Well-intentioned as it may be, Irada almost trivializes the importance of the subject. The screenplay reduces the story to a mere thriller, instead of acting as an eye opener. There is one solitary scene of a train journey, which serves as the big revelation. But that too does not quite translate into the anything substantial.
The inadequacy in the screenplay notwithstanding, Irada manages to entertain. And much of the credit for this goes to an inimitable Arshad. It is his character that holds the film. And then there is a feisty Divya Dutta, who impresses as the Chief Minister. The other characters are half-baked. A usually brilliant Naseeruddin Shah plays a role of a retired army officer with a personal mission. The character is inconsistent at best. Sagarika Ghatge plays a journalist who never does anything ‘journalistic’.
The film ails from budget constraint, at least evidently so. The editing looks hurried and the cinematography is functional.
On the brighter side, while writing is patchy, the dialogues manage to keep the characters from becoming inane. This also keeps the film entertaining, albeit it losing relevance.
Irada falls short of being the next Udta Punjab. Debutante director Aparnaa Singh chooses a brave topic but fails to create a script that could do justice to it. She does get her facts right, butu the approach is superficial and simplistic. Irada does not give the grim picture she set out to create. It is at best an average noir-thriller. Expect nothing more and you may be fairly amused.