Aurangzeb: Just another duplicate drama

MUMBAI: This is only his second film and Arjun Kapoor has been cast in a double role in Aurangzeb. For its content, the writer-director Atul Sabharwal dips into two old-time classics, China Town (which has inspired many twin brothers lost-and-found movies) and Yash Raj‘s own Trishul. This gives him scope to pen a drama with some veterans in the cast.

Jackie Shroff rules the underworld around Gurgaon, a small town in the shadow of Delhi which has grown into a mini-metropolis. With construction and corporate houses mushrooming all over, his might and power help seal all deals. He is aided by his son Ajay (Arjun Kapoor), an uncouth and aggressive youth. Also on his team is Amrita Singh, Shroff‘s fixer-cum-concubine who is known to use girls to get things done. Singh, while helping Shroff build his empire, is also plotting against him so that eventually she and her son, Sikandar Berry, can grab it.

Besides enemies within his camp, always on Shroff‘s trail with a resolve to finish him is the local DCP, Rishi Kapoor, with his nephew and ACP, Prithviraj Sukumaran, being his ardent follower and aide. Kapoor wields huge power as he controls the ‘collection‘ operations, the funds which percolate through the system, eventually reaching the top bosses. Anupam Kher, Sukumaran‘s father and Kapoor‘s elder brother, asks his son to fulfil one obligation, to look after his second family, a woman, Tanvi Azmi and her son, Vishal (Arjun Kapoor). When Kapoor sees that Vishal and Ajay are lookalikes, he decides to switch their places. Vishal is told that Shroff is his real father who was responsible for the situation he and Azmi are.

Besides his father, Vishal also inherits Ajay‘s live-in girlfriend, Sashaa Agha, and he has no scruples sleeping with her for, as he justifies it, he had fallen in love with her at first sight. In this film full of schemers and plotters, she is also a plant, put in by Singh to destroy Ajay with drugs and alcohol. She, on her part, loved Ajay and now readily loves Vishal too. She is in the film as a pretext of being a female lead but is soon sacrificed as the script has nothing to justify her presence in the film.

Rishi Kapoor, the DCP, has a problem on his hand. His plant at Shroff‘s has turned sides and he won‘t betray Shroff or help the police in any way. Instead, in true Godfather style, he decides to defend Shroff and his empire and get rid of Singh, Kher and the others. Meanwhile, Rishi Kapoor and his gang of loyal cops are busy making sure he still rules after his retirement which is due in few months. After all, if Shroff and his clout are destroyed, the town will need a new power broker. Rishi Kapoor is ready for that role. In the war between cops and robbers, finally, all end up on the same side.

The script creates some confusion on the way as it delves into relations. There is no emotion to draw women in the film, which was a strong point of films like Trishul and Deewaar. Here, in fact, women characters are more negative. The music does not help in anyway. Direction is just passable as one does not totally connect with the characters or the events. The choice of the girl, even if her role is insignificant, is surprising to say the least; she is not cut out for the screen, big or small. While Arjun Kapoor is generally good in both roles, his unkempt look does not work; uncouth need not be ugly. Prithviraj has a major role and the only consistent one which he does extremely well. Rishi Kapoor, Shroff and Singh are sincere with their parts. Azmi is okay. Bhaskar, Naval and Berry support well.

Aurangzeb has had little promotion and the opening response is not encouraging.


I Don‘t Luv U: A dowdy college romanc

I Don‘t Luv U is an attempt at modern-day college campus romance and how the electronic revolution, cell phone as well as media, is misused. While the film introduces some new faces, it also brings in some fresh funds in production sector, thanks to a Delhi construction company.

Ruslan Mumtaz moves around in his Delhi college campus with his three buddies, Jas Bhatia, Rohit Sharma and Shashwat. The common agenda of all four is to find girls. The college has a new entrant, Chetna Pande, probably disillusioned by the education system in UK. She joins this college in Delhi where students still look stuck in the 1960s filmy college groove. They crack jokes on tutors, laugh for no reason and swoon at girls.

Mumtaz decides to score with Pande which accounts for most of first half of the film. His idea is that they both should just hang out together and have fun since he does not love her. Of course, like in all films, they are gradually falling in love even if they deny it. One day, Pande invites Mumtaz to see her dance at her house! Mumtaz shoots a MMS clip while she dances. Aroused by her dancing, he joins her with not very good intent and all the while his cell phone is still shooting the video.

Soon, in a totally contrived way, the video clip is leaked to the college first and later, in a totally altered version, on a TV news channel seeking some primetime TRP. The girl is shamed, the boy is arrested and later jumps to his death from the fourth floor only to survive for a happy ending.

This is a lesson in how not to make films.

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