Directed by: Atul Sabharwal
Lately a lot of people have worked the following question into casual conversation: “So…are you still into Indian films?” It has been a terribly tough question to answer. My gut reaction is to say “of course!” but my head knows that after Jab Tak Hai Jaan and a string of crime-and-violence-centered flicks and the continued objectification and violence toward women in Indian film I was a little burnt out.
Naturally, I went to see Aurangzab after hearing from multiple people that it was one of Yash Raj Film’s better releases in the past five years or so. Since I was already turned off by hyper-violent films Aurangzab did not sit well with me—in fact I was greatly upset by it; but I cannot deny that the film was extremely well made, the story incredibly developed and exciting.
In a throwback to the days of “Good Twin vs. Bad Twin” Arjun Kapoor pulls a stunning performance as both Ajay—the entitled, hotheaded son of Mega-Don Yashvardhan(Jackie Shroff)—and Vishal—the quiet, innocent and sweet natured twin brother who had been taken from his brother and father by his mother in early childhood.
Exchanging the good twin for the bad in an effort to bring down Yashvardhan’s empire, Rishi Kapoor’s DCP Ravikant incites a storyline where the audience ends up sympathizing with the goons, and suspecting the police. Prithviraj Sukumaran’s Arya, another police office, holds the moral center in the film, and is ultimately rewarded.
Production, performances and etc were on point in this film, and the efforts of the cast and crew should not go upraised. However; had there been a moral, a lesson or a redeeming quality to the film (besides vengeful violence and overtly sappy “Maa moments”) I would have found the film easier to swallow.