zhar directed by Tony D’ Souza is a semi biopic based on the life of the controversial Indian cricket team captain Mohammad Azharuddin. Azharuddin, a native of Hyderabad is a talented cricketer and rises to great heights in his cricketing career.He guides the Indian cricket team towards many successful wins but found himself entangled in a match fixing case which ruins his career and reputation. The film at the inception was supposed to a tell-all honest story about this cricketer’s life but the final product seems have tried making him a hero rather than a flawed individual.
The movie takes us back to Azharuddin’s childhood days spent in Hyderabad and how his “Nanu” (maternal grandfather) always inspired him to become a successful cricketer and to always fight against odds. Then slowly Azharuddin becomes really popular and continues a dynamic form in the field. He manages to overshadow his fellow colleagues and becomes a the Indian cricket team captain very soon. On his personal life front, we get to see his first marriage to Naureen and also his extramarital and subsequent marriage with the Bollywood actress Sangeeta Bijlani. However his career takes a dip when his name gets embroiled in a match fixing case and he is banned by the Cricket Association. He finds himself totally isolated and decides to fight a court battle challenging this ban decision imposed on him.
The movie however neither denies the match fixing charges nor his innocence in this matter totally and that confuses the whole message of the movie.The makers have very cleverly put a message in the beginning of the movie that it is not purely based on Azharuddin’s and only has some instances from it making it mostly a work of fiction.The movie tries to put in more ‘masala’ and catchy dialogues in its screenplay than facts to attract the attention of the audience and mostly fails.The court battle scenes are bit overstretched and over dramatized at times.The chemistry between Prachi and Hashmi works really good in the movie but is completely flat between Nargis and Hashmi.
Coming to the performances, it is Emraan Hashmi’s brilliant portrayal of Azhar which keeps us engrossed. As a shy and introvert man who finds himself totally alone in his worst time and finally decides to fight back, Hashmi steals a show with a powerful performance.Prachi Desai is nice in the role of Azhar’s wife Naureen and Nargis Fakhri is just okay in the role of Sangeeta Bijlani, though she struggles in a couple of emotional scenes. Kunaal Roy Kapoor and Lara Dutta are effective in the role offormer leaving a lasting impression with his Hyderabadi rest of the supporting cast does not add anything to the screenplay and are wasted.
The songs in the movie deserve special mention. “Bol do Na Zara” and “Itni si Baat Hai” are soulful numbers which are reallythe whole, the movie will neither give you any adrenaline rush or goosebumps like the other biopics. You will neither have sympathy nor anger for Azharuddin after watching this , you might be entertained but then watch it mostly as a work of fiction. A subject like this had great potential on the big screen and it fails big time. A wasted opportunity!