Let us begin with an advice, before you rush into grabbing a seat for this film, clear your head as to what you're expecting to see in this supposed "not a biopic". Confused? Well so were We!
The film begins with a disclaimer stating that what you're about to watch is not a biopic on the Legendary, disgraced Indian cricketer; it is a fictionalized script for the purpose of entertainment. However, I refuse to agree with this statement. The film pretends not to be a biopic but fails miserably at doing so. This is just the beginning of the number of flaws the film has in store. Though it claims not to be a biopic on him, the film traces all the events in Azharuddin's life, with characters playing all the people who have been a part of his journey, with a slightly messed up time-line. If you're planning to watch this film with a curious mind, to know what the truth of the matter is then be rest assured that you'll be misled. Emraan Hashmi doesn’t have any physical resemblance to Azharuddin, yet Emraan has managed to pull off this enigmatic figure with his mannerisms and swagger.
Azhar does show you the magic on the field, trial room heat, the coloured love affairs, the betrayal and the irremovable stains of disgrace but it lacks a back bone. Prachi Desai is perfect as Naureen, Azharuddin's first wife, however Nargis Fakhri, who has no resemblance whatsoever with Sangeeta Bijlani, seems to just be dabbing loads of make-up and making her presence being felt in a not so flattering manner.
The characters who we assume are playing Ravi Shastri, Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar are shown to be unethical in some way or the other, but the audience can't really decide whether to believe it or not. Tony D'souza seems to have invested all his time in just pinning a halo on Azhar's character and white washing it, although the taint on him cannot be washed away. We also witness some heated lip locks which owing to Emraan's inglorious onscreen reputation may seem justified, but have nothing to do with Azharuddin's rather shy demeanor. Emraan is also seen sporting a uniform on the field that is emblazoned with logos of products which didn't establish their existence in the 80's and 90's. Moreover, the characters are seen using slim cellphones which I doubt were even thought of in that era. Another disturbing flaw was Emraan's change in accent that continues through the film with convenience to the script.
The only interesting part of the film is the songs. Azhar basically is the output of poor screenplay, one sided direction, weak dialogues, and fictionalized reality. It's a mess pot backed by scintillating music. Emraan Hashmi is the only watchable element in the film, and well the film is all his character. Watch it for him, or save your time and energy. There is nothing extra the film offers for you to know about the scandal the legend Azharuddin had himself in, it's all facts and media stories you already have access to.