– REEMA CHHABDA
The action-thriller Khuda Haafiz, starring Vidyut Jammwal and Shivaleeka Oberoi, was first released in 2020. Today, the Faruk Kabir-directed sequel, Khuda Haafiz: Chapter II – Agni Pariksha, is being released in theaters. Sameer Chaudhary (Vidyut) and Nargis Chaudhary (Shivaleeka), who fought the flesh dealers in part one, return to India with the goal of starting over. However, they soon encounter yet another formidable obstacle when a brazen group of boys from their adopted daughter Nandini’s school abduct her. What happens next is a string of violent incidents, conflict, and retaliation.
Although Khuda Haafiz: Chapter II – Agni Pariksha has good intentions, it really lacks focus. The film frequently struggled to decide which way it wanted to go on, constantly straddling the line between right and wrong. Shivaleeka’s confused persona only serves to further complicate this convoluted tale. She treats Sameer in an unexpectedly harsh manner, and the cause for this behavior is never made clear. Although it influences Sameer in the film, in a more grounded setting it would look unrealistic and would require additional development.
The movie’s writer and director, Faruk Kabir, has a reasonably steady hand as he crafts an action movie that effectively utilizes emotional flashpoints. While some of the two and a half-hour Khuda Haafiz: Chapter 2 feel a little extraneous, the overall arc of the story is carefully crafted to produce a movie that is a definite step up over its predecessor.
Jitan Harmeet Singh’s cinematography is of the highest caliber, however many of the shots in the climax sequence appeared to be advertisements for Egypt travel. The best part of this movie is the action choreography by Yannick Ben, Amin Khatib, Vidyut Jammwal, and Faruk Kabir. Background music by Amar Mohile aids in the progression of the scenes. In every one of the movie’s action scenes, Vidyut impresses.
When it comes to acting, Vidyut Jammwal and Shivaleeka Oberoi give passable performances as Sameer and Nargis, but Sheeba Chaddha as the villain Thakur ji steals the show. On the big screen, she can probably handle any role or emotion. Rashid Qasai, played by Dibyendu Bhattacharya, does a good job, although journalist Ravi Kumar, played by Rajesh Tailang, might have been developed more. Although Tailang only has brief screen time, he perfectly inhabits the role.
If you are not a Vidyut Jammwal fan, Khuda Haafiz Chapter 2: Agni Pariksha is easily skippable.