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Movie Reviews & Ratings
Azhar  : Not Retired Hurt
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Friday, May 13, 2016
Human drama
Tony D'Souza
Emraan Hashmi, Lara Dutta, Prachi Desai, Nargis Fakhri

With a running time of 131 minutes, it’s like watching a leisurely test match. Every ball is expectedly thrown from the former India captain’s perspective and you may toss to decide how much of it you want to believe. But if you don’t go looking for authenticity, director Tony D’Souza’s Azhar has all the shots that commercial cinema requires.


There’s a careful blending of emotions. Azhar’s shyness in romancing first wife Naureen has the humour and heart that was seen between Ajay Devgn and Kangana in writer Rajat Arora’s earlier work Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai. And the spark is maintained when Azhar falls in love again with Sangeeta, Bijlani we presume, as only first names are used for most of the characters.


Never known for his voice quality or for speaking well, Azharuddin spoke with his bat as advised by his grandfather who was his main source of inspiration. But some of the dialogues will please the audience. For instance, when Pakistani cricketer Javedbhai taunts Azhar that Allah is on their side, India’s captain reminds him, ‘Shaayad aap bhool gaye ki mera naam Mohammed hai.’ 


Even if there’s a disclaimer that this is not a reflection of any known personalities, watching Ravi, Kapil, Manoj and other cricketers play their parts in Azhar’s life will give fans of the game a special thrill.


Prachi Desai wins you over as the first wife who had to give up her place in his life to another woman. Nargis Fakhri is all pout and glamour as Sangeeta. By knitting in the famous Oye, oye number from the Sangeeta starrer Tridev, the romance gets its touch of realism.


Kunal Roy Kapoor is averagely amusing as Azhar’s clumsy lawyer while Lara Dutta as his opponent looks smart though the courtroom is conducted like comic theatre.     


Emraan Hashmi may put his collar up like Azhar for hitting a boundary in the cricketer’s shoes. He makes up for not looking like Azhar by playing with his voice and gait and delivers a winning innings.


Azhar is by no means a complete dossier on the all-rounder who doesn’t win most people’s sympathy for his questionable personal and professional moves.


But as a dramatic entertainer with authentic moments, Azhar gets a 3* rating.     


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author


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