Cast: Sachin Joshi, Candice Boucher, Sajid Hassan, Ravi Kissen, Alyy Khan, Aarya Babbar, Dalip Tahil
Director: Prashant Chadha
The Hollywood inspired directors of Hindi film industry have always tried to replicate the style and looks of popular films. Prashant Chadha is also one of them but his style sense seems to be better than most of the contemporaries.
The set up opens in Germany where the Indian home minister falls prey to an international terror group. This group is different than other terror organisations as it has expertise in modern methods of biological warfare.
The Research and Analysis Wing of Indian government reacts quickly to the situation and forms a high level committee with special powers. It is found during the investigation that one of the finest RAW officers Aazaan Khan's (Sachin Joshi) brother is involved in the conspiracy against India. Hardcore nationalist Aazaan takes up the challenge to destroy the enemy's net with a vested interest of bringing his long lost brother Amaan Khan back to normal life.
Aazaan masterminds a chain of events throughout the world, from Morocco to Hong Kong, to fetch attention from Doctor (Sajid Hassan), the man behind the biological attacks. Aazaan soon reaches to Doctor, only to find out that his identity is no secret for Doctor.
Doctor is an ex-CIA agent who is smart enough to receive funding from several powerful nations for a war against India. However, there is a twist in the tale that Doctor's war involves Muslims chiefly but is not ideologically driven. He helps different nations for personal benefits, money and most importantly individual power.
Mahfouz (Dalip Tahil) is another biologist who discovers the vaccine to stop the lethal Ebola virus, Doctor's ultimate weapon. Doctor kills Mehfouz after a heated argument but Aazaan manages to catch the last words of dying Mehfouz and sets out for Morocco in search of a sand artist.
The sand artist turns out to be beautiful Afreen (Candice Boucher) whose little sister Zehra is the only living being on the whole globe who could be used to stop the Ebola virus from spreading more.
Aazaan falls in love with Afreen and plans to send them to India but Afreen gets killed and Zehra gets kidnapped. Meanwhile all major cities of India are full of Doctor's followers equipped with biological weapons. Only Aazaan can stop the catastrophe from taking place by bringing Zehra to India. The RAW is there to help him out but the powerful Indian neighbour China does not want that to happen.
The storyline of the film is highly 'inspired' from 'The Bourne Ultimatum', in fact the director Prashant Chadha did not bother before directly lifting some sequences from the Paul Greengrass' film. The chase sequence in Morocco was so similar to 'The Bourne Ultimatum' that everybody knew when it is going to stop.
Throughout the first half the characters build tempo for the entry of Doctor but he appears without any menacing effect, however the writers become successful in building his character after two-three scenes.
The film has also taken care of contemporary political situation. There are more than one scenes where RAW agent Pandey (Ravi Kissen) cracks joke about politically incorrect things including Kasab.
The story is fast paced and it has the capability to engage the audiences but it should have answered some vital queries. Definitely the director has attempted but the a little more information about Aazaan Khan's background could have helped the audiences in understanding the mindset difference between him and his brother.
Further, Sachin Joshi does not look even a bit like an Afghani but he speaks Pashto.
The filmmaker explains the reason behind the cruelty of Doctor, which is his sexual incompetence, but it looks completely misfit in the screenplay.
'Aazaan' describes China as the new Pakistan but plays with the same stereotypical notion of 'ideology driven Muslims can turn terrorists'. Most of the characters are Muslims in the film but their justification of being the terror agent sounds like the answer of a juvenile.
The screenplay is really tight and the plots are interrelated but the writers fail when the pressure of plotting Candice Boucher in the story comes over their shoulders. She looks beautiful and sensuous in songs but unfortunately the songs are out of place. The song 'Khuda Ke Liye' is forced on the viewers.
The semi climax also has one logic issue. If Alyy Khan was the mastermind of the whole game then how come Doctor remains as powerful as before even after Khan's death.
The film does not have many dialogues and it helps Sachin Joshi whose dialogue delivery is not up to the mark. He carries the same expression throughout the film but it works because his character does not experience any drastic change till the end. Joshi appear really cool in action sequences and has the potential to emerge as an action hero.
Sajid Hassan is satisfactory as Doctor but he does not create terror to the core. Candice Boucher is just an eye candy but the real disappointment is Ravi Kissen. It's the high time when he should stop his typical full of satire sort of acting and try something new.
Alyy Khan has returned to the silver screen after a long time but is still as handsome as before. Acting wise, he also needs to get less loud.
'Aazaan' is probably one of the most stylish films made in India in recent past. Axel Fischer's cinematography is a treat to watch. Stunning helicopter shots have beautifully captured the African landscapes. Hand held camera has been used to optimum potential and the songs come across as postcard images.
The cinematographer and the editor of the film are the real winners who captivate the attention and produce way for a thrilling finish but the background score disheartens. 'Aazaan' can't boast of any signature tune essential for a thriller. Only one song 'Bismillah' excels to some extent due to the spiritual feeling associated with Kailash Khair's voice, otherwise the music by Salim-Sulaiman is not noteworthy.
Prashant Chadha has done a decent job as director by controlling a flawed script with ease. He has very rightly stressed on the pace and style of the film. Presenting Candice Boucher as the sand artist comes as a striking surprise as it is a new thing for Indian viewers. Some internet savvy people might have seen it on You Tube but the common cinema goer would not have seen it before.
If you are not much concerned about the politics of the film then 'Aazaan' is your weekend watch. It will not come as a surprise if 'Aazaan' strikes gold at the box office.
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