Duration: 128 minutes
Director: Shravan Tiwari
Cast: Jimmy Sheirgill, Abhimanyu Singh, Indraneil Sengupta, Raza Murad, Sanjeev Tyagi, Govind Namdev, Sayaji Shinde, Ali Khan, Anang Desai, Mushtaq Khan, Vivek Ghamande, Inzmam, Alok Pandey and Sushant Jain
IANS Rating: ****
Most of the gangster dramas are loaded with guns, violence, foul language, loud characters and weak screenplay, but this one is smart, sleek, dark and gritty, which sort of give the film an edge over every other crime drama.
A power shift is never easy, whether its in the corporate or any other field. When the young replace the old, there is always friction as it threatens positions of privilege and livelihoods. The old grappling with the idea of power and the young using the same power with brutality has been the norm of society for the longest time.
An old and ailing mafia don, Nawab Khan (Raza Murad), is bed-ridden, and will eventually die. His son, Kadar Pathan (Abhimanyu Singh), is the rightful heir of the crime syndicate, but with old boss dying, everyone is conspiring and eyeing the ultimate chair.
Nawab Khan, along with his four associates -- Shakir Sheikh, Firoz Namazi, Tatya and Pratap Shetty -- run their syndicate under the protection of Home Minister Madan Shirke.
Now, Pratap Shetty's son, Aanya Shetty, wants to be the young don and start colluding with everyone to kill Kadar and take over Nawab's empire.
But Kadar's right hand man, Javed Ansari (Jimmy Shergill), is smart, cunning, ruthless and highly motivated to protect his boss Kadar.
The story takes place in just one night, where Javed, along with his team, creates a dark web of lies and deceit, and pulls off a complicated powershift game that is worth the watch. And the ending is not what you might think it will be. It is far more complex and earth-shattering.
The director has kept the screenplay taut, and there is one revelation after another, every 20 minutes, so the audience is glued to the screen, as you don't want to miss a move. The crisp screenplay plus superlative performances from seasoned actors make the film gripping and interesting.
Jimmy Shergill as Javed Ansari is a complicated man, who has a past, secrets to hide and hidden motives, which are revealed in due course, but the kind of menace he brings to the table with his calm demeanor is mind-blowing.
Sharvan Tiwari is trying to attempt something that has never done before in Indian cinema -- a smart and clever gangster drama, which, otherwise, more often than we'd like to admit, is a genre that has become predictable and doesn't hold your attention. He brings a new grammar, dimension, screen texture and storytelling with his film.
Indraneil Sen Gupta as DCP Ajay Joshi might looks like a player in a big political and crime syndicate, but he is one sharp slithering snake who understands the power dynamic. He is someone who will surprise you.
Aazam is a dark, intense and gritty crime thriller, which is uniquely presented and executed.
-- Syndicated from IANS