Azhar starring Emraan Hashmi, Nargis Fakhri, and Prachi Desai is a fictionalised tale of incidents that have taken place in former Indian captain, Mohammad Azharuddin's life.
The film, directed by Tony D'Souza, released on 13 May 2016.
What may work for the film?
The premise of Azhar has all the ingredients of a full-fledged commercial Bollywood film. The story is about how an under-dog is on a mission to seek redemption after being tricked into the match fixing scandal. Doesn't it sound interesting?
Director Tony D'Souza manages to come up with a very gripping first half by establishing the entire match-fixing scandal and the involvement of Indian cricketers in the same. The initial hour or so is intriguing and manages to build the tension.
Emraan Hashmi makes a fantastic Mohammad Azharuddin - the person. However, he does not make for a convincing Mohammad Azharuddin - the cricketer. If one watches it as a standalone film and not a biopic, the climax would end up being a high-point of the film as it does have a smart twist and is high on shock value.
What may not work for the film?
First of all, the disclaimer at the beginning of the film might irk a few who bought tickets to watch a Mohammad Azharuddin biopic. Leaving that aside, the entire sub-plot of Azhar-Sangeeta Bijlani's track falls flat and hampers the pace of the film. Apart from the bizarre sub-plot, Nargis Fakhri is a complete let down as an actor.
The makers have used green screens to shoot most of the cricketing sequences in the film and it looks fake and out of place.
The character of Azhar's lawyer essayed by Kunal Roy Kapoor had a lot of potential. Instead of using him as a comic relief in major portions of the film (except the climax), it would have been better had he played a smart no non-sense lawyer.
Will it do well at the ticket window?
Azhar is a film which will appeal to a section of the audience who don't mind watching a fairly entertaining film that is inconsistent and has its share of flaws. The interesting build-up in the first half is let down majorly by the screenplay in the second half which thankfully picks up towards the climax.
The movie has a wide release in India and is expected to embark onto a reasonable start. The all-India distribution rights have been sold for Rs 22-23 crore and the film will break even for them at lifetime collections close to Rs 50 crore. On the other hand, the film's budget is Rs 40 crore inclusive of print and publicity.
- Day One: Rs 7.5 crore
- Opening Weekend: Rs 22-24 crore
- Life Time Collection: Rs 45 - 48 crore
It might be a no profit-no loss situation for producers as well as distributors thus being an average grosser for Emraan Hashmi.