New Delhi: This is an account of the life of Mohammad Azharuddin (a role essayed by Emraan Hashmi), who was Indian cricket’s most successful, highly decorated and at the same time its most controversial captain.
Although at the start of the film, there is a disclaimer that says the movie is not a biopic of the said person. However, one has to be blind to not to see the similarities between Azhar’s life and the movie.
This movie combines the country’s two biggest passions — cricket and Bollywood. Back in the 80s and 90s, Azhar was an idol.
This movie depicts the rise and fall of an individual born to a modest Muslim family in Hyderabad. In his early 20s, the boy had become one of India’s most accomplished batsmen and one of the Indian team’s best fielders.
He burst on the international scene with a hattrick of centuries in his first three test matches. He was hugely motivated by his maternal grandfather who always told him the let the bat do the talking and to stay away from futile conversations.
He had a vision for Azhar that he will play 100 test matches for India. With all this, he becomes an overnight rage which turned his life around completely.
This movie also throws light on the part played by Ravi Shastri (Gautam), Manoj Prabhakar (Karanvir) and Navjot Singh Siddhu (Manjot) in the journey of Azhar, as during his initial days, they supported him and then felt very uncomfortable during his rise as captain.
Fame took a toll on his personal life, as is arranged marriage to Naureen (Prachi) rocked and an extra-marital affair with Bollywood actress Sangeeta (Nargis) became fodder for gossip for the tabloids of the day.
And, if all this was not enough, then Azhar was also alleged to be involved in match fixing, and this forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to take the unfortunate decision to ban him for life, that too, after he had played his 99th Test, leaving his dream to fulfill his maternal grandfather’s vision of playing 100 Tests in shatters.
The court room scenes between Reddy (Kunal) who is fighting for Azhar and Meera (Lara) who was Azhar’s biggest fan turned prosecutor, are very interesting and reveal only a part of the entire case.
Although Emraan has no physical resemblance to the real Azhar, his adaptation of the latter’s mannerisms such as the blinking of the eyes and the swagger that powered him to deliver killer performances on the field, do justice.
All in all, the movee is a good watch and must not be missed.