Release Date: 13 May 2016
Starring: Emraan Hashmi, Prachi Desai, Nargis Fakhri, Lara Dutta, Gautam Gulati, Varun Badola and Manjot Singh.
Directed by: Tony D’Souza
Produced by: Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor and Sony Pictures Network
Story: Rajat Arora
Music by: Amaal Malik and Pritam
Duration: 2 hr 11 min
Genre: Drama, Sports
Censor Rating: U/A
About Movie Azhar
Loaded with much-hyped incidents and facts fetched from the life of former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin, Azhar isn’t a biopic but fictionalised dramatization for the purpose of entertainment(as per the disclaimer that hits the screen in the beginning of the movie). The flick traces everything, right from the time Azharuddin set different world records (yet to be broken) to the period when he got embroiled in India’s first ever match fixing scandal. Azhar is all about the highs and lows of the much talked about cricketer of the nineties. The flick has been directed by the American novelist, journalist and short story writer, Tony D’Souza and the leads, including Emraan Hashmi, Prachi Desai, Nargis Fakhri and Lara Dutta, have definitely added an entertainment value to Azhar.
Azhar chronicles the life and times of the most controversial cricketer and former Indian cricket captain- Mohammad Azharuddin. Incidents from his roller coaster life have been beautifully portrayed by leading actors including Emraan Hashmi (playing the role of Azharuddin), Prachi Desai (playing the role of Azhar’s first wife Naureen), Nargis Fakhri (playing the role of Azhar’s second wife Sangeeta Bijlani) and Lara Dutta (playing the role of an oversmart lawyer). Right from facing the allegations of fixing to receiving a life ban, every event from Azharuddin’s life has been used for creating a spicy Bollywood movie. While cricket fans who’ve been following the sportsperson since the 1990s would be able to relate with the movie, the younger generation will find complete delight in catching up the story of Azharuddin in the form of a movie.
Popularly known as the ‘Serial kisser of Bollywood’, Emraan Hashmi has taken up a tough decision to portray the character of Azhar, who is a complex man. He has worked quite hard to resemble Azhar but has failed in his attempts. Neither in his looks or the performance does Emraan Hashmi resemble the former cricketer.
Prachi Desai, who plays the role of Azhar’s first wife (Naureen), looks cool in her Muslim attire. There is nothing to talk about her performance that portrays her playing the character of a simple wife who has been deserted by her husband.
Playing the character of Azhar’s second wife (Sangeeta Bijlani) is Nargis Fakhri, who too hasn’t been given much of an opportunity. She has just added a lot of glamour quotient in the movie. Fakhri’s acting deficiency isn’t unknown to us and the same continues throughout the movie.
Lara Dutta, in the role of a no-nonsense lawyer Meera, hasn’t much to do in the flick. Yet, the scenes that she has enacted definitely deserve applause.
Fukrey fame Manjot Singh along with TV stars Gautam Gulati and Varun Badola have their characters under written and hence they fail to add value and/or create an impact on the audience.
Azhar comes with a decent album that is surely going to ‘woo’ all music lovers. With a couple of tracks already creating waves on different musical charts, Azhar’s songs are definitely going to sustain for a longer duration of time.
Azhar’s music album opens with “Bol Do Na Zara” which has the terrific voice of Armaan Malik. This slow-paced track has a unique charm attached to it, which will surely appease Emraan’s fans. Next is the song “Itni Si Baat Hai” sung by Arijit Singh and Antara Mitra. Composed by Pritam, this is a much livelier song as compared to “Bol Do Na Zara”.
Slightly reworked version of Kalyanji-Anandji’s Oye Oye and Gajar ne Kiya Hai Ishara from Tridev is a peppy number, recreated by DJ Chetas. The song is beautifully sung by Aditi Singh Sharma to match the accent flaunted by Nargis Fakhri.
Then, there is Sonu Nigam’s “Tu Hi Na Jaane” which includes a perfect blend of flute pieces, guitar riffs and sarangi interludes. Finally, there is “Jeetne Ke Liye” sung by KK. It is a situational song loaded with traditional high pitches as is the case with every KK-sung number.
Details of songs in the movie
1. “Bol Do Na Zara”
Singer(s): Armaan Malik
2. “Itni Si Baat Hai”
Singer(s): Arijit Singh and Antara Mitra
3. “Oye Oye”
Singer(s): Armaan Malik and Aditi Singh Sharma
4. “Tu Hi Na Jaane”
Singer(s): Sonu Nigam and Prakriti Kakar
5. “Jeetne Ke Liye”
Emraan Hashmi is the only saving grace in the movie. He is immensely watchable and would keep you glued to the screen. The Azhar fans would have some takeaway from the story of the former cricket superstar.
Lengthy courtroom sequences are the biggest downside of Azhar. Plus, the performances delivered by the leading ladies including Prachi Desai and Nargis Fakhri aren’t up to the mark. Even Lara Dutta’s character looks tacky with an offbeat wig.
Mediocrity of Azhar’s content is something that will prevent every cricket or Azhar lover from watching this flick. Watch this movie only if you are an Emraan Hashmi fan and adore him in intense roles.
Azhar Rating **
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