Azhar has received mixed reviews. The average rating for the film is 2.6 stars from 13 reviews that we have so far. This page will be updated once every hour.
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Azhar Review by Indicine
Azhar is an entertaining account of a cricketer who has everything and then somehow manages to lose it all. But, it feels like a propaganda piece to get the public back on the side of the cricketer. The story is painted just from the perspective of the protagonist and there is no cross referencing. The details are poorly etched out (Sangeeta was married to Azhar in 1996 but in the movie they have just recently been acquainted). Ultimately, it fails to swing the audiences in favour of Azhar even if the movie feels like a breeze because it covers so much so quickly. The courtroom sequences should have been a lot better handled, however.
Azhar Review by Bollywood Hungama
Director Tony D’souza’s AZHAR brilliantly captures the angst, the simplicity, the colossal success, the dual romance, tryst with infamy and an arduous innings of never ending struggle-to-clear-the-name of Indian cricket’s heroic, yet arguably the most controversial captain Mohammad Azharuddin. Tony is stoically backed by the career best performance of Emraan Hashmi and excellent writing of Rajat Arora. Everyone was wondering as to how would the makers of AZHAR present his highly scrutinized and well-known public-personal life. The tone and tenor of the film is set at the beginning itself with the unpredictable screenplay. The story moves forward in a non-linear fashion making you cringe in disbelief at one moment and unleashing a hearty laughter at almost the very next. The intensity of writing is sustained right throughout and Tony D’souza tightly weaves everything together making you clap and shed tears towards the end of the film. Dialogues (Rajat Arora) are consistently first rate.
Azhar Review by Meena Iyer on The Times Of India
A disclaimer at the start says that it is not a biopic on the life of one of the most celebrated and controversial Indian cricket captains Mohammad Azharuddin(Emraan). So the makers hoodwink you submission that it is not a biopic. But one has also to be blind, not to be able to see the similarities between Azhar’s life and this film.
Azhar Review by Manjusha Radhakrishnan on Gulfnews
The film would have benefitted greatly if all that effort had gone into making its dialogues less corny. The supporting cast of Azhar, the other cricketers who were captained by Azharaddin such as TV star Gautam Gulati as the real-life cricketer Ravi Shastri and Manjot Singh as cricketer Navjot Singh Siddhu, were reduced to glorified side-kicks. If you are expecting Hashmi to deliver a captain’s innings here, then you are looking up the wrong film. However, if you are in the mood for a salacious potboiler that buries the real problem then Azhar may work for you.
Azhar Review by Sreeju Sudhakaran on Bollywood Life
The premise is definitely interesting – after all, we are really curious to know what went behind all the match fixing allegations and whether Azhar really had a hand in this. If the film draws a lot of audience in the first week itself, it is purely because of this reason. To the makers’ credit, they straightaway get to the point. Real life incident and references to real people (Ravi Shastri, Kapil Dev and even the Little Master…why even a Khan was sneaked in as an Easter egg). The courtroom sequences are lively, thanks to the performances of Lara Dutta and Kunal Roy Kapur. Even Azhar’s early interactions with his first wife is hilariously sweet! Prachi Desai is apt as Naureen, the first wife. Gautam Gulati impresses as Ravi Shastri (or the man modelled on Ravi Shastri…we are very confused!). We do wish that there were more scenes of him. But the film ultimately belongs to Emraan Hashmi. It is his sincere performance (even though his Hyderabadi accent go on and off as per the convenience of the script), that makes us invest in the film. Even though he doesn’t look anything like the real Azhar, he makes sure he adopts a few mannerisms of the former cricket star, but not to the extent of mimicking him.
