"Good Intentions Don't Make a Good Film!"

I have been a fan of Atul Sabharwal since I saw POWDER for the first time on SONY TV. From that day onwards, I have watched it numerous times and it still shows me what Indian Television could have achieved.

So, when I saw the trailer for this movie, one thing that caught my attention was Atul's name. Right then, I tried to convince my family to go and watch this film with me, but only my wife agreed. After we bought the tickets and entered the lobby, I started praising Atul and his style of work like anything. I told her that this film WILL NOT DISAPPOINT !!!

Only if I knew what I was about to witness.

I excitedly waited through the mind numbing commercials for the movie to begin. And as it started, I began telling my wife more and more about Atul and POWDER. I even told him that N KARTHIK GANESH was also the DOP of POWDER. She gave me the same look that you have right now reading this paragraph.

The movie took off with a strong Atul Sabharwal signature dialogue extravaganza and I exclaimed, “HERE WE GO!”. But then came the hasted introduction to the main characters. It was like information being thrown in your face. I was not able to clearly make out the names and 'Whose who' of the characters initially. But as the film continued, it became clear. 

All the characters were introduced within 10 seconds.

Then came the main plot, and I realized this is not just it. I knew there had to be more to the story because thats what Atul does. He makes you think you are in for a simple story, and after you relax, he brings out the big guns. The plot kept thickening, and to such a level that made you think, “How is it going to help the story?”

The twists kept coming (in a GOOD way), but me and my wife were predicting most of them. Soon, the climax boiled up and ended even before it went hot enough to get involved. The film ended on a happy note, that my wife didn't like a bit (I didn't mind that though).

Technically, the film is wonderful. Neeraj Voralia made sure there were no lose ends in the editing. Each and every shot was tightly edited. Atul shows he is an experienced director and knows his job. However, my only issue is with the background music. It failed to resonate with the scenes. Anyone who has seen POWDER would know what this movie looks like without even watching it. N Karthik Ganesh did his job wonderfully and made Gurgaon look .. umm.. ambitious. The film looks stylish and refreshing.

The film looks modern but feels nostalgic.

Watching Aurangzeb made me feel like I was shot back to the 80's where most of the clichés were coming back to life. Twin brothers. Filthy rich devious businessman, cunning cops, there wasn't a thing that Indian film goers hadn't seen before. The writing felt cheesy at times, especially between Ritu (Sasha Agha) and Vishal/Ajay (Arjun Kapur) and Arya (Prithviraj) and his wife (Swara Bhaskar). In one review I read “.. Aurangzeb is dark, hard hitting and unpredictable.” I dont know which film the reviewer was talking about as I failed to see any of the above 3 traits in the Aurangzeb I saw. I was told that the film drags for the initial 20 minutes or so, but in my opinion, the whole first half is a big drag. The movie starts gripping you from the beginning of the second half. Me and my wife kept ruining the movie for the couple sitting before us by predicting the story in advance (apologies to those nice people). There were some obvious logical flaws in the story, and I fail to understand how could someone like Atul Sabharwal didnt see them.

The cast was good enough (not perfect) and everybody was good. I dont want to start a North vs South fight, but I was not impressed by Prithviraj Sukumaran's performance. His effort is visible on the screen but I for one failed to care for his character. He was too plain and dull for me. ONE MAJOR BEEF I had with Prithviraj is for the scene he had with Anupam Kher. There was SO MUCH he could have done with an actor like Mr. Kher, but as they say, 'youth is wasted on the young'. Mr. Kher on the other hand did that scene like a cat walking away with a dead mouse in its mouth. His character digs into your soul in just ONE BLOODY SCENE!

Arjun Kapur was good, but he still has a long way to go. He was natural with his character of the evil twin, but his 'Mr Nice Guy' act needed more convincing. Rishi Kapur doesnt even need a mention for how brilliant he was. I knew that guy could play a villain (LIKE A BOSS) since I saw 'Bol Radha Bol' (1992). Amrita Singh was soothing breeze. Doesnt matter how bad a character she plays, I could never hate my beloved 'Chameli' (Chameli Ki Shaadi, 1986).   

Take a look at this guy!
Jackie Shroff is getting better with his age. Though much of the credit goes to Atul for I know he is a master in layering his characters. But you just CANNOT ignore Jackie. He proves he can still act, and even better than before. Tanvi Azmi knows what she needs to do. She doesn't need to convince you about her character and its traits. Her performance does the talking. I (especially my wife) would have loved to see more of Deepti Naval. But her first shot was enough to make both of us smile.  

Sikander Kher plays and looks a bad SOB!

Sikander Kher! What should I say about this guy? I believe this guy is born to play a bad guy. He is as natural as Sharukh Khan with his chain-smoking. His character gives you a sense of fear and intimidation, the kind you get when you see a tall, dark and dashing policeman. He was great, even in his 'last' shot.  

Sasha Agha, looked sexy.

Also, there were so many familiar faces as supporting cast who did their jobs without any flaw.

So, Aurangzeb is a good film if you are new to thrillers and like to live in the 80's where twins are separated and reunited. But if you are a sucker for crime, and thriller genres, you will feel asking for a refund, both on your money and time spending watching this movie. But in both the cases, there is something you cannot ignore; the film's intentions. Atul tries to bring a genre that is least touched in the Indian Film Industry, and dares to present it with the least of any Bollywood masala and glamor. He lets his story and characters do the talking.

However, good intentions dont make a good film.

PS: And for all of you who dont know what POWDER is all about, I have embedded the trailer below, but you should know that the whole show is available on YouTube.