Direction: Atul Sabharwal
Atul Sabharwal weaves an intriguing tale in ‘Aurangzeb’; the collusion of the powerful and the corrupt. The nexus of ministers, real estate developers and the police is almost impenetrable and there is no place for those who don’t fall in line.
Arjun Kapoor in a double role is undisputedly the star of ‘Aurangzeb’. Twin brothers separated when young usually makes for a clichéd portrayal. Actors try so hard to play the two characters differently that the depiction eventually looks forced but Arjun doesn’t fall into these trappings. He plays brothers Ajay and Vishal, one is the spoilt brat born with a silver spoon, smug about his position of privilege. The other is a small town boy, unaware that he could have been the successor to an empire. Arjun plays the two characters with aplomb, there are some similarities and yet, he manages to create two distinctive characters, each immensely likeable. His swagger and body language compliment his role and there is a rare intensity that makes his characters very attractive.
Prithviraj Sukumaran plays police officer Arya, who has idolized his uncle DCP Ravikant (Rishi Kapoor) and unquestioningly conformed to his power wielding strategies. Arya is inherently upright but he would much rather be a little amoral than be ousted for his sincerity. It’s a complex character but Prithviraj plays out the conflict competently, his eyes and his silence conveying his inner turmoil.
‘Aurangzeb’ is an engaging saga but it is very dialogue heavy where music or humour hasn’t been used effectively to provide some respite. In fact, the second brother Ajay did have immense untapped comic potential but alas, the sparse one-liners make for only a few genuine laughs. While the narrative explores the grey in every character whether it is the gangster or the police, at some point we needed a little more clarity about the plot. Did Yashwardhan (Jackie Shroff) suddenly have a change of heart? What happened to the empire that everyone was fighting over? Did Ravikant’s brutal actions have no consequence in his personal life?
The film might be a little too intense for some but if you are ready to overlook some gaping holes; the film is worth a watch. Arjun Kapoor and Prithiviraj Sukumaran rise above the slightly flawed execution to make ‘Aurangzeb’ quite engaging.
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