Starring: Emraan Hashmi (Mohammad Azharuddin), Prachi Desai (Naureen, the first wife of Azharuddin), Nargis Fakhri (Sangeeta Bijlani),Lara Dutta (Lawyer), Gautam Gulati (Ravi Shastri), Manjot Singh (Navjot Singh Sidhu), Kunaal Roy Kapur (Reddy, lawyer), Rajesh Sharma (M.K. Sharma)
Director: Tony D’Souza
Music: Amaal Malik
Cinematography: Rakesh Singh
One of India’s best captain, style icon, skilled batsman and remembered for his explosive entry into International cricket, Mohammad Azharuddin has played for India for a span of 17 years. Since his debut in 1984, with back to back 100’s in his first 3 tests, he began his journey from a young Hyderabad boy to an icon of the game. Despite a formidable career, strong character and countless achievements, Azharuddin’s brilliant career was marred with match fixing allegations which lead to a permanent ban from both, the ICC and BCCI. Well, there are multiple theories to Azharuddin being guilty or not, but without doubt Azhar- The movie does a good job in portraying Mohammad Azharuddin’s career on the 70 mm screen.
The movie starts in the time when Azharuddin was accused of fixing and portrays the bad times for India’s ace cricketer. Portrayed by Emraan Hashmi, the character of Azharuddin could not be better played. With the right amount of grace, happiness, pain, agony and emotion, Emraan Hashmi seems to the perfect fit and adds another role to his laurels. Supporting performances by Prachi Desai, Kulbhushan Kharbanda Lara Dutta and Narghis Fakhri do help the boat sail and add purpose to the cause but not for long. On the other hand, Gautam Gulati and Varun Badola as Ravi Shastri and Kapil Dev are no patch on the charismatic personalities of the players with their terrible expressions and stumbling dialogue delivery. Kunal Roy Kapur gives off a very confusing look and accent, but again, he does add some momentary humour, so it does gel well.
Scenes involving matches being played, locations, costumes and camera angles are no great value add, but as long as they do not spoil the party, one should not complain about these prosthetics. Amaal Malik’s music is good, but songs appear too often and its good songs are edited, so you can enjoy the perfect flow. The storyline seems just fine, however points have been gravely missed out and over emphasised upon. A 130 minute film could be much more interesting if the editors had been well paid or well hired. Dialogues are the cream for Emraan Hashmi movies and thankfully Azhar keeps in line with the trend.
Well he may be the culprit or may be innocent, but Emraan Hashmi makes sure the life and career of Azharuddin captivating and worth a Rs.250 ticket. Despite its flaws ad scoring points, the movie vaguely clears out Azhar’s name from the scandal, which casts clouds of doubt over your mind. Last of all, Azhar is the perfect combo meal you can savour this weekend, with the right emotion, drama and comedy.
My Rating: 3.0/5