Prashant Chadha’s Aazaan is rumoured to be one of the most expensive movies til date to be churned out by Indian cinema. Tackling the never-touched-on subject of Bioterrorism, the movie’s hype was rife much before its release. With no well-known name as protagonist and a promise of a gripping tale to leave audiences thinking that this was the new era of Bollywood, Aazaan’s world premiere in Dubai only added to the excitement and hope that surrounded the film.
The story revolves around an officer from India’s RAW (an intelligence agency), Aazaan Khan (played by newcomer Sachiin Joshi), who – in order to build his reputation – is sent to various countries that have experienced terrorist attacks. He is portrayed as an expert somewhat to seek out the culprits and kill them. He sets out to clear his brothers name, who RAW believes was involved in the London Underground bombings. During his journey, he is also trying to stop the threat of a Bio-terrorist attack on the Indian sub-continent. He meets Afreen (Candice Boucher) who holds the
key to stopping the attack on India.
It has to be said that the attempt made by Aazaan to tick all the boxes of edge-of-your-seat cinema is commendable, but most definitely falls short in many places. A confusing (and at times incoherent) plot with too many characters that pop up at various intervals is enough to spoil the effort. Perhaps the initial foundation of characters and storyline could’ve been a little stronger in order to cement an audience’s understanding and emotional connection before the plot moved forward.
Those in the ensemble cast of Aazaan performed reasonably well, with special mention to the debutant Sachiin Joshi. His acting finesse and natural emotive ability comes through despite the weakness of the story. Ravi Kissen also stood out as a fellow RAW officer. Unfortunately, South-African model Candice Boucher didn’t create as much of an impact as hoped. It also seemed as if she was placed into the film unnecessarily and the movie perhaps could have done without a love story aspect. Arya Babbar doesn’t leave a mark either.
The soundtrack of Aazaan, by the talented music duo Salim-Suleiman, is on a whole new level. The twosome has given Bollywood some of its most popular songs in recent years and this album showcases their talent in a better if not similar light. ‘Afreen’ and ‘Khuda Ke Liye’ are extremely soulful and it the picturisation of the two on screen is pretty disappointing. It somehow feels as if such great music would have been better placed in a big banner film than a movie which endeavours to be a little ‘hatke’ than your average Bollywood flick.
Although the weakness in story let down Aazaan, it seems the editing could also have been much better. It is difficult to tell in many parts whether the character of Aazaan is the good guy or the villain. It could be seen that this blurriness in definition of his character, as the protagonist, is also a huge factor in determining the incoherence of the movie.
Aazaan‘s attempt falters in many categories but is worth a watch for the new style it tries to put across. It remains to be seen whether this kind of cinema is one which is brought to the forefront again or whether the shortfalls of Aazaan will be seen as lesson enough not to touch on such a subject again.