Review by Lokesh Dharmani on Masala
The film is a simplistic, he-didn’t-do-anything-wrong take on the cricketer. It never delves into grey areas, no character build-up, no introspection, no redemption. Even the matches lack the nail-biting excitement. The lead starcast doesn’t leave any great impression; however, Lara Dutta and Kunal Roy Kapur as supporting starcast look earnest and deliver decent performances. Azhar could have been bad-ass, controversial, exciting, masaledaar… alas the simplistic safe treatment leaves it pretty bland
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
First things first- Emraan doesn’t look like Azhar at all, with or without the moustache and so, it becomes tough for us to take the film seriously at the very outset. Though Hashmi has tried to ape some of his mannerisms, the fact remains that there is zero resemblance and his Hyderabadi accent, which appears and disappears suddenly, makes matters worse. Prachi Desai, who plays Azhar’s first wife, seems to be playing the same ‘coy and weepy’ role that she had played in Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, while Nargis Fakhri, who plays Sangeeta (based on Sangeeta Bijlani), looks funny with those swollen lips and cannot emote to save her life. Aditya Roy Kapur, who plays Azhar’s lawyer Reddy, is quite impressive in certain scenes though his accent looks quite fake and Lara Dutta seems angry throughout the film for no reason other than the fact that she is a former fan of Azhar.
Review by Shubha Shetty-Saha on Mid-Day India
Emraan Hashmi as Azharuddin has a tough task at hand, as his body type is entirely different from the real character that he’s playing. However, Emraan plays it with so much sincerity that at times he is the only one who seems to make any sense in this forgettable movie. Full points to him for admirably aping the stylish gait that Azhar was popular for. Then there is Prachi Desai playing Azhar’s jilted first wife Naureen. She looks beautiful and vulnerable as her character is expected to be. Nargis Fakhri, who plays Azhar’s second wife actress Sangeeta Bijlani, makes no attempt at acting or whatsoever and walks through her part in a daze.The courtroom drama in the second half is almost unbearable with Lara Dutta as a prosecutor lawyer screeching her way till the end with Rajat Arora’s bordering on nonsense rhyming dialogues and, of course, a feeble attempt at trying to attribute Azhar’s deed (or misdeed?) to patriotism.
Review by Sarita A Tanwar on DNA India
A major part of the film is in the confines of a courtroom. Sadly, that’s the portion that seems dreary. Both the lawyers (Lara Dutta and Kunal Roy Kapoor) in the film are like caricatures. You also wish the film had dug deeper into the story. It feels incomplete; questions still remain unanswered. Nargis Fakhri looks glamorous despite her distracting duck pout but she should strictly avoid roles where she has to emote even remotely.
Review by Ritika Handoo on Zeenews
The ghost of match-fixing and the allegations run across the run-time, and what exactly a player goes through if he’s innocent is what ‘Azhar’ summarises. Go, watch it for the love of cricket!
Review by Raja Sen on Rediff
As a work of fan-fiction, Azhar is a mostly watchable film with a solid lead, but falls far short of being either entertaining, insightful, or worthy of recommendation. Hashmi and D’Souza try hard, and their effort shows. I just wish I could have said the boys played well.
Review by Shubhra Gupta on Indian Express
Emran Hashmi, usually so watchable, is buried under the inept script, which hints at shadowy dons and the guilty parties in a fuzzy, indistinct manner. But Hashmi is earnest, and the only saving grace here. Prachi Desai is rouged and demure and distressed, Nargis Fakhri as Sangeeta ( not, never, Bijlani) is pouty, Lara Dutta as the lawyer for the cricket council ( not, never, BCCI), is svelte but miscast, and Roy Kapur struggles with a bad wig and exaggerated accent.
Review by Martin D’Souza on Glamsham
The movie plays out mostly in the courtroom with flashbacks on Azhar’s life and on the cricketing field. There’s more that could have been done with such a ‘larger than life cricketing character’. Towards the end, we as the viewer are asked to judge whether Azhar was right or wrong.
Review by Rohit Vats on Hindustan Times
D’Souza and dialogue writer Rajat Aroraa want you to believe there is much more than the philandering, spendthrift image behind the famously introvert former skipper. The version is over-dramaticised in stretches but the makers don’t deny any of the allegations, giving the scandal a spin that makes the film an interesting watch.
