Movie Review: Azhar

Azhar: A Caricature Than a Biopic

Azhar Movie ReviewBiopics are sensitive themes, if they are not handled with utmost care it becomes a caricature, well “Azhar” falls in that category…”Neerja”, “Mary Kom”, “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” are some of the best biopics of Bollywood….

“Azhar” chronicles the life of famous cricketer and ex-captain of India Mohammad Azharuddin from his Hyderabad days to his glory as a cricketer and his fall due to the controversial match fixing case and his lifetime ban from cricket, the movie specifically emphasizes on Azharuddin’s controversial match fixing case and his second marriage to Sangeeta Bijlani. Not much has been explored on his life as a cricketer….

Story & Screenplay by Rajat Aroraa tries to leverage the controversial side of the cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin’s life, the court case in particular for match fixing and his lifetime ban from cricket. Azharuddin’s life had enough happenings for a Bollywood adaptation but Rajat fails to put all the events in a cohesive manner, the screenplay looks like an amalgamation of incidences from the cricketer’s life. The court room sequences which constitute the major part of the movie are the worst written scenes of the movie. Other than cohesiveness the writing fails to connect on an emotional level which is extremely important for a biopic. One of the major issues of the movie is how the characters are written, other than a few characters like the central character Azhar, or his wife Naureen, or the defence lawyer Meera Verma, other character come out more as caricatures than a realistic portrayal. The only good thing about the writing is the love story track of Azhar and his first wife Naureen, it is cute and it pulls your heart strings, albeit briefly. Azhar’s second love story with the Bollywood actress Sangeeta falls flat and looks forced, it just does not delve on the emotional quotient at all and to make the matters worse the actors Emraan Hashmi and Nargis Fakhri who played Azhar and Sangeeta respectively have NO chemistry….Even for the match fixing case the script remains on a superficial level, rather at the end you feel the movie was made to make Azharuddin look like a messiah.. The saving grace of the writing is Rajat’s dialogues which has been his forte and he does not disappoint, but the bad script overshadows the good dialogues…Overall the movie fails in the writing department from the word go…

The performances also does not help the movie, other than Emraan Hashmi who plays the titular role of Azhar, Prachi Desai who plays Azhar’s first wife Naureen and Lara Dutta who plays the defence lawyer Meera Verma, rest of the cast just fail to make any impact. Amongst the three, Emraan Hashmi impresses the most in the way he has copied the body language of the cricketer and does complete justice to his character, he is definitely a good actor which he has proven time and again, remember his performance in “Shanghai”, one of his best, I just hope he gets a better movie where he can showcase his talent well. Prachi Desai brings the poise required in her role extremely well and says a lot through her eyes, another actress whose talent is yet to be exploited fully. Lara Dutta as the fiery defence lawyer Meera Verma does a crackling job, rather I must say in the court room scenes she is the saving grace. Nargis Fakhri as the Bollywood actress Sangeeta only pouts in the name of acting and has the same expression throughout the movie whether she is sad or happy, she looks completely out of place and sleep walks through her role, one of the worst performances of the movie. Kunal Roy Kapoor as Azhar’s lawyer and friend Reddy is a catastrophe, his dialect is the most confusing whether he has a gujrati twang or a hyderabadi twang in the movie, and he looks lost throughout the movie just like his character. Gautam Gulati who debuts in this movie as cricketer Ravi acts as if he is still in “Big Boss” with his over confident swagger. Karanvir Sharma as Manoj with an awkward wig tries hard to play the antagonist, but I must say fails miserably, he hams throughout the movie. Manjot Singh as Navjot looks like a cartoon character thanks to the BAD writing and fails miserably. Good actors like Khulbhushan Kharbanda, Shernaz Patel, Varun Badola and Rajesh Sharma are wasted…

The music of the movie fails to create any impact…

The director Tony D’Souza also known as Anthony D’Souza fails miserably in putting up the biopic…Tony should have stuck to his masala fares like “Boss” & “Blue”…both failed to impress the critics or the box office…

“Azhar” is a bad attempt in creating a biopic and the movie fails in many levels prominent being writing and performances…I will go with 2 stars…

Movie Rating: (2 / 5)

Azhar: Official Trailer

“Azhar”, is a film based on the Indian cricketer Mohammad Azharruddin. The movie chronicles the cricketer’s journey from being a no one to a renowned cricketer and his controversial life like the famous betting case against him, or his love life with Bollywood actress Sangeeta Bijlani whom he married later or his infamous link up with Jwala Gutta….Azhar Official Trailer

Tony D’Souza, the famous novelist debuts as a director in Bollywood with “Azhar”….

