Azaan (2011) Movie Review: Overdose of Unscripted Action

By Arnab Charkraborty

Calcutta, Oct 15, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / IBNS) “Azaan” touched a previously unused territory providing a lot of action but no real substance.

The background


AZAAN (2011) Theatrical Trailer

The story revolves around Azan Khan (Sachiin Joshi), a RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) operative in search of his brother.

This Indian “Bourne” goes undercover beyond enemy lines and help find out enough information to be able to save his brother and the nation from destruction at the hands of Biological Warfare.

As his journey proceeds, he becomes the last resort of saving his country against the schemes of a notoriously intelligent man who calls himself the “Doctor” (Sajid Hassan).

He comes face to face with “Afreen” (Candice Boucher), who becomes his muse but only for a while before she eventually dies.

Now “Azaan” must help rescue a little girl, confront his brother while saving his country too.

The story – 1.5/5

There is good storyline bogged down somewhere beneath all the gimmicks, stunts and flashy camerawork.

Indeed with flavours such as bio-terrorism, international espionage and a man lost in a battle of his soul, "Azaan" would have made a delectable mix but the final product was dismal to say the least.

I guess even with all the ingredients one needs for intelligent presentation the chefs have been a failure for the whole gamut of dishes, though there were moments indeed.

The screenplay is overdrawn and filled with confusing narratives of characters that offer no sustenance to the entire plot.

In the end what could have been an edge of the seat thriller turns out to be just a folly.

Some of the dialogues are good but it’s really too little a consolation to salvage the script.

I guess director Prashant Chadda should have put more meat into the meatballs instead of just thinking about making it flashy.

The direction and technique – 3.5/5

Bollywood can now compete with Hollywood on a visual scale. I have been saying this over and over again but it’s truly a joy to behold the awesome camerawork and the mind-blowing graphic detailing that movies have been churning out in the recent past.

Be it the action scenes that remind you of so many stunning Hollywood flicks of the past or the characters’ moods on display or simply the landscape, Bolly cinematographers can do no wrong and Azaan is certainly best of the best in that department.

The actions are realistic and the sequencing is simply surreally beautiful and along with the presence of fantastic locales from all over the world the pictorial department of “Azaan” has my hat off for them.

But the screenplay is confusing and the script had to have been tighter because of the genre of the movie, so a proper editing was sorely missed.

The acting – 2.5/5

It’s a tad sad for this movie as had it not been for the utterly stoned performance of Sachiin, “Azaan” could have received much more for the brilliant supporting cast it had.

Sachiin however appears to have put on a similar expression throughout the movie and be it pain or pleasure I can’t tell the difference seeing his face. Oh and he seriously needs to work on those dialogue deliveries.

So he has the muscles and he has some brilliant action choreography backing him but onscreen Sachiin looks no more than your GI Joe action figure.

The much hyped appearance of Candice just appears to have been aimed at drawing some male audience as she too has been relegated to the position of a supporting cast with what minimal reel time she had.

For the rest of the talented star cast the movie is a waste as it offers no exposure to what they are capable of, giving them no opportunity to showcase their brilliance.

The music – 3.5/5

The music by Salim-Sulaiman is a clear winner right down to the masterful background scores.

The Indo-Western Sufi score “Afreen” will definitely sneak a way into your playing lists along with some of the other tracks on offer.

There are however some clashes with the screenplay and the songs and though they are very melodious, sometimes their presence was unwanted indeed.

So should you dish out the bucks?

If you are a hard-core action lover then "Azaan" might just be for you and especially recommended if you can go through a movie for some stunning visuals.

But if you need convincing storyline and motivated characters then “Azaan” will be an overdose of everything else and a cause of a slight headache at the end.

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