Akbar and his favourite grandchild Shah Jehan were significant benefactors of South Asia’s construction industry and the arts; therefore even today our builder fraternity through their faux Mughal construction projects, and the Lahore and Mumbai film industry in their film scripts continue to pay homage to GrandDaddy and Co. As it is Shah Jehan and his Deewar-esque progeny were the stuff of Saleem Javed’s dreams, so little wonder that reel life and the world of words continue to be inspired by that real life brother against brother against father fracas.
(Mohsin Hamid whose The Reluctant Fundamentalist hits screens this weekend had first captured our attention with the brilliant Moth Smoke –Hamid’s take of the Dara Shikoh-Aurangzeb saga)
Aurangzeb is the latest arrival.
The current decade has seen India’s film industry wooing Delhi once more after the “Delhi as guest star” status it enjoyed in Yash Chopra movies. Chashme Buddoor too was a brilliant ode to the city .Today we have Dipakar Banerjee, Maneesh Sharma, and Habib Faisal amongst others to thank for Delhi being in favour again. Alas it wasnt long that Gurgaon with its me-too syndrome when it comes to Delhi, elbowed itself into Delhi’s party on the film screen.
The film starts with Arya’s (Prithiviraj Sukumaran) disgraced cop father (played by Anupam Kher—where this is a role, that Naseeruddin Shah has a special expertise for. Supporting a paramour and boy holed up in a hill station on the sly) confessing to son that he too has been doing a Naseeruddin Shah and it is left to Arya to now do a “ Main Hoo Na”. Arya reels in his mentor uncle (played by Rishi Kapoor) and cousin who believe that the family in khaki that “collects hafta ” together stays together, and channel a bit of D’Silva from Don to bring down the evil empire of Yashwardhan the Czar of Gurgaon (Jackie Shroff) thus giving closure to the family .
And then the Kahani me Twists begin.
The men in khaki and construction industry’s sparring bouts are interspersed by performances by Sasha Agha (whose body of work and workout show that picking up her daddy’s squash racket would have been quite a crime) Amrita Singh (who is to the Evil Sari born) and Deepti Naval who as always is brilliant even if its entering a room with flour smeared on her hands.
For a city that is yet to bring down the Aedes Aegypti mosquito population, half of the city’s police force shoots down the other half pretty quickly; the bodies keep going down and clichéd kahani me twists rapidly following them.
By the end of the movie you are only relieved that Rishi Kapoor has been finally freed of his knitted sweaters ,for that man is a powerhouse of talent. Kaash ke Raj Kapoor sahib zinda hote. Tears of Joy! Shroff shows some of his old fire and Arjun Kapoor continues to prove that he will be the Abhay Deol of the Kapoor family yet. (Well for me at least!) Nary a false step yet. And he is only two films old.view less