Zindagi Shatranj Hai movie review: Hiten Tejwani anchors an absorbingly mysterious thriller drama

Zindagi Shatranj Hai movie review: Hiten Tejwani anchors an absorbingly mysterious thriller drama

Zindagi Shatranj Hai movie review: Hiten Tejwani anchors an absorbingly mysterious thriller drama

What: Zindagi Shatranj HaiTV fame Hiten Tejwani shines in an absorbingly mysterious thriller helmed by Dushyant Pratap Singh.

Zindagi Shatranj Hai movie synopsis

Natasha (Kavita Tripathi) is leading a happy life with her husband Vishal Malhotra (Zaidh Shaikh). House help Vasu (Hemant Pandey) is the only other person staying in their posh bungalow.

One fine day, Natasha goes crazy to find an imposter relaxing in her bedroom claiming to be her husband – Vishal Malhora.

Within a flash the world of Natasha becomes a patent lie as everyone including their trusted house help Vasu confirm the imposter to be her husband.

Who is actually lying, Natasha, the imposter, what happened to the real Vishal Malhotra?.


Zindagi Shatranj Hai movie review

Director Dushyant Pratap Singh with his writer - M. Salim (Story, Screenplay & dialogue) manage to hold attention of the audience in an interesting premise that keeps you guessing.

It’s not easy to hold the audience attention in the routine old book – tried, tested but trusted manner by telling a thriller mystery story centered in one location – the bungalow of Vishal and Natasha.

Dushyant Pratap Singh seems to be a fan of old book Hitchcockian style – a mansion, mystery, female fatale, double cross, cops, someone is following, the fear from the unknown.

This helps in making the characters mysterious and edgy, Natasha and the character played by Hiten Tejwani who pretends to be her husband and is ultra cool. Tension builds up for Natasha and the audience gets involved, here the writer director win their battle.

Dushyant Pratap Singh in his ambition to ease the tension ( which was not required) tries to add some humour and introduces clumsy over the top cops (played by Ashutosh Kaushik, Ekta Jain and Rajkumar Kanojiya), who fail to impress.

The unwinding of the mystery is hurried and Kavita Tripathi as Natasha is very average.

Hiten Tejwani’s committed earnestness and effortlessness is the biggest saving grace after the interesting build up.

Hemant Pandey delivers well. Shawar Ali had nothing much to do. Pankanj Berry is fine. Zaidh Shaikh passes the muster.

The movie gives a 90’s feel.

Daler Mehndi’s song ‘Gadbad Gadbad’ and Bruna Abdullah’s item Badnam Na Kar Dena are just passable.

And who is this mask man…. Who almost murdered the whole movie… a well attempted self defeating suicide? Mask man ne usko kyu maara… kya yaar.. Baahubali… seriously…..

Final words

All said and endured, Zindagi Shatranj Hai is no Andhadhun but it certainly manages to hum its mysterious tune thanks to the initial build up that keeps the audience guessing and Hiten Tejwani’s fine act throughout the 85 minutes.



Rating : 3/5

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About vishal verma

vishal verma

A child born from life & fed by cinema. A filmi keeda from child & a film journalist for the last fifteen years. a father, seeker, foodie who loves crooning bollywood melodies twitter.com/cineblues More By vishal verma

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