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Critics’ Verdict: ‘Azhar’ Is a Wasted, Botched up Opportunity

Find out how critics are reacting to Emraan Hashmi’s new film on cricketer Azharuddin

Updated
Entertainment
2 min read
Emraan Hashmi on the poster of <i>Azhar&nbsp;</i>

Film: Azhar
Director: Tony D’souza
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Prachi Desai, Nargis Fakhri

Excerpts from reviews of Azhar:

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Starring Emraan Hashmi in the lead role, it is quite content with being a Jannat-esque entertainer. Hashmi, as the gifted cricketer, puts a lot of effort into his performance, which shows. His imitations of Azharuddin’s mannerisms — the distinctive batting stance, his tendency to tilt his head sideways, that signature ‘flick of the wrists’ — are all fairly impressive. But his performance as a whole is disastrously uneven. The only fleeting pleasures to be found in Azhar are when it takes us to a cricket ground. What a pity, though. Azhar could honestly have been a great biopic, even within its own self-imposed limitations. Instead, like Azharuddin, it chooses to ignore its own potential and thereby shoots itself in the foot.
Suprateek Chatterjee (Huffingtonpost.in)
Written by Rajat Aroraa and directed with consistent ineptitude by Tony D’Souza, Azhar pretends to be anything but a biopic. The refusal to face up to its true identity is actually the least of this movie’s problems. Azhar is a botched opportunity to present a nuanced portrait of one of Indian cricket’s most enigmatic figures. The cricketing scenes are cursory, the production tacky and the abundance of bad hairdos is an eyesore, but Hashmi manages to hold the film together.
Nandini Ramnath (Scroll.in)
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They’ve taken one of the most fascinating non-benign personalities in Indian sports and turned him into a giant Rajat Aroraa punch line, an Emraan Hashmi kiss, a Nargis Fakhri pout, a Prachi Desai dimple, a plastic PlayStation video game with malfunctioning joysticks. It’s not only unfair to his fans and haters, but even to film buffs looking for a coherent, engaging and well-balanced underdog tale. It’s unfair to human beings.
Rahul Desai (Catchnews.com)
As a work of fan-fiction, Azhar is a mostly watchable film with a solid lead, but falls far short of being either entertaining, insightful, or worthy of recommendation. Hashmi and D’Souza try hard, and their effort shows. I just wish I could have said the boys played well.
Raja Sen (Rediff.com)

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