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I went without any expectations in my head to watch Azhar as when I started following cricket keenly at the age of 9 in 1998 by that time Azhar had already passed his glorious prime in batting though I still remember couple of his outstanding knocks in 1999 which came vs England in a tri series and one ton in test vs New Zealand. So in a way i was never his fan but heard and a lot of things about him from my elders that how they use to switch off the TV when Azhar got out in Mid 80s and in early 90s. His lazy elegance, his swag, the bent shoulder, his Neck ‘Taabiz’ and his magical wristy flicks, all of them have been aped by Emraan Hashmi pretty well but still we see more of Emraan and very less of Azhar in the movie. Hashmi mouthed all his dialogues in his usual way and certainly we missed Azharuddin’s Hyderabadi accent both in his Hindi and little English. But despite that Hashmi is one of the very few good things in the film. He tries his best and desperately needs a hit and the way this film is made in a melo dramatic bollywood stereotype, I think this movie will work in masses specially in Hyderabad sector. Since the time of its trailer I knew this is not a sound biopic as it looked loud with some tacky CGI. So, when at the very beginning makers show a disclaimer that ‘This is not a biopic but just taken some incidence from Mohd. Azharuddin’s life for the purpose of entertainment’ I knew its a run of mill kind of film where the hero will win anyhow. Yes, I agree that Azhar won the case in 2011 and been acquited from all the charges on basis of Lack of evidences and really Azhar is a fighter but here the movie looked very much biased for making him look the winner all the way and demeaned all the other almost who played with him. Okay its not a biopic as the makers said but still they used all the real names of his contemporary cricketers which compelled me to relate it to reality. Well, technically film is weak, clearly its visible that the makers wanted to save the money and make it in a tight budget by not shooting it on real grounds rather than depend upon tacky CGI for cricket matches. As for other actors, Prachi Desai as Naureen, Azhar’s 1st wife did reasonably well. And Nargis Fakhri as Sangeeta Bijlani is so bad that even Sangeeta Bijlani will look Mother India ‘Nargis’ in front of her, though she herself was an incompetent actor and now completely forgotten.
But I survived watching Fakhri’s horrific acting after being successfully surviving from the effect of Himesh Reshmiya’s acting in Tera Suroor. Lara Dutta as advocate Meera is just about okay. Kunal Roy Kapoor as Azhar’s friend and Advocate Reddy is fine. Rest all the other supporting cast are not important and all are strictly average be it Kulbhushan Kharbanda as Azhar’s Nana or Varun Badola as Kapil Dev. The direction of Tony D’souza is above average, he could have done better. The Cinematography of Rakesh Singh is very much average. Editing of Dev Jadhav and Vipul Chouhan is tight and the script and Dialogues of Rajat Aroraa is very What I call ‘Chaalu’, crowd pleasing but nothing fresh. Music by Amaal Mallik, Pritam and DJ Chetas is good, Oye Oye makes your foot tap while Itni si baat hai and Patta Patta is very melodious.
Background Score by Sandeep Shirodkar is massy. Overall its a pure 100% average film, cricket is sidelined and court case is very much dragged and the real story of Azhar is very much not like this. Anyway, you can either miss or can watch it, nothing gonna bother you. But what bothers me is All the name and Respect what Azhar got because of his Cricket, which he almost lost after the match fixing scandal might not come back to him after this mediocre film. I’ll go with 2 stars.