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Aurangzeb  : Twin Confusions
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Friday, May 17, 2013
Crime, Thriller
Atul Sabharwal
Arjun Kapoor, Prithviraj, Rishi Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Sikandar Kher, Amrita Singh, Deepti Naval, Tanvi Azmi, Swara Bhaskar
Where there are gangsters and pawns, policemen and politicians, there must be blood and scams. To add to the mess is a complicated family story of judwaa Arjun Kapoors. Complications abound in this drama as Atul Sabharwal serves Aurangzeb full of style and stellar performances but ultimately remains fairly ordinary.

The plot: Behind the veil of all his legal businesses, there is a murkier side to Yashwardhan Singh (Jackie Shroff). An Aurangzeb has to be planted inside his Empire to catch the criminal and, much like the Moghul counterpart, it has to be the scion. But Ajay (Arjun Kapoor), Yashwardhan’s son, is the typical rich man’s brat, not interested in his father or his business, and would rather loaf around or break people’s bones to get his dad’s work done.

When ACP Arya (Prithviraj) loses his dad, the police find a ray of hope in the form of Ajay’s identical twin Vishal (Arjun Kapoor) and his mother (Tanvi Azmi). A lot of secrets are revealed and plans are made to take down Yashwardhan once and for all. Vishal assumes the role of Ajay while the latter is held hostage by Arya and his chacha, DCP Ravikant Fogat (Rishi Kapoor). Everyone starts playing games with one another, including Yashwardhan’s mistress Neena Wadhwa (Amrita Singh) who is eyeing his empire. No one is innocent, no one has any clear intentions and revenge is always in the air. But the mastermind of all this is DCP Ravikant and he makes them all fight amongst themselves, using them as pawns for his ultimate game. Only the combined force of Arya, Ajay and Vishal can stop this power game.

The good: Initially, it comes across as a very interesting story, quite different from the usual mele mein khoye hoye judwaa bhai theme. There are several plots and subplots and the actors switch efficiently from one situation to another. Each character has been given various shades. For example, Prithviraj’s Arya is aware of scams but is involved in them only to an extent; when it comes to his loved ones, they are always his first priority. As Arya unfolds layers of truth, his character grows and shows different shades of his personality, which has been excellently portrayed by Prithviraj. Arjun Kapoor in his double role also has to shoulder the responsibility of being the gentle mamma’s boy on one hand and the rowdy spoilt brat on the other, and he does this with such precision that it is hard to believe it is just his second film. But of all the actors, Rishi Kapoor is undoubtedly the show stealer. His character is consistently plotting, criminal and selfish and he gets into the character’s skin with élan. Suman, played by Swara Bhaskar, shows  spark in a small role.

The film looks very polished and neat and is undoubtedly very stylish.

The bad: It all looks too easy and lazy on the part of writer-director Atul Sabharwal. Agreed that he really just wanted to come straight to the point without actually showing much background, but the way Vishal takes Ajay’s place, without any knowledge whatsoever of his mannerisms, his lifestyle, his behaviour, his tastes, is unconvincing. Like in Don or in the Hollywood film The Devil’s Double, there is no preparation or homework whatsoever on the police’s part to make Vishal step ably into Ajay’s shoes. Also, the several subplots and illegitimate businesses and relationships can sometimes get confusing.

Tanvi Azmi as the mother of the twins has been underutilized as is Deepti Naval as the DCP’s wife or Sikander Kher as his son Dev. Sasha Aagha is not at all promising and it looks like she is only present to add the much-needed show of skin and glamour in the otherwise macho movie. Amartya Raut and Vipin Mishra’s music is unimpressive.

Although there is a lot of scope for the fighting scenes, Sham Kaushal’s action is not extraordinary. There is a lot of gore and moments where you will cringe on seeing the cold-blooded murders shown with such brutality.

The film maintains quite a pace in the first half but slowly starts to falter and the climax takes too long to unfold.

Overall: Packed with masala and good performances, it ultimately doesn’t end up being the greatest. You can watch it once if you have the patience and time to spare two-and-a-half hours. The single screens probably love just that formula.

– Priyanka Ketkar


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