Azhar is one of the better biopics to have come out of Bollywood in recent times. Though it may look pro-Azhar to the expense of belittling his other contemporaries, some of whom who had leveled accusations against him; the movie offers a stark glimpse of what really happened inside the dressing room, without compromising on the entertainment quotient.
Story of Azhar
The movie begins with accusations of match-fixing leveled against Mohammed Azharuddin. While a life ban is imposed on him, the movie goes back to the past, giving an empathetic look on how Azhar’s grand-father willed it in his mind that his grand-son would go on to play 100 test matches for India.
The young cricketer just does that, beginning his career with three continuous test centuries. He becomes captain of the Indian cricket team and wins many matches for India. While fans rejoice, some of his team mates do not share the same sentiments. We are treated to the insider perspective of the Indian cricket-team where the likes of Manoj Prabhakar and Ravi Shastri are not exactly pleased to take orders from a ‘junior’ skipper.
Buoyant with success, the much-married Azhar falls in love with a young movie star nursing a heart-break. Sangeeta Bijlani who is not into married men and cricketers breaks her rule and falls in love with Azhar too. The shy-cricketer dedicates one of his victories to the new woman in his life, Sangeeta, breaking his first wife Naureen’s heart.
Azhar’s complex personal life is complicated further by the match-fixing case. As a result of the life ban, the cricket who was once an apple of people’s eyes finds himself to be a lone soul, with no cricketer colleague, relatives or friends ready to support him. As an ace lawyer Meera (Lara Dutta) gets ready to nail Azhar, his lawyer friend Reddy comes to the rescue. The viewer is then presented with the real picture of what really happened and why Azhar was made a scrape-goat in the match-fixing scandal.
Best parts of Azhar
- The dialogues by Rajat Aroraa are a treat. They work like icing on the narrative. The best one is the line ‘
- The screenplay in the film is interesting and makes for a good watch, especially in the first half.
- Emraan Hashmi scores as ‘Azhar’. Though he may not like the erstwhile skipper, he gets the body-language, swag and shyness of the man, bang-on. Kunal Roy Kapoor, who plays Azhar’s lawyer friend is amazing in his role.
- Director Tony D’Souza handles the subject quite well and makes the movie interesting right from the word-go.
The movie, may be marketed as an impartial biopic but in the end, it is a pro-Azhar film. But it does so, with a good reason that make you say, ‘well, he was human and a hero at the end of the day’.
Azhar movie rating
**** (very good)
Azhar – Box Office Collection
Though not exactly an opening that set the box-office on fire, good word of mouth publicity by people have upped the movie’s cause. It registered good collections in Hyderabad, Gujarat, Mumbai.