The writers of Azhar were so unconfident of sensationalism in real life material of Mohd. Azharrudin that they put a long disclaimer in beginning itself which disowns any elements of being a biopic. So instead it’s a story inspired by his life.
And once you are conditioned as per that disclaimer it becomes easy to enjoy Azhar for major chunk. The film starts with great moments one after the other and the film feels fast until the romance kicks in with Prachi Desai. Yet, once you go past the romantic track there’s no looking back till the interval because it has a gripping tale to tell. Not everything falls in place easily but the screenplay has enough air filled in it for it to not burst quickly.
But it bursts post intermission when Nargis Fakhri surfaces gloriously. Her story with Azhar draws space for a small item song, a love song, few liplocks – the regular Hashmi’s ingredients. It’s this part where Azhar sets back and the drama often feels superficial & longer than it should perhaps be. However the film doesn’t entirely falls flat in second half especially because the climax is nicely interspersed with Cricket and courtroom drama, both of which may grab your attention entirely. Also there’s a very clever scene, although melodramatically handled, where we see Azhar performing demands of a Gym owner.
The film is plagued by average songs. The songs could have helped the narration but they are forgettable. However, the film has a very dependable ace in form of Rajat Arora who yet again manages to pen some dialogues that will see some whistles and claps in theatres. Tony Dsouza has improved a lot in his direction although one can’t overlook the poorly handled Cricket scenes which just doesn’t live upto the mark. Thats one weary job by the team.
Emraan Hashmi alone sails off as an actor in this film. He nicely shifts his performance as per the varied moods that the film asks him to perform on. But the supporting cast is a major trouble especially Kunal Roy Kapoor in a poignant role playing a naïve lawyer. Even Prachi Desai is wasted in a role quite poorly constructed. Casting Nargis Fakhri was another misfire. Lara Dutta is sincere but it’s a role that too regular to put her acting capabilities at display.
Azhar manages to keep you interested in the film barring some 30 minutes in second half. Emraan Hashmi also reinstates the lost form and delivers a very honest performance. However a better supporting cast & a better written love track with Nargis & Prachi would have only put the film in a better place. Still, for whatever it’s worth, even if it is not the best examples of storytelling and movie-making, it is still more entertaining than lot of trashy and mediocre films that are churned out of Bollywood.
Rating : 2.5/5