Review: Double role of the hero, reference to Mughal history and officially a crime drama. Seems interesting! Yes, but fails to hold it effectively in the movie. The script of Aurangzeb, primarily written with a purpose of making a crime movie is sadly an underdeveloped one. Notable is the fact that it extensively references the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb but only reaches a stage where the final completed film is clear at times but confused at whole. Although, the attempt in terms of contextualizing history in modern day film format is worthy of appreciation but as a piece of work the film leaves audiences dissatisfied, if not completely dejected.
Embracing the structure of the family to tell the tale of ambition and reconcilation with past, the film tries to root itself in the emotional skeleton of the story but fails to synchronize itself with the essential elements of crime drama. Primarily told through the character of a police officer (Arya played by Prithiviraj Sukumaran) the film weaves a tale which can be called as a saga in terms of its scale. Commendable for this intention, the writer/ director (Arjun Sabharwal) certainly has tried to do something new, keeping the essential legacy of hindi films of 70s decade( double roles). It feels that Aurangzeb has collectively found the inspiration from Hindi films and American Films both. From Hindi cinema, the influence can be traced back to Yash Chopra’a Trishul (1978) and films of Manmohan Desai. Talking of American films, one major movie whose influence can be felt on the film is Martin Scorsese’s The Departed (2006).The dynamics of crime drama is skillfully modelled on that. But the problem arises when the Aurangzeb tries to account itself for an emotional experience at the same time.
This bipolar approach certainly affects the film on the large part and is a major source of confusion. Another area which could have been handled with better fashion is the treatment and exposition of multiple characters. Whenever there are number of major characters in a movie, one needs a certain control and clarity of the cinematic process to successfully bring it on screen. The actors in the film show certain sincerity on their part but their performance suffers due to a lack of coherence of approach, attributed to the director and writer of the movie. Arjun Kapoor shows growth as an actor, his performance reminiscent of Ishaqzaade although his range seems limited while Rishi Kapoor gives a mature and decent performance. When it comes to crime movies, the inventive usage of background score is of prime importance and sadly in this area the film disappoints. Even the central philosophy `kingship knows no kinship/ "Baadshahat bhaichaare ko nahin dekhti" is not properly extrapolated to the characters and circumstances over the period of time in the time range of the film.
Nevertheless, while watching the film the audience feels a certain momemtum at times (also reflected in the climax) but still that could’ve been utilized for better results. At its best, Aurangzeb qualifies as a genuine `trying hard to be a movie` and if seen with an encouraging attitude, it’s a kind of film which can pave a way in the future for better crime films to come.