Azhar is one of those films that people were waiting to get released. Emraan Hashmi, Nargis Fakhri, Prachi Desai starrer film which is based on the life of the controversial cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin has hit the screens this Friday. While the film is doing a fairly well business, here we are bringing to you the reviews of critics about this film.

Director: Tony D’souza

Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Prachi Desai, Nargis Fakhri, Lara Dutta, Gautam Gulati, Kunal Roy Kapur, Karanvir Sharma and Manjot Singh

Read the reviews below –

Rediff Movies: Azhar is a bland, badly-set soufflé of Bollywood tropes without a soul

RATING: 1.5/5

The story of Azhar was an unparalleled opportunity to explore the perplexing duality of one of modern cricket’s most fascinating characters, to probe the darkness behind the trademark mirrored shades that because as much a signature of the cricketer as his tensile wrists. But thanks to plotting that is flat-footed and quintessentially Bollywood in its formulaic absurdity, it is an opportunity that writer Rajat Arora and director Tony D’Souza miss by several parasangs.

The romantic sequences — first with Prachi Desai playing a one-dimensional Noureen, and then with Nargis Fakhri, who portrays Sangeeta Bijlani as an outsize pout with legs — play as bathos as unsubtle as the Emraan kiss is predictable.

As for the false climax in the courtroom and the big reveal at the end, the forced justification of the court verdict (intercut, for over-the-top dramatic effect, with vignettes from his final Test innings) and the absurd rationalization of the character’s defining act are a stretch too far, even making due allowance for fiction.

Then there is Emraan Hashmi, who cannot be blamed for being only slightly more animated than the bat he occasionally wields. The script offers him nothing to work with, and he in turn offers us very little of real note, except an inconsistent imitation of his muse’s trademark gait and a surface sincerity in his approach to the material.

Read the full review here.

TOI: Watch Azhar for Emraan Hashmi

RATING: 3.5/5

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.

The film traces the rise of a prodigy born into a modest Muslim household in Hyderabad. As early as his 20s, he goes on to become one of the most accomplished Indian batsman and a paisa-vasool fielder. Without giving away too much, here one must add that the court-room drama with Reddy (Kunal) defending him and Meera (Lara) against him, is partly banal, partly an eye-opener. Emraan bears no physical resemblance to Azharruddin. However his mannerisms—the blinking of his eyes and swagger add to a knockout performance.

Read the full review here.

BollywoodLife: Emraan Hashmi plays a BRILLIANT knock in a totally one-sided match!

RATINGS: 3/5

You can’t help but have this feeling that this was a grudge match organised by real Azhar to take vendetta against a few of his former team-mates. Everything is portrayed in a way that turns all the grey shades of Azhar’s character into white. Why even the fact he cheated his first wife for an actress was blamed on God! There is a line in the film where Azhar says people forget all his achievements just because he made a couple of mistakes. That was the thread the film should have followed – a man on top of his game, compromising his character in a weak moment – instead of writing a narrative that completely whitewashes the character. Like last year’s Talwar, the movie should have left the decision for the audiences to make whether Azhar was the wronged one or not. However, the makers lacked the guts to do so, making this a totally one sided match. But kudos to Emraan Hashmi who makes the proceedings believable!

Read the full review here.

Bollywood Hungama: AZHAR is a superlative watching experience. Don’t miss it for anything!

RATINGS: 4/5

AZHAR however is a complete director’s film. Director Tony D’Souza who has earlier made big scale entertainers like BLUE and BOSS has surprised one and all by handling a very dramatic subject like AZHAR with such brilliance. He has managed to portray the touching life story of Mohammad Azharuddin in a very engaging narrative. At no point does the film slow down and the viewer is constantly on the edge of his seat. AZHAR will surely be remembered as one of Tony D’souza’s best work.

Tushar Shivam’s editing is spot on. There’s never a dull moment in the film. The fast pace is maintained right till the end and the zig zag story telling pattern is cut sharply. The music of the film is excellent. ‘Itni si baat hai‘ (Music: Pritam, singers: Arijit Singh, Antara Mitra), ‘Bol do na zara‘ (Music: Amal Malik, singer: Arman Malik) hit the right emotional chords while ‘Jeetne ke liye‘ (Music: Amal Malik, singer: KK) gets the adrenaline pumping. The classic ‘Oye Oye’ (Tridev) is an eye-catching number. Rakesh Singh’s camera work is good.

On the flip side, there maybe some issues with the continuity in the film as some characters are not shown to age properly with time. The choice of actors portraying the real life cricketers isn’t consistently effective. Some of the ex-cricketers have been shown in a philandering mode or agreeable with match fixing. It remains to be seen how they shall react to their portrayal.

Read the full review here.

Watch the trailer below

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