Movie Review: ‘Azhar’ by Neha Ravindran 

Movie: Azhar

Director: Tony D’Souza

Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Prachi Desai, Lara Dutta, Nargis Fakri

Genre: Biopic

Mohammad Azhruddin was a man who created history. Young boy from Hyderabad, he went onto create a record of triple centuries in his first three matches itself. He goes on to become the captain of the Indian cricket team, leading the team to win three world cups under his captaincy. He then went on to be painted in controversies of alleged extra marital affairs and match fixing resulting in a lifetime cricket ban. This movie is the inside story of cricketing legend Mohammad Azhruddin’s life.

Azhar (Emraan Hashmi) is a well known cricket star in India. He wants to fulfil his grandfather’s dream of playing 100 test matches. His wife of 8 years Naureen (Prachi Desai) is his pillar of strength and support. But stardom and fame always comes at a cost- a price to be paid for being in the limelight. Azhar is accused of match fixing and is banned from playing for India. He then falls for a Bollywood actress Sangeeta (Nargis Fakri) and goes on to have a steamy affair with her. For almost 8 years Azhar’s life is stuck in a flux personally and professionally. Will he be able to defend himself for selling his religion (cricket) or will he lose it all?

Azhar is a biography and revelation of inside stories that may put to rest several questions Azhruddin’s fans might have had all these years. Emraan Hashmi is charming as young Azhar. He has captured the cricketer’s mannerisms and gestures quite perfectly. It was welcoming to see Prachi Desai back on the ssilver screen. She essay’s the role of Azhar’s first wife Naureen. Prachi was a delight to watch in this movie. Her performance has beautifully mirrored the changing phases of Azhar and Naureen’s marriage. Though, she has been repeatedly casted as the lover or the docile wife without opportunities to explore other facets of her as an actor. Well, I am hopeful that after this movie, Prachi will get more challenging offers. Lara Dutta is splendid as the defense lawyer. Though it is not a meaty role, she manages to play beautifully with what is laden out to her. Kunaal Roy Kapur is infuses humour through his character’s antics and personality. The weakest link in the movie is Nargis Fakri. There are times, when it’s virtually impossible to make out her expressions.

The first half of the movie is its high point; the second half keeps sliding down till the climax which is the only high in the second half. The portion around Azhar’s affair with Sangeeta is shot clumsily possibly to avoid controversy, but in effect it ruins the second half. The constant true and fro to flash backs is also a little tiring considering the movie’s running time is nearly 3 hours. Songs by Amaal Malik and Pritam is soulful and beautiful.

Azhar is a decent watch! For all Azhruddin fans, this movie will be an answer to many unanswered questions.

My verdict: ***



Movie Review: ‘Bol Bachchan’ (** Two Star)

( By Akshat Sharma) First of all a statutory warning to all cine-goers!  Leave your brains at home before you rush to the nearest theatre to watch ‘Bol Bachchan’. Watching a movie like this could be painful if you rack your brains. So leave it behind before you step out of your home. Agreed it has some of the finest actors the industry could boast of, agreed we love Bollywood chutzpah but going through movies like ‘Bol Bachchan’ is rarely funny and mostly agonizing.

The movie begins with a song and dance number ‘Bol Bol Bachchan’. We find a family leaving their homeland for an unknown destination.  The family reaches a town where they meet Prithvi Raj Singh played by Ajay Devgn. This modern day Prithvi Raj has no royal legacy behind him. He is indeed a local muscleman with a funny streak.

He doesn’t like his cousins but he loves his sister Radhika, played by Prachi Desai. She is studying in Delhi. One fine day she was returning to her hometown but before she could reach there she was kidnapped.  It marks the beginning of high drama, cars flying in air and some heated exchange of words.

We were told by the PR people that the movie was inspired by ‘Golmaal’ the all time classic comedy immortalized by Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt.  It seems Abhishek Bachchan sporting a moustache like Amol Palekar was the point of reference as ‘Bol Bachchan’ stands nowhere close to ‘Golmaal’. Abhishek Bachchan is the only saving grace in the movie.

Ajay Devgn doesn’t inspire much confidence with his performance. Other characters are only used as fillers barring the exception of Archana Puran Singh who has managed to tickle our funny bones. Being a judge in a comedy show certainly helps in certain cases!

Directory director Rohit Shetty is no doubt the ‘Maharaaja of Madness’. He has shown uncanny ability to churn out super duper hit movies one after another. Once again he has done what he knows the best. ‘Bol Bachchan’ is a movie only for those who believe in taking an escape route out of this temporal world through madcap comedies.

‘Bol Bachan’ To Release On July 06

Mumbai: (PTI) Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan, who is currently busy shooting his comedy flick ‘Bol Bachchan’, says he is excited that the film will hit screens on July 6.

The film, which is inspired by Amol Palekar starrer 1978 film ‘Gol Maal’, is being directed by Rohit Shetty and stars Bachchan and Ajay Devgn in the lead role. “Back on the sets of Bol Bachchan. Few more days and it`s a wrap on the film. Releases 6th July. Excitement is becoming!,” Bachchan posted on Twitter.

Bachchan, 36, had met with a minor accident last year while shooting for the film in Jaipur last year. After his stint as an action hero in ‘Players’ and ‘Game’, Bachchan will be back in comedy with ‘Bol Bachchan’ after three years.