Wazir - Bollywood thriller with chess

by Albert Silver
1/20/2016 – It is always interesting to see a film not simply include a chess board or scene, but use it as a key element. An Indian film was just released, classified by IMDB as “Crime/Thriller” in which a ‘grief-stricken cop and amputee grandmaster are brought together by a peculiar twist of fate as part of a wider conspiracy that has darkened their lives.’ Trailer and review.

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Wazir - Official Trailer

Official poster of the film

The Guardian published a review on the film, highlighting typical Bollywood weaknesses, but also its strengths, concluding that it is 'compelling viewing' and 'fun to watch'

Around the turn of the millennium, the venerable Indian writer-director-producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra was set to make his Hollywood debut with Chess – nothing to do with the musical, but a self-penned thriller about a traumatised cop that circled the studios with names such as Dustin Hoffman attached. The vagaries of 21st-century production meant Chopra had to wait until last year’s Broken Horses to take his American bow, but traces of Chess have apparently persisted into Wazir. Delegated to emerging director Bejoy Nambiar, this plan B arrives bearing the Big B: Amitabh Bachchan, who collaborated with Chopra on 2007’s fine Eklavya, assumes the chewy character part Hoffman would surely have been eyeing.

Rookish grandmaster … Amitabh Bachchan in Wazir


And there’s another colourful part for the increasingly prominent Neil Nitin Mukesh (Prem Ratan Dhan Payo) as a cackling sociopath who willingly introduces himself as The Queen. (Any American version would have had to do a lot of explaining around him.)

Click for complete review

Link to IMDB film page

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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