ATUL SABHARWAL, the writer and director of the superb television series Powder, opens his debut movie with a lofty quote : " Deep in the cavern of infant's breast, The father's nature lurks, and lives anew."
AURANGZEB is one film that throws light on the dark underbelly of the National Capital Region that is known for being notoriously powerful and rich. AURANGZEB gives a fictitious visual reference to how humanity could be put to shame for wealth and power. It has a very Complex, intelligent plot that holds the promise of a taut thriller about power and money. But, at its heart, AURANGZEB is about family ties and relationships dominated by a parent son theme. Blood and ambition, the movie often reminds us are the choices that most of the characters have before them. For people living in NCR, it will be a treat to watch this film that doesn't just star the gauche metropolis that's growing both vertically and horizontally at a dizzy, greedy speed, but tells its story that though rooted in nostalgia, has a contemporary, cynical acceptance of the reality and knows how the game is played.
SCRIPT & SCREENPLAY : At the thematic level, the writers have invested a lot in the screenplay by making it not merely a story of Good Vs Evil as shades of grey overwhelm. There is a delicate web of characters, who are always expected to double cross and have their moments of epiphanies that bring about a 180-degree turn in their conduct. And they don't disappoint as every ancillary player has more to them than meets the eye. The authorities have extensive, even human, backgrounds that motivate their every move. They both lack conscience, and are willing to pay any price for their goals. They are at loggerheads but it's impossible to pick a side. ACP Arya (PRITHVIRAJ SUKUMAR) belongs to a family of police officers and has great respect for his paternal uncle Ravikant (RISHI KAPOOR), who has raised him like his own son. Ravikant has a loving family - son Dev (SIKANDER KHER) who also is a police officer, his wife (DEEPTI NAVAL) and a daughter who is also married to a policeman. Arya seek's Ravikant's help to remove the blot on the image of his father (ANUPAM KHER), which he had suffered following an encounter. Before dying, Arya's father informs him about his second wife and son Vishal (ARJUN KAPOOR) and asks him to help them. Arya is deeply is influenced by his father's belief - SAPNON SE APNE BADE HOTE HAIN. And hence sets out on a mission along with his uncle Ravikant to give justice to his step-mother Veera (TANVI AZMI) and brother Vishal but he has no idea about the repreccursions. 0n the other hand Yashwardhan (JACKIE SHROFF) is a gangster plus tycoon who runs a huge real estate business in the region and has an affair with Neena ( AMRITA SINGH) who has also become his accomplice. His son Ajay (ARJUN KAPOOR) is a spoilt brat who has seen nothing but wealth in his life and seldom understands human emotions. So, how these two tracks coincide is for you to watch, but characters digging into their performances will leave you spellbound right from start to finish.
STARCAST : This is the strongest aspect of this movie and due credit must be given to the team especially director and casting director for choosing the right caliber actors as per their characters. Watch out ARJUN KAPOOR as Ishqzaade was just a sneek peek of his acting skills. Here he essays and serves up his double whammy in a fine manner and succeeds in demarcating the traits of both Ajay as well as Vishal, still he needs to polish his emoting skills more. RISHI KAPOOR is simply brilliant and it seems as if this guy has re-invented himself, he is giving us memorable performances one after other and that too in negative characters. Coming to PRITHVIRAJ who made his Bollywood debut with dud called AIYA is another surprise package and sweeps you over with his intensity. His expressions, body language and gestures are so full of poise, confidence and he carries them throughout the flick. But the best part is that i saw our own JACKIE DADA SHROFF acting in a movie after a long long time. Surprised.........yes, i agree that he has been present in lot of movies recently but i am talking about acting n not just presence. Lately, in most movies he has played various characters but with same expressions, body language, dance which were full of ham. Another veteran who is seen is AMRITA SINGH who has played her role to perfection with complete ease. Not to forget, SASHA AAGHA who is the latest to join the bandwagon of hotties whose presence is merely meant to tweak the oomph quota of Bolly flicks. Their role is more to entice a certain audience with their physical assets rather than their acting & emoting skills.Even the Ensemble cast consisting of SIKANDER KHER, DEEPTI NAWAL, ANUPAM KHER, DEEPTI NAWAL, SWARA BHASKAR TANWI AZMI have all played their individual roles with perfection.
TECHNICAL FINESSE : Music for this movie has been composed by AMARTYA RAHUT along with VIPIN MISHRA but has not turned to be that good. A couple of tracks especially Kabira impress a bit but overall the album is very average. Background music by VIPIN MISHRA is astounding and is totally in tandem with proceedings in the screenplay. Another person who deserves due credit is the casting director of the movie, SHANOO SHARMA whose choice of actors has been spot on. The convolutions and contrivances in Sabharwal's screenplay lead to yet another inevitability - A MEXICAN STYLE SHOOTOUT in which everybody points guns at everybody else and 80 % of the cast conveniently gets blown off the screen. He has been able to pull off these scenes with a panache with excellent support from cinematographer N KARTHIK GANESH and action director SHYAM KAUSHAL who have added the slickness to the proceedings. The movie has been edited by NEERAJ VORALIA who has done an excellent job as he has packed the proceedings in such a way that you rarely find a dull moment in the movie. Director ATUL SABHARWAL really deserves adulation as he has tried to bring new ideas to the cliche that blood is thicker than water. He's made a movie which is spilling over with characters that conform to the popular stereotype of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb - a ruthless power hungry maniac whose path to throne is littered with bodies of his own family members. The difference being that here you have a boardroom instead of battleground and a bottomed-out war chest becomes loss making balance sheet. Although, the movie fizzles out in the long run as it becomes difficult to balance so many characters but still its a commendable effort & Kudos to Atul for believing and making an intelligent cinema.
OVER THE HEAD : The biggest drawback of the movie which baffled me is that when cops kidnap Ajay & send Vishal to his home, no-one including Ajay's father, girlfriend is able to identify that he is not Ajay but just an impersonator. Although, this is a normal norm in Bolly movies but not expected from an intelligent hard hitting cinema like this.
WOW MOMENTS : Watch out for the scene when Ajay is Kidnapped, His grilling by Arya n Ravikant, Ajay's confidence inspite of being held captive, speaks for itself. There are so many other scenes which have been brilliantly shot and performed.
CONCLUSION : This is a movie that aspires to be about the mini empires that exist within and often work against the Indian Republic and Democracy which has laid out equal rights for all citizens. Kingship knows no kinship, based on this philosophy Atul has dished out an exotic fare which leaves you wiping your mouth with the back of your hand. But inevitably falls short in the end as of the cliches put in to make a successful bolly movie. Still, If you are a movie connoisseur than this movie might relish your cinematic senses as it is not only slick and racy but has extracted sellout performances from every actor, including those playing bit roles.
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