If you were to blindly believe the disclaimer at the very start of the film that says it is not a biopic on the life of one of the most celebrated and controversial Indian cricket captains Mohammad Azharuddin played by Emraan Hashmi then okay. But one cannot really unsee the similarities between Azhar’s life and the plot or title of the film.
Not that there is anything wrong with biopics, or that people mind movies based on cricketers, it just doesn’t stand true to its claim to begin with.
This is a biopic.
Today’s generation might not know Azhar the way they know Sachin, Dhoni or Kohli, but Azhar was an idol in the 80’s and 90s and the most controversial former Indian cricket captain. He was implicated in a match-fixing scandal and was banned for a lifetime by BCCI.
Emraan Hashmi plays the role of Mohammad Azharuddin, the cricketer who is fascinated by fast money and the glittery world of cricket living a lavish lifestyle. When match-fixing allegations corrupt his name in 2000, he loses respect from the public eye and struggles to win back the respect of his country. The cricketer has been sentenced a lifetime ban from playing for India after his 99th match, leaving a dream to play 100 tests shattered.
His controversies were not just limited to the field, he was a player outside as well! He strays from his arranged marriage to Naureen(Prachi) to an extra-marital affair with a Bollywood actress, Sangeeta(Nargis).Prachi Desai slips into the character nicely making the viewers actually feel the pain and rejection while Nargis Fakhri too tries her best to be Sangeeta.
Guided by his childhood friend and lawyer Reddy (Kunal Roy Kapur), Azhar leaves his luxurious life to enter courtrooms to clear his name. On the other side of the battle is Azhar’s biggest fan-turned-prosecution Meera (Lara Dutta) .
The film ends with Emraan saying today is ‘Judgement Day’ for Azharuddin. That to believe his story or not – the choice rests with the audience.
Emraan Hashmi puts his heart and soul into Azhar’s character and is probably the only saving grace for the film. Watch Azhar for him, the love of cricker and a lip lock scene that Emraan Hashmi is known for!