Available on: Disney+ Hotstar
"Job hote hue bhi aisa lag raha ki lagatar apply kar rahi," says Nargis (Shivaleeka Oberoi) while expressing her nervousness during an arranged marriage meeting. To this, her suitor Sameer (Vidyut Jammwal) quips, "Mujhe bhi, thank god, matlab dono mein kuch toh common hai."
Vidyut Jammwal who is known more for using his fists, sheds his 'Commando' avatar to play a common man in Faruk Kabir's romantic thriller Khuda Haafiz.
What's Yay: Vidyut Jammwal, Action sequences, Stunning locations in Uzbekistan, Music
What's Nay: No 'thrills' in the story
Khuda Haafiz opens with a matchmaking scene, in which 'computer ka doctor' Sameer (Vidyut Jammwal) and Nargis (Shivaleeka Oberoi) are introduced to each other by their parents. Post some 'akele mein baat-cheet' and a forgettable song, the duo get married. However, the newlyweds' world comes crashing down when they lose their jobs as a result of the 2008 global recession.
The couple decides to take up a job in Noman, a fictional middle-eastern country on being told that "Noman ke tel ke saamne recession bhi pani nahin mangta." Nargis' job application gets accepted first, and she immediately leaves for the foreign land, hoping that her hubby would join her soon.
However, a day later, Sameer receives an SOS call from Nargis, informing him that she has been abducted and is being ill-treated by unknown people. The next thing we know is, our hero lands up in Noman in search of his missing wife. With no immediate help from the Noman police and the Indian embassy, Sameer decides to take up the matter in his own hands with the help of a kind cabbie (Annu Kapoor). He is soon assisted by the local lawmakers (Shiv Panditt and Aahana Kumra), only to come across a shocking discovery.
Faruk Kabir's story about a good guy's fight against a gang of flesh-traders had the potential to be an engaging watch. Sadly, his done-to-death treatment to the film plays the main villain here. One can smell the twists and turns in the plot from a distance. Despite being tagged as a romantic thriller, Khuda Haafiz has very few thrills to offer. Minus Vidyut Jammwal, the film goes for a toss.
Vidyut Jammwal steps out of his action star image to play an ordinary man stuck in an extraordinary situation in Khuda Haafiz. There are a few moments in the film when you wait for the actor to knock down his opponents with his lethal punches and back flips. Thankfully, Jammwal keeps the action real, as expected from his character in the film. Watch out for the scene where the actor is trapped in a narrow corridor with a whole bunch of armed men who are ready to beat him to pulp! However, when it comes to emoting in scenes, Vidyut goes a bit off track and needs to buckle up.
Shivaleeka Oberoi's damsel-in-distress act barely offers her a scope to surprise us. Also, her chemistry with Vidyut Jammwal is cold as ice. Annu Kapoor gives a dignified performance and fits perfectly in the land of Noman.
Shiv Panditt and Aahana Kumra put their best foot forward in the roles offered to them. However, their characters' fluctuating Arabic accent leaves you a tad unimpressed.
Jitan Harmeet Singh's lens capture some interesting frames in the stunning locations of Uzbekistan. The fight-and-chase sequences look more convincing and closer to reality. Sandeep Francis' sharper editing scissors could have trimmed down the film by several minutes.
Sonu Nigam's soulful voice in 'Aakhri Kadam Tak' lingers for long. 'Mera Intezaar Karna' and 'Jaan Ban Gaye' make for an ethereal listen. The title track 'Khuda Haafiz' wins you over with Vishal Dadlani's deep voice and some heartfelt lyrics.
'Mera intezaar karna, Mera intezaar karna, Zara aitbaar karna, Mera intezaar karna,' goes the lyrics of one of the songs in Khuda Haafiz. Just like that, you wait for the thrills in the film to knock you off your feet. Unfortunately, as and when they arrive, they barely touch you. Vidyut Jammwal's restrained performance stands out in this passable fare.
We give 2.5 stars out of 5 for Vidyut Jammwal's Khuda Haafiz.