Saturday, May 18, 2013


Emperor of Gurgaon

Set amidst the real estate wheeling-dealing of the Delhi-NCR region, Atul Sabharwal’s Aurangzeb gives just a small peek into the rampant corruption, violence and lawlessness of a place where wealth and power are to kill for.

Then the plot zooms right into the implausible realm of ‘this can happen only in the movies’.  The narrator is Arya (Prithviraj Sukumaran), a corrupt cop, part of a family of greedy rotten eggs. His father (Anupam Kher) had to leave the force in disgrace, but he, his uncle Ravikant (Rishi Kapoor) and cousin (Sikander Berry) carry on their “collection business” with impunity.

Ravikant, however, wants more power, and for that he has to neutralize Yashwardhan (Jackie Shroff), the biggest gangster in the city, who runs a clean front, but lets his partner Neena (Amrita Singh) do all the “deals.”  Ravikant stumbles on to a secret—Yash’s wife (Tanvi Azmi) and son Vishal (Arjun Kapoor) believed to have died in a police encounter years ago, for which Arya’s father had taken the hit.

Vishal’s twin, Ajay was left behind with his father, and has turned out to be the typical hard-drinking, coke-snorting, violent Gurgaon thug.  Ravikant switches the boys, and gets an invaluable mole inside Yashwardhan’s empire.

The plot gets more convoluted and unbelievable, the characters’ motivations get fuzzy and divided between “sapne” and “apne”.  Ravikant is solely driven by greed for power, the others dilly dally between love (the romantic interest is a vapid Sasheh Agha who bare back is seen more often than her face), family and duty. In the end, you wonder, if empires can be so easily grabbed and enemies so conveniently eliminated, then what was the point of planting Vishal there in the first place?

Arjun Kapoor’s double role doesn’t really amount to much—he does well, but when Rishi Kapoor is in the film, it’s impossible to better his performance.  He gets the bulldog like persona just right and shows just how character development and actor’s instinct works. All the youngsters in the film, need a master class from this great actor.

The film ends with a cop saying, they do their job for “rupiya” (money) and “roab” (power) —they have got the first, now how about asserting the second.  Knowing what Delhi cops are like, that’s an alarm bell!


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