Lahore Confidential review by Bharathi S Pradhan.
Zee5 has got an attractive title for its spy series. It was London Confidential last year. It’s off to Pakistan to play ‘I spy’ around RAW agents and ISI in 2021. ‘Play’ is the right word for it because the agents, especially those on the Indian side, are like a bunch of caricaturised amateurs playing a school-level spy game.
One has heard of honey traps. When it’s the reverse, with the hunk trapping a feckless Indian agent, I guess it’s a bear trap. Arunoday Singh (playing Rauf Ahmed Kazmi), the brawn on the other side of the border, is built like a bear and all it takes are a couple of fake bear hugs, a few ounces of crocodile tears and some Urdu ghazals to win over naive RAW woman Ananya. He’s as obvious as Pinocchio’s nose, so please, bear with me.
Although Karishma Tanna as abuse-spouting, quickie-loving RAW woman Yukti, Richa Chadha as Ananya the ingenuous who wakes up to reality only in the last two minutes, Khalid Siddiqui as RD the senior RAW officer and Arunoday Singh have their moments as performers, it’s like a dilletante masquerading as an art curator.
The first scene and the last scene that explains the first are about the best parts of the movie. What’s in-between is a gullible RAW agent whose take on India-Balochistan and quick succumb to selling her side make it seem like women in media, RAW and writing are high on sex hormones and low on grey cells.
The good news is that with a short running time, Lahore Confidential feels more episodic than like a feature film. Just wish director Kunal Kohli had delivered a spy story as smart as the title. Hope the next stop of Confidential goes beyond brief flashes of the culture of the place. Give us a real thriller, writer Hussain Zaidi.
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