Picking up a brave subject of corruption in the Indian Army is surely laudable but the narrative of the film is messy and at times we scratch our head as to what's happening? The unnecessary complications could have been sorted with a smooth justified narration.
Written and directed by Neeraj Pandey, Aiyaary's plot revolves around two righteous officers Colonel Abhay Singh played by Manoj Bajpayee who has complete faith in nation's system while protagonist Major Jai Bakshi played by Sidharth Malhotra has a whole new approach after the unwanted surveillance operation conducted towards the patriotic troops of the nation. Jai chooses his path and separates from the intelligence agency taking away all the confidential data along which makes him a national fugitive. Sonia Gupta played by Rakul Preet Singh is a hacker by profession and Jai's partner in crime as the world sees it. Rakul Preet's and Sidharth's chemistry was pleasing only in the song. The rest of the time, the grace and belongingness in their relationship is just not sensed. It is ex-army officer Gurinder Singh played by Kumud Mishra the negative brat from the flick who bribes Indian army brigadier [Vikram Gokhale] to undertake the weapon deal with his company four times higher its cost. He frightens him to expose his undercover team for which he sanctioned 10 cr secretively.
Anupam Kher's cameo as Tariq Ali is Bajpayee's helping hand who is a part of the weapons business in London. However, Kher didn't have much to play and his presence didn't make any difference. The saviour of the film is Naseeruddin Shah as Baburao Shastri a watchman of an under-constructed Colaba plot who speaks his part in the climax and the blurred truth which was out of sight is expressed and exposes the faulty men from the Army. Adil Hussain as Mukesh Kapoor is an ex-army in chief who is the head of the illegal international weapon market nexus in London. He is the person behind this deal and the system can't even come close to him.
Finally, we see a sensible storyline to cover up all the wrongs. The first half went bizarrely with the build-up of some well-planned strategy and we keep wondering what the point is. Overall, the intensity was majorly missing in the first half and we see the film moving with the ticking clock. The action heist is absolutely un-interesting and Neeraj Pandey's purposely complicated narration has just not connected the audience. He could have kept it simple yet intriguing. You have the nation's armed forces image in line and why don't we get to see some powerful patriotic dialogues that just can blow our mind provoking a meaningful thought.
Just after the film ends it makes us think what did it mean? what message did it connect the audiences with? Then we realise it is the same old stereotypical take on the system, politics within the Army. But where is the heartfelt thought that leaves our mind blown? Unlike 'Baby' and 'Wednesday'. We just could not connect to it. More importantly, the patriotic flavour in the film was missing bigtime. Apart from Naseeruddin Shah's presence especially in the climax, nothing holds us back.
Talking about the song of the film, the first romantic number 'Lae Dooba' showcases Sid and Rakul Preet's sudden chemistry quiet gracefully and its visuals are quite adorable as well. Sunidhi Chauhan's soulful voice is all that remains in our head and Rochak Kohli's composition along with Manoj Muntashir suave lyrics blends beautifully with the cute chemistry of the two. Although Sid and Rakul's spineless love story is another un-interesting part of the film and it makes us question every time how the hell a Neeraj Pandey film is so tedious. However, the technical team of the film has displayed their standout skills with perfection. Full marks for Director of Photography Sudhir Palsane, as his picturesque captured shots from outside of India, especially Egypt and London is just awe to the eye. The film overdoes with its background score trying to create the flair of thrill but Sanjoy Chowdhury's music cannot be questioned due to a pitiful screenplay.
Costume design by Falguni Thakore is at a whole new level and we could not find Sidharth Malhotra at all when he turned to a blonde chick. Even Manoj Bajpayee's versatile appearance just catches our eye. A sincere shoutout to costume design head Falguni Thakore who has fabricated the characters so authentically.
Overall there is nothing much to hold you back with the message of the film or the dull action sequences. Even if you have decided to watch this one, your only sigh of relief will be Naseeruddin Shah's presence in the climax that will enthral you with his stellar performance.