Irada is set in the town of Bathinda in Punjab. We are introduced to Parabjeet Walia and his daughter Riya. Riya wishes to join the Air Force but her dreams are short-lived when she is found to be suffering from cancer. Walia comes to know the reason behind his daughter’s death as the mixing of chemical waste through ‘reverse-boring’ into groundwater, which causes cancer cells. Headed by Paddy Sharma and in collaboration with Chief Minister Ramandeep Braitch, the PPFCL company continues doing this illegal work. A blast destroys the PPFCL factory and NIA Officer Arjun Mishra is sent to investigate the matter. Arjun meets Naseeruddin Shah and Maya Singh, a journalist. Will he find the truth behind it all?
Irada is directed by debutante Aparnaa Singh and the film talks about environmental issues, misuse of power and politics, calling it eco-terrorism. This is the first Indian movie of its kind to explore the idea of eco-terrorism.
“Is Zeher ki unko aadat ho gayi hai and that is good for my business.”
“Yeh Sheher jitna zameen ke upar hai.. utna hi zameen ke neeche bhi hai.”
“Being Good is a scam.”
“Naam kya socha hai aapne? Che Guerera
Suit karta hai aapko.. harkate bhi waisi hain.”
The director vividly speaks in the beginning, of the movie as a dramatization of fictional events and inspired by media reports. Several parallel stories run together and are joined by the ‘reverse-boring’ illegal work.
There is a charm to Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi. The movie feels strong when these two characters are shown exchanging dialogues. Their acting and dialogue delivery seems flawless. Both convince their characters well. The bond between Arshad Warsi and Shah reminds one of the relationships between Farhan Akhtar and Amitabh Bachchan in Wazir. Shah leads Arshad Warsi through the whole case. Arshad Warsi gives a certain level of individuality to his character of an NIA officer, following the law and the words of Chief Minister Braitch.
Divya Dutta’s character as a cunning and shrewd politician charms you. Sharad Kelkar as the main villain does a lot, but it somehow falls short. Sagarika Ghatge’s acting seems flat. At times, her excitement and expressions seem mistimed. Her role as a journalist remains unexplored.
Little elements in the movie like the last scene and the scene where Arjun plays a very smart move on CM, are handled well and it really shows the level of involvement of the director. Sadly, they lack conviction.
The good thing about the movie is its good dialogues and natural acting. But at the same time, the movie is slow. It carries the suspense dis-engagingly and with lethargy. The movie calls Eco-terrorism as the new face of terrorism and it sounds realistic.