There have been many Hindi Films before Aurangzeb that dealt with the issue of two lookalikes living different lives until fate makes them cross each other’s path resulting in some serious drama. The parallels with films like Don(starring Amitabh Bachchan) was unavoidable. People and critics alike have gone on to the length of drawing parallels with films like Trishul exploiting a tarnished father son relationship and even Donnie Brasco which in turns dealt with a cop sent as a mole into a crime rig. However I would like to start off by saying that Aurangzeb, even though starts off in the same footing but by the time it reaches its finale turns out to be poles apart from all of the films mentioned herewith.
Ajay and Vishal(Arjun Kapoor) are heir to Yashvardhan(Jackie Shroff) who is introduced as the biggest gangster of the area where the film is set. Their mother(Tanvi Azmi) disapproves of his wrong doings defecting away with with his son Vishal leaving Ajay with his father. Yashvardhan is under the impression that his wife and kid are dead as a result of a police encounter which never happened in reality. The concerned officer reveals the story to his son ACP Arya(Prithviraj Sukumaran) before his death and Arya reaches their doorstep to fulfill his last wish.
He is shocked to find Ajay’s lookalike Vishal and quickly brings in his uncle Ravikant(Rishi Kapoor) to their house. The duo are able to convince the mother and son into making Vishal pose as a mole and replace Ajay at the Yashvardhan house and get in some substantial evidence against Yashvardhan with which to implicate him. Everything goes according to plan and Vishal replaces Ajay. Vishal starts his works but soon the ties of blood start making his job difficult and its only a matter of time before the whole plan turns into a fiasco with everyone loosing what they crave for the most.
Aurangzeb is extremely gripping. For its rather long runtime of about 2 hours 20 minutes, I couldn’t think of a single moment that was blunt and lacked a panache. The screenplay is wonderfully laid out with both the halves having enough meat to keep the audience interested. while the first half is all about setting up the pawn, the second half dwells with the reasons why the pawn was set. The reasons which are revealed in the second half outweigh the ones set in the first half and works as the biggest surprise element of the film. The sudden change of balance between good and evil and the shocking revelations about the actual cause for bringing down Yashvardhan will pleasantly surprise many.
The story and concept is novel and the way the proceedings unfold has a firm grip on the audience. The screenplay has minimalistic background score and action elements but when they do happen, they leave an impact. The action almost always happens as a result of upsurge of heightened emotions and situations rendering it both believable and desirable. The cinematography is ravishing and each frame is a picture of beauty. The characters are evenly poised during the prolonged dialogs giving us an in depth look into their facial expressions and most importantly their eyes making their feelings abundantly clear.The music by Amartya Rahut and Vipin Mishra is both soothing and enchanting. The Tracks “Aurangzeb” and “Barbadi” truly standout. They add a touch of melancholy to the scenes where they appear giving the audience a feel of the psych of the characters involved.
That brings me to the performence which I must say leave nothing to be desired. Arjun Kapoor excels in both the roles with Vishal leaving a predominant mark while Ajay play the screen stealer. Arjun renders the two characters life like and apart from just a few scenes where he goes a tad over board, Arjun essays his part with the marksmanship of an Olympic archer.
Rishi Kapoor is the biggest asset of the film. Yes!! it might sound strange to many, but his multi-layered character takes the film to a whole new dimension. It wont be wrong to say that he is the biggest surprise of the whole package and makes up the difference that takes Aurangzeb miles ahead of many in its category. After a debacle of a launch in Aiyya, Prithviraj finds his mark in Aurangzeb. He is a picture of confidence and his scene towards the end with Rishi Kapoor will leave many spell-bounded. He is the perfect Indian male and that shows in his mannerism. Notice his transformation throughout the length of the film evenly segmented but mattering in every situation.
Sikander Kher in a cameo makes a mark. Lookout for him in the Climax. Jackie Shroff does complete justice to his role and is able to keep his histrionics at a check. Amrita Singh is pitch perfect in her rendering of a sinister money-grubbing vamp. Sasha Agha is the oomph factor in the film and she doesn’t disappoint. She shares some of the most convincing lip-locks ever to have graced the Indian screen. And wonder of wonders , she emotes well in the scenes which need her to do so.
Overall, Aurangzeb is extremely entertaining and gripping. For the lovers of cinema, it will score big time. Its for anyone who is willing to look beyond the crap that is dished out to us in the name of crowd-pleasers and masala-fare and what not….. !!! Watch Aurangzeb for sure. It will amuse you in more ways than you could have imagined.