Well, after Sangeeta Bijlani expressed her displeasure, The Tony D’Souza directed biopic has now irked former cricketer Ravi Shastri too. The Reason? Well, Shastri is angry by the way he has been portrayed in the feature film.
Ravi Shastri Is Shown as a Womanizer in Azhar
In Azhar, the character of Ravi Shastri is essayed by Gautam Gulati. Though the movie doesn’t address any of Azhar’s teammates by their full names (only the first names are used), the movie leaves little to imagination now that the first names of the cricketers are said loud. So inside the green room, apart from Azhar, the hero we have a certain Navjot, Manoj, Kapil, Ravi etc.
As an Indian Express review notes, in the movie Azhar, Ravi (Shastri) is a womaniser, Manoj (Prabhakar) is a lout, Navjot (Sidhu) is a joke and a coward, and Kapil (Dev) loses his goodness for sometime but regains it.
The worst treatment in the film is reserved for Ravi, who is shown being jealous of Azhar’s rise to captaincy. He is shown as a lecherous character who once is even seen coming out of a hotel room pulling up his zip, while a starlet follows him adjusting her saree.
Gautam Gulati is Ravi in the film, and his character is a complete out-and-out womaniser. No just that, Ravi even cheats on his wife during a cricket tour in the film where she accompanies him. This whole scene has infuriated Shastri big time.
A Tit For Tat from Azhar to Shastri?
Not even a week since its release and the number of people miffed with their portrayal in ‘Azhar’ just seems to be growing longer. After Sangeeta Bijlani expressed concerns over her representation in the film starring Emraan Hashmi, Prachi Desai and Nargis Fakhri, Manoj Prabhakar threatened to take legal action and now Shastri is angry because the film portrays him as a womaniser.
It is said that Shastri is dismayed at being depicted as a womaniser and even gone ahead and expressed his displeasure to the cricket authorities in the country. The scene in the film which shows him canoodling with another woman in a hotel room while his wife is at the same hotel looking for him according to him is false and shows him in a pure light. Even Ravi Shastri’s family is shocked by his portrayal in the film.
It is said that back when the Tehelka sting operation had taken place, Ravi Shastri had said a number of things against Mohammed Azharuddin, and according to the sources, this is Azhar’s way of retaliating.
In the Tehelka sting operation, Shastri is seen telling Manoj Prabhakar (who conducted the sting) how Azharuddin admired someone’s watch. After the person told him it costs five to six lakh, Azharuddin, according to Shastri went upstairs and brought down a bag containing six lakhs.
The Movie Shows Azhar in Good Light and Rest in Bad Light
Last month, all the 4 former cricketers – Ravi Shastri, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Manoj Prabhakar, and Kapil Dev had demanded to know how they were being depicted in Azhar, a sort of biopic of their contemporary Azharuddin.
Mid Day had reported that they were keen that they had not been shown in bad light. They had been assured by the filmmakers that the portrayal of their characters was dignified. However, with the release of Azhar on Friday their worst fears may have come true.
It is no secret that Azharuddin did not have a good relationship with these men. The film goes by his version of events and shows them, well, in bad light. It does not even attempt to conceal their identity.
Real life Sangeeta Bijlani feared that she would portrayed as a home breaker as Azharuddin had left his wife Naureen to marry her. In the film, her saving grace is a dialogue she mouths – You have given her your name, don’t cheat her.
Anyone who is even remotely aware of the general Cricket scene in India back when Azharuddin played for the country, would know that the cricketers referred to in Azhar are Ravi Shastri, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Manoj Prabhakar and Kapil Dev.