Friday, 17 May 2013

Aurangzeb (2013) Review by Shivom Oza – Mughlai Mash-up!

2.5/5 Stars

Arya, an honest Gurgaon-based police officer, sets up a coup in which he replaces a pivotal member of a gang with a look-alike. However, the coup goes kaput!

Although the cast members (Arjun Kapoor, Prithviraj, Jackie Shroff, Rishi Kapoor, Sikander Kher and Amrita Singh among others) have delivered stupendous performances and the cinematography is first-rate, the film falls flat owing to its convoluted screenplay. The writer tries to mix up too many sub-plots and twists, making the film a very complex and an exhausting affair.

Gurgaon-based police officer Arya (Prithviraj) has to choose between following his late father’s (Anupam Kher), who was an honest policeman till fate did him in, ideals and his uncle Ravikant’s, who is an opportunistic head of the police department, crooked ways. Arya chooses the middle path and ends up facing terrible consequences.

Vishal (Arjun Kapoor) is a simpleton living with his widowed mother (Tanvi Azmi) in a far-off town in North India. The mother has faced a lot of troubles in trying to get away from her turbulent marriage, leave one of her children behind, and bring Vishal up for so many years. Vishal joins hands with Arya and his uncle to help eliminate a very powerful gang reigning in Gurgaon. This gang, led by Yashvardhan (Jackie Shroff), is running havoc with multiple corporate deals and abundant money laundering. Yashvardhan has an errant son Ajay (Arjun Kapoor), who happens to look exactly like Vishal.

How the stories of all these characters intertwine is what ‘Aurangzeb’ is all about!

The characters in this film are very well-etched. Arjun Kapoor effortlessly plays an irresponsible and a conniving ruffian (Ajay) with élan, just like he did in his debut film ‘Ishaqzaade’. However, he surprises with his charming performance as the innocent, harmless man caught amongst rogues (Vishal). The man displays great range playing these two diametrically-opposite characters.   

The veterans Jackie Shroff, Rishi Kapoor and Amrita Singh too, deliver top-notch performances. Sasha Aagha delivers a passable performance, playing Arjun Kapoor’s love interest. Her real moment of reckoning, though, is when she belts out the foot-tapping ‘Barbadiyaan’. She is an amazing singer, and should definitely sing more often in the future. As far as performances go, the pick of the lot is Prithviraj. Be it the body language, dialogue delivery or the acting, the South actor enthrals and how! His character is the least-complex among the entire cast, and perhaps that helped the way it transcended on to the big screen.

It is the story that lets the film down. ‘Aurangzeb’ has too many plots, sub-plots, characters and side-characters. The action scenes have been very well-executed, and the premise of the film, based on the real estate-police nexus, is extremely interesting. However, when logic goes out of the window, no amount of slickness can salvage the product.

Director Atul Sabbharwal directs well, but his writing leaves a lot to be desired. ‘Aurangzeb’ is full of crests and troughs. However, the latter outnumber the former.  

Shivom Oza

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