Emraan Hashmi plays the titular role of “Azhar”, for which he almost took a break from other movie assignments to concentrate and prepare for the role of a cricketer. The other cast includes Prachi Desai, Nargis Fakhri, Huma Qureshi, Lara Dutta, Kunal Roy Kapoor, Gautam Gulati, Rajesh Sharma & Manjot Singh…

Written by Rajat Arora the movie expects to explore many facets of the controversial cricketer’s life…

The music has been scored by Pritam & Amaal Mallik…

“Azhar” has been produced by Balaji Motion Pictures, Sony Pictures Networks & Indiana Films Ltd and releases on 13th May 2016….till then enjoy the Official trailer of the movie which provides us the glimpse of what “Azhar” is all about…

Movie Review: Singh Is Bliing

Singh Is Bliing: Nothing so Blingy, But Akshay Shines

Singh-is-Bliing-PosterAkshay Kumar just like Govinda in the 90’s has created a niche in his kind of comedy and “Singh Is Bling” is a step forward to the same.

Prabhu Deva & Akshay Kumar combo in their last outing “Rowdy Rathore” (2012) was a huge hit. This time Prabhu Deva takes the flavour of “Singh Is King” of an innocent Sardar, Raftaar Singh and mixes it with his kind of masala and presents “Singh Is Bling”. The premise primarily tells us the story of a good hearted but good for nothing Raftaar Singh (Akshay Kumar) who is sent to Goa by his father to work at his friend’s casino. Things change for him when he is given the task of taking care of Sarah (Amy Jackson), daughter of a don Rana (Kunal Kapoor) who comes to Goa from Romania in search of her mother. The comedy of errors which entails constitutes the rest of the movie….

Story & Screenplay by Shiraz Ahmed is like a series of events interwoven into a script, with lack of consistency and cohesiveness. Though the comic sequences does give you enough laughs and keeps you entertained. The first half is breezy and keeps you entertained; it is the second half when the script starts to slip when unnecessary characters are introduced and little bit of emotions is thrust on us. The emotional sequence fails to connect. Some of the sequences are put with no relevance to the overall story like Emily’s sleep walking sequence takes up screen time for no rhyme or reason, or the Punjab sequence when Raftaar takes Sarah to his home, which is stretched with unnecessary song sequence. The climax is a bit over the top what with a single man fighting with dozen men, too farfetched to be true. But overall Shiraz tries to keep the entertainment quotient intact and is successful partially.

It is Chintan Gandhi’s dialogues which are like the cherry on the cake, which complements the screenplay which is essential for a comic caper. Rather it is the dialogues which make a few mundane sequences in different light, especially the sequences when Emily is translating the English to Hindi for Raftaar Singh….

Akshay Kumar is the star of “Singh Is Bliing” and his portrayal of Raftaar Singh, is the reason to watch the movie, it is funny, it is witty and full of paisa vassol entertainment. Akshay again proves that amongst his contemporaries he is the best in comic timings. He yet again proves his verstatlity, whether it is the undercover agent in “Baby”, or an emotional man in “Brothers” or the crusader in “Gabbar Is Back”, or a naive Sardar in “Singh Is Bliing”, he is impressive in each and every role that he has done, kudos to Akshay Kumar for choosing such versatile roles and doing justice to them. Another good performance is by Lara Dutta as Emily the geeky translator; she yet again proves her penchant for comic timings and does an excellent job. Amy Jackson as Sarah has nothing much to do in histrionics department, she just looks good and does some amazing stunts, which is all that she does. Rati Agnihotri as Raftaar Singh’s mother does her bit well. Arfi Lamba & Anil Mange as Raftaar Singh’s friends is very good and they compliment Akshay’s act. Yograj Singh as Raftaar Singh’s father is very good and does complete justice. Kunal Kapoor who appears in Bollywood after a long hiatus as Sarah’s father is impressive but sounds too much like his grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor. Kay Kay Menon as Mark hams unnecessarily all throughout the movie and is one of the worst performances of movie. Rest of the cast like Murli Sharma & Pradeep Rawat do a good job…Overall it is the performance of the ensemble cast which makes the movie a worth watch…

Dudley’s cinematography captures Punjab, Goa and Romania beautifully and gives that glamour quotient to the movie.

Music is another highlight of the movie, but Sneha Khanwalkar’s “Tung Tung Baje” which has the feel of Punjab throughout the song and “Aaja Mahi” the love song by Manj Musik are the best tracks of the movie….

Prabhu Deva breaks his mould of south Indian masala Bollywood movie maker and tries it differently with a bit of more northern touch and it works to some extent, but it is Akshay Kumar who shines through and makes the movie his own with his sheer enthusiasm and dedication….I will go with 3 stars (One additional star for Akshay Kumar)

Movie Rating: (3 / 5)