Afwah is the new ballsy thriller by the longevous auteur of Indian cinema Sudhir Mishra. It is among the most engaging works of Sudhir’s prolific career.
“It is in the space of my Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahin which came 25 years ago. In Afwah we have moved on. It deals with issues that are contemporary, and yet there is core of universality in the storytelling in the structuring where characters are caught in a situation created by a rumour, ” says Sudhir as he waits for the audiences’ verdict on May 5.
“I hope they will like it. I think they will like it. It is a thriller with lots of unexpected twists and turns. It is a time-bound story about three protagonists played by Bhumi Pednekar, Sumeet Vyas and Nawazuddin Siddiqui trapped in a crisis which is not of their making. There is another plot thread about a dumb-f…k played by Sharib Hashmi who follows his master blindly,” reveals Sudhir.
So is Afwah as strong a political film as some of Sudhir’s earlier films like Hazaar Khwaishein Aisi and Dharavi? “I wouldn’t say so, though one of the protagonists is a politician. But the web of deceit that forms the plot has nothing to do with politics. Rumour is used as metaphor in Afwah . Today in the era of the social media a rumour can spread like wildfire . It can destroy people’s reputations. It destroyed Shiney Ahuja’s career!”
Sudhir gives full marks to his actors for making Afwah the powerful thriller that it is. “Nawaz, I’ve worked with before. I know what he is capable of . But this was my first time with Bhumi Pednekar and I was surprised by how well-prepared she comes on the set. It’s not just about, ‘Sudhir Sir I am so happy to work with you’. She actually asks the right questions during shooting. I don’t mind working with actors who ask questions. In fact I welcome them. I worked with Shabana Azmi(in Dharavi) . She was constantly questioning . It shows the actor’s involvement with the project.”
When asked what the audience should expect from Sudhir Mishra this time, the auteur director says, “A rollercoaster ride . The thriller element was so intrinsic to the plot, I only needed to focus on telling my story the way it is written.”