Passable But Tiresome
What Is the Film About?
Irfan Ahmed (Vishnu Vishal) is an honest Muslim who faces religious discrimination in job interviews. He is frustrated about being looked at as a terrorist everywhere. One fine day, he gets arrested by NIA under the suspicion of being ISIS Mastermind, Abu Bakr Abdullah. What happens next is the torture he and his family faces with the allegation.
Does Irfan Ahmed accept he is a terrorist? What steps does he take next form the basic plot of FIR.
Vishnu Vishal has come up with a fine performance. For most of the film, he sports an antagonized look, he performed well. He is particularly impressive in an emotional hospital sequence that comes in the second half of the film. Gautham Menon as National Security Advisor is apt.
Manjima Mohan plays a lawyer and hero’s family friend. It is a very limited character and she is okay. Raiza Wilson as Anisha Qureshi is good. Reba Monica John as Archana is alright in a little character. Praveen Muthurangan as an inspector rank officer in NIA and Mala Parvathi in the mother role is okay.
The basic plotline of FIR is very relevant. It is about Muslims constantly facing doubts over their patriotism. It touches on contemporary incidents of how some Muslim youth were framed and tortured under the suspicion of being involved in terror activities. The subject sounds relatable and politically relevant.
But then, the new director Manu Anand faces the challenge of packaging it in a commercial framework. That is where the problem lies. The major portion of the film’s first half bores the audience. We come across several dragged scenes with no relevance to the core point. The NIA sequence and the hint about Abu Bakr Abdullah look logicless. We also have a small flashback with a song that is boring.
Only towards the interval, the actual story begins. The first half ends with a promise about the second half. The initial portions of the second half once again feel dragged. The proceedings pick pace with the escape scene followed by an emotional hospital sequence. As the movie reaches the climax, the director faces the challenge of throwing a surprise to the audience to leave them with that wow factor while going out of the theatre. While the entire block looks decent but by that time we get there, the narrative feels exhaustive.
The major problem with FIR is that it either does not do anything or overdo it. Several loopholes defy logic. There are some twists just for the sake of having them. It makes a vast stretch looks pointless and manipulative. Some might even find it dumb. Making things worse is too much predictability.
Still, the climax portions are a relief because there is an intensity in everything. The director also tried to play safely without any hard-hitting dialogues around the Muslim angle. It could have been easily incorporated in the narrative earlier to give a broader perspective to the story.
Overall, FIR is a reasonably honest attempt with a relatable theme but fails in execution. The intensity and twists in the final half an hour make it a passable fare.
Music and Other Departments?
Among the technical aspects of the film, Ashwath’s background score is pulsating. The camera work is decent with the colour palette reflecting a particular dull mood. GK Prasanna’s editing is slick and rapid at places. But then, there are also runtime issues for the film. The writing should have been more hard-hitting given the subject. The screenplay is impressive in parts.
Vishnu Vishal’s Performance
Initial Portions of the first half
Logics taking a toss
Did I Enjoy It?
In very few portions.
Will You Recommend It?
No Harm in waiting for the OTT Release.
FIR Movie Review by Siddartha Toleti