“Deep in the cavern of the infant's breast; the father's nature lurks, and lives anew”. Starting the film with these lines from Roman poet, Horace, the mood gets set early on for this tour de force.
Set in the nouveau-riche landscape of Gurgaon, with fields adjacent to glass towers, luxury cars amidst paddy fields, rustic gun toting agents of ubiquitous real estate developers talking shop next to swanky swimming pools, the film gets the setting absolutely right. This goes on to become an essential set piece of the plot and is a huge plus for the film.
‘Aurangzeb’ then goes on to weave a plot of ambition, deceit, filial relationships and makes for a compelling case. The viewers is subjected to familiar situations, and then made to make hard choices. Is it family first or your integrity? Is it personal ambition or filial duties, which is more important. What’s the definition of success? Is a rich and powerful patriarch more successful than an ‘unsuccessful’ old man who has been able to raise his children with good values? Can there be a moral compass in a family that speaks the same language. Are the seeds of corruption sown in the children while they are their schools itself?
Arjun Kapoor goes on to prove that ‘Ishaqzaade’ was no fluke. With the colossus of an actor in his middle age, Rishi Kapoor yet again makes a mark and key performance from all others involved, the film is shining example of consistence, good research and relevant plot. The film makes for a gripping viewing and the 2nd half outdoes the 1st with a fitting denouement.
The makers of ‘Aurangzeb’ clearly overestimated my knowledge of history and expected viewers to get the hint from the title. Initially cynical of the title, in retrospect I feel it’s justified having watched one of the best films this year. 4.5 Stars