Aurangzeb is set in the heart of Gurgaon, where DCP Ravikanth (Rishi Kapoor) is attempting to take down Yashwardhan Singh (Jackie Shroff), a real estate developer known for his illegal dealings. In order to dethrone him, Ravikanth and Arya (Prithviraj Sukumaran) hatch a plan to swap Yashwardhan’s son Ajay (Arjun Kapoor) with his long lost twin, Vishal, and acquire information from him.
This is Arjun’s second film, and he ambitiously plays a double role of two very different characters. Does he – and the film – make a mark?
We’re no strangers to double roles and long lost sons in Bollywood, but the premise of Aurangzeb is highly interesting; the power struggle, backstabbing and grey characters all make for a very promising setup. For the most part, the film delivers as well – the plot begins unfolding very early on in the film, and especially engages in the first half. No character in this movie is entirely honourable, and watching them all battle it out for the top spot is quite absorbing.
The focus of the film is definitely the characters, and thankfully, the cast is up for shouldering this responsibility. Arjun spends more time being the unruly twin (either as Ajay, or Vishal pretending to be Ajay), which is a good thing – this is an extension of his Ishaqzaade character, and he manages to play it well. In the few scenes that he is expected to be Vishal, though, Arjun falters; he can’t quite pull off the emotions and seems to be trying too hard. Prithviraj is super, and I’m so glad he’s gotten himself a proper role in Bollywood; he was utterly wasted in Aiyya. Sasheh Agha doesn’t have much to do beyond looking good, but she’s alright. The veterans – Jackie Shroff, Rishi Kapoor, Amrita Singh, Deepti Naval, Tanvi Azmi – are all excellent, with Rishi easily stealing the show: his character is definitely the most layered one, and he’s more than up for the task of portraying it.
Where the film falters is in its complexity. After a point, there are too many characters to keep a track of, and by the time the end comes around, the film begins dragging. A crisper climax and more focused story would’ve taken the film to another level entirely, but it is still an engaging watch worthy of your time this weekend.
Worth a watch for it’s interesting storyline and some good performances. (3/5 stars.)