Like his earlier work M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story and Rustom, Neeraj Pandey has once again charmed us with his sense of patriotism and a bit of drama in his latest release, Aiyaary starring Sidharth Malhotra, Manoj Bajpayee, Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. And trust me, you really can’t afford to miss this one because Neeraj has surely leveled up this time!
Shot in multiple locations such as, Delhi, Cairo and London- Aiyaary is about Major Jai Bakshi (Sidharth Malhotra) who goes rogue and how is mentor Colonel Abhay Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) takes it upon himself to find out why his bright apprentice went the wrong way. While watching the movie, you might be confused as the director started by showing a current day scenario and then, took it to the flashback but you need to wait till the last frame to clear all you doubts. As the movie creates a smooth flow, director unleashes his mystery elements, Tariq Ali (Anupam Kher) and Baaburao Shastri (Naseeruddin Shah) who perform Neeraj's special trick, for which you will have to watch the movie.
One thing is for sure, Neeraj has surely stepped out of his comfort zone and has tried to level up his own game. But somewhere, he leaves some area which can turn out to be the biggest loophole of the film. He's tried to introduce many layers around a simple storyline of an army officer going rogue. From showing special covert unit to hinting towards corruption, he has succeeded many times and failed.
Sidharth Malhotra tries to match up with Manoj Bajpayee, but it's difficult to say if he's given anything more than what has been offered on paper. He is good but what he really needs is a big money-spinner to be in the game. Though Manoj Bajpayee steals the show with his legendary presence. He’s witty with his comic timing and equally serious in scenes which require a subtle essence. He gets the maximum screen presence of which is totally deserving.
Sadly, Anumpam Kher gets a small role but he succeeds in leaving a mark and Naseeruddin Shah’s sweet little cameo is also impactful. Rakul Preet Singh beautifully does what was demanded by her character. Pooja Chopra, too, serve her role with utmost honesty.
Sanjoy Chowdhury, who has given some brilliant songs in Neeraj's films like M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story and Naam Shabana (Pandey was a producer), is the best decision of the film. The BGM is the most delightful takeaway from the film. There’s just one song – Lae Dooba which, unfortunately, disrupts the link.
A perfect blend of Baby, A Wednesday and Special 26, Aiyaary surely stands out as something we've never seen before. This movie deserves nothing less than a 6.5/10. The movie has an important message to share, just hold your grip till the end.