Release Date: May 13, 2016
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Prachi Desai, Nargis Fakhri, Lara Dutta, Gautam Gulati, Kunal Roy Kapur, Karanvir Sharma and Manjot Singh
Director: Tony D’Souza
Genre: Biography, Sport, Drama
Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
At the very beginning, it becomes evident that the filmmakers are trying to avoid getting into any type of controversy. There’s a disclaimer that clearly states that the movie Azhar has nothing to do with the famous cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin, even though the protagonist of the movie shares the same name Azhar (Emraan Hashmi). It’s natural for the filmmakers to be cautious about the film because Mohammad Azharuddin has been linked to a wide variety of controversies in his life, both personal and professional. Even though the movie says it’s not a biopic, people are well aware what the film is all about.
The story travels in time to catch up on the life of a young boy in his 20s who is making waves on the cricketing scene in the country. Born and brought up in a modest household in Hyderabad, the cricketing prodigy soon acquires the distinction of being one of the most talented Indian batsman and probably the best fielder around. Azhar’s phenomenal rise in the world of cricket is prophesized by his maternal grandfather (Kulbhushan Kharbanda). This prophecy comes true as the Muslim lad from Hyderabad, who has `Mohammad’ in his name, soon acquires a cult status among his fans.
It’s interesting to see how the trappings of fame and success come with their share of problems and controversies. As Azhar rises in his career to become the captain of the Indian cricket team, his teammates like Ravi (Gautam), Manoj (Karanvir) and Navjot (Manjot), who earlier supported him, become jealous of his success and achievements. On the personal front too, Azhar gets into a controversy when he distances himself from his arranged marriage with Naureen (Prachi) and begins a new innings with Sangeeta (Nargis), a Bollywood actress. Azhar also gets involved in a match-fixing allegation, which begins to threaten his career and forces him to fight a lengthy legal battle.
This one’s for Azhar’s fans as well as for people who want to discover the stuff that makes cricketing legends in a cricket-crazy country.