds tension.