A Wednesday

  • Directors: Neeraj Pandey
  • Producers: Ronnie Screwvala, Shital Bhatia, Anjum Rizvi
  • Writers: Neeraj Pandey
  • Genres: Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah, Jimmy Shergill, Deepal Shaw, Aamir Bashir

The film opens with the shots of Mumbai Police Commissioner Prakash Rathod taking a respite after a jog, describing in a voice-over that he is going to retire from office the following day, and how numerous people have been recently questioning him about the most challenging case he had to deal with in his entire career, and how he has been deliberately evading such questions. As his voice-over ends the film switches into a narrative, showing the events that occurred on a certain Wednesday, which the Commissioner specifically recalls when being asked the said question. An unnamed man is shown to strategically place a handbag, assumed to be carrying explosives, in the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station and proceeding to place another, under the false pretense of lodging an FIR, in the toilet of a police station located near the Mumbai Police headquarters. He then arrives on the rooftop of a building under construction where he has set up his base of operations, equipped with various modern technology gadgets and instruments. He calls up Rathod and informs him that 5 bombs have been placed in different locations throughout Mumbai, which are programmed to explode simultaneously within four hours unless the Commissioner gives in to his demands and releases four Islamic militants, Ibrahim Khan, Ikhlaque Ahmed, Mohd. Zaheer and Khurshid Lala, who have been involved in and arrested for many of the major terrorist attacks and activities that have happened in the city since the previous decade. In response, Rathod immediately alerts his team involved in intelligence research and surveillance, tapping all the available resources in gathering preliminary information and tracing the location of the caller. Meanwhile, the caller tips off television news reporter Naina Roy, telling her to reach the police headquarters immediately as it is going to be “the most important day of her life”. Rathod initially suspects the anonymous caller to be bluffing, but his doubts are dispelled as the caller, to prove his seriousness and the police force’s helplessness, reveals that a bomb has been planted in the police station right opposite to the Police headquarters. He tries to trigger the bomb through a cell phone, but it is located in the nick of time and defused, just as Roy reaches the scene on the caller’s instructions and reports about the situation.

The caller calls up Rathod, as he is en route, for a final time to further reveal that he had not planted any other bomb in the city. Rathod reaches the caller’s location just as the latter is leaving the place, having destroyed all his gadgets and equipments, leaving behind no evidence. The two meet briefly when Rathod, identifying the anonymous caller on the basis of the face sketch, offers the man a ride home and introduces himself. The film freezes momentarily just as the man begins to smile and utter his name, when Rathod’s voice-over cuts back as he says the man told him his real name but he doesn’t wish to reveal it since anyone will look for a religious basis in it. The film ends on an idealistic note, with Rathod admitting that they all knew the common man was disturbed because of the insecure environment and the incompetence of the governing authorities but he never imagined him to go to such lengths and have the guts to do something like that. He also repeats that the facts of this incident cannot be found in any written record but only in the memories of those who actually witnessed it, and acknowledges that although the incidence has ambiguous moral significance, he personally feels that whatever happened, happened for the best.

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