Neeraj Pandey has always excelled at telling unconventional stories to a mainstream audience. His 2008 film ‘A Wednesday’ created a lot of waves in the film industry upon its release. The film, a drama grappling with relevant subjects and packaged as a slick thriller was one of the country’s best films that year and deservedly won a National Award. The film also went on to be an inspiration for its Telugu and Tamil remakes, as well as its own Hollywood version, starring Academy-award winner, Ben Kingsley.
However, if ‘A Wednesday’ was the film that made the industry take note of Neeraj Pandey, it was his next, the period-era heist film ‘Special 26,’ that really elevated him as one of the best working directors and writers in Bollywood today. His later works, the economical espionage thriller ‘Baby’ and ‘M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story’ only reinforced his reputation.
It’s no surprise then why the filmmaker’s new project ‘Aiyaary’ starring Manoj Bajpayee and Siddharth Malhotra is generating so much buzz and excitement.
Based on real-life story, ‘Aiyaary’ meaning ‘the ultimate trickery’ is the tale of two strong-minded Intelligence officers, a mentor and a protégé, who come to odds with each other. As to what the trickery refers to is anybody’s guess. The film is currently being shot in phases, across locations in Kashmir, Delhi and London and is scheduled to release on 26th January 2018.
Aiyaary will be the second collaboration between Pandey and Manoj Bajpayee, a veteran in the industry with films such as Shool and Gangs of Wasseypur to his acting credits and who was great in Special 26 as the honest CBI officer. His casting in a Neeraj Pandey project thus, only raises the audience’s expectations more than it already is, considering the quality of their previous works.
Aiyaary also marks the first collaboration between Siddharth Malhotra and Neeraj Pandey. The upcoming actor was a revelation in last year’s critical and audience favorite Kapoor & Sons, and his participation in this project is only going to encourage the growing interest of a young audience in his performances and this production.
Aiyaary will also re-unite Neeraj Pandey and Naseeruddin Shah for the second time after ‘A Wednesday,’ in which Shah’s portrayal of A Common Man deserved all the praise it got. Now, it is still unknown what kind of character Shah will be playing in the film and the security uniform in the Twitter pic below doesn’t give us viewers a lot of clues but, another collaboration between one of India’s best directors and one of India’s acting legends is yet another reason to be excited about this film.
Neeraj Pandey is one of the most uniquely gifted filmmakers the industry has today. And he is one who is not restricted or afraid of exploring new and exciting genres. In his film career, he has crafted thrillers, dramas, heist films and even a black comedy short. This is a filmmaker who is fearless to experiment and innovate, one Bollywood is lucky to call as one of its own.
As a fan of his works, I look forward to Aiyaary with great anticipation and I’m sure it’ll be as great, if not better, as his most accomplished and well-received films.
Image sources: Google Images