Vidyut Jammwal will find you and he will kill you in this entertaining but flawed thriller
The woman-rescue trope has been a staple in cinema. Princesses and brides have forever gone missing and valiant men have scaled mountains and seas in search of them, battling villains and befriending golden-hearted strangers on their way. Over time, the sleeping princesses became teenage daughters and the brave princes became fathers with a ‘very particular set of skills’. But at the core of it, the Taken genre is not vastly different from the fairytales we all grew up with.
Faruk Kabir’s Khuda Haafiz is a modernised version of the same. A damsel is in distress and our hero tears through heavens to bring her back. Sure, it makes for one entertaining watch, but it rarely surprises you.
Khuda Haafiz is said to be inspired by true events about a man’s search for his wife. Vidyut Jammwal plays a software engineer, Sameer, who marries Shivaleeka Oberoi’s call centre employee, Nargis. Their blissful world comes crashing down during the 2007-2008 Recession and they both lose their jobs, forcing them to find employment overseas.
The wife finds a job in a fictitious Middle Eastern country called Noman. He bids her goodbye, hoping to join her in a few days. However, a day later, he gets the dreaded Taken call. The panicked wife tells him that she has been abducted and is being ill-treated by men she does not know. The husband charges straight into Noman International Airport, looking for his missing wife. After suffering an unhelpful Nomani Police and a lazy Indian Embassy, a friendly taxi driver, played by Annu Kapoor, is godsend.