Review by Ananya Bhattacharya on India Today
Emraan Hashmi delivers a solid century, a la Azharuddin. The actor metamorphoses into Azhar on screen, living every bit of his life. The film works for most parts due to Emraan’s brilliant performance. Be it while locking lips with his two heroines or hitting the balls out of the stadium, Hashmi performs everything with elan. Prachi Desai slips into the character of Azharuddin’s first wife Naureen with ease, making the viewer feel the pain of rejection. Nargis Fakhri doesn’t have much to do in the film, but she tries her best to be Sangeeta Bijlani. Among the supporting cast, Lara Dutta is fabulous as the ferocious Meera. The ever-dependable Kunal Roy Kapur doesn’t disappoint either. He is largely responsible for the film’s several moments of comic relief. Gautam Gulati’s Ravi Shastri and Manjot Singh’s Navjot Singh Sidhu are both affable and pleasing to watch.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
The trouble with this movie is that there is practically no emotional connect with the audience. You don’t get angry at the bookie, you don’t even care that he stopped loving his wife. It doesn’t matter to you if he really cared about his grandpa even though the grandpa was his biggest inspiration. Had the story connected with the audience the filmmakers could have achieved much more. Cricket is religion with people, and Azhar is a fallen hero. An emotional connect could have helped the audience understand his point of view. Although Emraan Hashmi gets a star for effort, the movie scores a duck in believability.
Review by Mehul S Thakkar on Deccan Chronicle
Tony D’Souza doesn’t waste any time exploring the unnecessary. He sticks to the brief and within the first 10 minutes, prepares a strong foundation for the film. Yes, he does go back and forth about what Azhar went through in the various stages of his life but that is only part of an intriguing screenplay by Rajat Arora. Some scenes are left incomplete only to be answered in the latter part of the film.
Review by Sonia Chopra on Sify
Director Tony D’Souza chooses to tell the story over different timelines, but the flitting isn’t as smooth as it should have been. The film moves on from the match-fixing allegations to the case being fought in court. There is an attempt to showcase the grey shades of the central character, but the film majorly cops-out in the end.
Review by Meeta on Wogma
Our involvement is taken for granted and actually we give in willingly too. So, despite lapses in the narrative, despite dialogue writing that makes almost every character into a preacher with an ‘inspirational quote of the day’, despite unanswered questions, we stay interested. This interest, this engagement which was so willingly given without any doing from the filmmaker, is not used to its fullest. In the end, if you come out of the theater feeling that the film was ‘not too bad’ it is quite likely that it is because we like the cricketer, we like cricket.
Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
Emraan Hashmi’s ability to mimic the former Indian skipper is immaculate — he manages everything, from the cricketer’s stiff body language to his incoherent speech, right down to his habit of pursing his lips while speaking. He even packs in a peculiarity — sliding his tongue over his lips while churning his thoughts — a quirk the captain exhibited in many post-match ceremonies and sticky situations on the field. The muscularlipped Nargis Fakhri and sakura-cheeked Prachi Desai, playing the two leading ladies in Azhar’s life, seem decidedly marginalised. Whether their parts were never fleshed out or snipped out in the final toothcomb, we can’t tell. Both have an equal number of scenes where their eyes well up and provide short yet suitable distractions. Lara Dutta as the feisty lawyer is determined but flipping her wigs to convey passage of time was an idea that could’ve been thought through. Kunaal Roy Kapur, supposedly channelling an Andhraite, sounds like an annoyed Parsi or a puberty-stricken teen — his vocal chords swing across the spectrum between dialogues. But the worst casting decision has to be Varun Badola as Kapil Dev; he’s managed the mooch, but little else.
Azhar Review by Indiaglitz
The basic premise is good and the movie has been presented in engaging manner. But with the thin line script and bland screenplay followed by lack of intensity, ‘Azhar’ bats on a wet pitch with no hopes for recovery.
Review by Subhash K Jha on Bollyspice
Azhar is not an apologetic bio-pic. It doesn’t try too hard to portray the fallen hero as a victim. The director lets the story tell itself out in the hope that the truth will emerge in the process. It does. To a point.
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