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The poster features strip of Indian flag colors painted diagonally starting from bottom-left. Above it, in the center, is very small image of India Gate surrounding which are the images of entire star cast. At the top-left film title 'Aiyaary' is written in hindi sript.
Theatrical release poster
Hindi अय्यारी
Directed by Neeraj Pandey
Produced by Shital Bhatia
Dhaval Gada
Jayantilal Gada
Karan Shah
Motion Picture Capital
Written by Neeraj Pandey
Based on The Adarsh Society scam
Starring Sidharth Malhotra
Manoj Bajpayee
Rakul Preet Singh
Pooja Chopra
Adil Hussain
Kumud Mishra
Naseeruddin Shah
Anupam Kher
Music by Songs:
Rochak Kohli
Ankit Tiwari
Background score:
Sanjoy Chowdhury
Cinematography Sudheer Palsane
Edited by Praveen Kathikuloth
Motion Picture Capital
Friday Filmworks
Pen India Limited
Plan C Studios
Distributed by Reliance Entertainment
Pen India Limited
Release date
  • 16 February 2018 (2018-02-16)
Running time
160 minutes[1]
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 28 crore
Box office 27.18 crore [2]

Aiyaary (English: Shape shifting)[3] is an 2018 Indian Hindi-language crime thriller[4] film written and directed by Neeraj Pandey.[5] Produced by Shital Bhatia, Dhaval Gada & Motion Picture Capital and distributed by Reliance Entertainment, Plan C Studios, Friday Filmworks & Pen India Limited. 'Aiyaary' means impostor in English. The film features Sidharth Malhotra, Manoj Bajpayee, Rakul Preet Singh, Pooja Chopra, Adil Hussain, Kumud Mishra, Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. It was released on February 16, 2018 to mixed to negative reviews.


  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Cast
  • 3 Development
  • 4 Soundtrack
  • 5 Release
  • 6 Critical Reception
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


Indian Army Chief COAS General Pratap Malik (Vikram Gokhale) authorizes the formation of a covert Secret Operations unit DSD (Data Systems Diagnostics), a classified off the books intelligence Unit, directly under Army Chief's control, capable of going on clandestine missions and operations behind enemy lines. He selects Colonel Abhay Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) to command the unit. Abhay Singh chooses seven Army Officers for this new unit. Maj. Jai Bakshi (Sidharth Malhotra), Lt.Col Anees and Capt. Maya Semwal (Pooja Chopra) are his first recruits. Over the years, Abhay along with his unit conduct several successful high-profile covert operations in various parts of the world.

One day while conducting Telephone surveillance in South Block, New Delhi, Jai overhears a representative of Indian Arms lobby Lt.Gen Gurinder Singh (Retd) (Kumud Mishra), an ex Army officer, attempting to bribe the Army chief, on behalf of a Czech firm, with a USD $2.5 Mn offer. The Army Chief flatly refuses and rebuffs the offer. This angers Gurinder, who in turn, reveals that he is well aware about DSD's existence and its functioning and before leaving, threatens to expose it to the general public. This alarms the Army Chief who immediately contacts the Defence Minister and informs about a foreign Military-Industrial nexus trying to influence the Indian Arms' Market through Gurinder Singh. The Defence Minister however refuses to intervene, leaving the Army Chief to deal with them himself. He however warns the Army Chief about the possible repercussions, should the existence of DSD become a public knowledge.

Meanwhile, Jai, while listening to all this suspects a major scam involving the Indian Army. He conducts several more illegal Telephone Surveillance missions, in addition to those authorized by Abhay Singh, so as to get the full picture. After 2 months of continuous surveillance, Jai goes rogue. He along with his new girl friend Sonia, a cyber-expert (Rakul Preet Singh), escape India and head to London, carrying along with him, a highly sensitive data.

Capt. Maya informs Abhay about Jai going rogue and the theft of highly sensitive data from the DSD Office. Abhay activates his intelligence network and launches a manhunt for Jai. Through his sources Abhay comes to know about Jai's plan of leaving along with Sonia. He raids Jai's house but doesn't find anything worthwhile, even Jai's mother is completely unaware about him going rogue.

All this while, a corrupt Army Officer Brig. K Srinivas, spies on Abhay's movements and keeps reporting them to Gen Gurinder. Abhay however outsmarts Srinivas and successfully manages to escape. DSD meanwhile shift their office to an undisclosed location, abandoning their existing Office.

Lt.Gen Gurinder Singh, seeing his plan of capturing Abhay fail, contacts an influential journalist. He provides her with sensitive information, exposing Army's secrets and asks her to run a smear campaign against the current Army Chief along with giving a good PR to the next Army Chief.

While all this is going on, Gen. Malik personally meets Abhay and informs about the termination of DSD, Foreign involvement in Indian Defence Deals and Lt.Gen Gurinder Singh's involvement with a powerful London based Arms dealer Mukesh Kapoor (Adil Hussain), who's the major culprit behind all this fiasco. General Malik further informs Abhay that once the information about DSD goes public, Abhay will be declared a traitor and thrown out of the Army, along with his team.

Abhay howevers remains unperturbed and promises Gen. Malik, that he will expose the wrongdoings and punish all those involved in the scam so as to protect the integrity of Indian Army. After the meeting, with Srinivas still tracking him, Abhay heads to the DSD office, where he informs his team that they have been disavowed, with Government denying their existence. Abhay and Maya alert all their sources and order them to keep a low profile, so as to avoid detection. While this is going on, Jai calls Abhay and they end up having a war of words, with Jai warning Abhay to leave everything and run and Abhay labelling Jai, a coward and a traitor.

At that very moment, Brig. Srinivas makes his move, but fails to capture the DSD and its members. Abhay flies off to London, in pursuit of Jai, while DSD members stay back in India.

In London, Jai calls and threatens Gurinder in renegotiating a deal, revealing that he has bugged Gurinder's house. The frightened Gurinder reluctantly agrees and transfers the money to Jai's account. Abhay, in the meanwhile, has also reached London. He contacts a London-based immigrant Tariq Bhai (Anupam Kher), who is known to be a middle-man for Intelligence agents. Tariq Bhai and Abhay attempt to locate Jai and Sonia, but fail. However, their activities alert Jai, who orders them to back off, but Abhay refuses and instead vows to hunt him down.

Finally, out of desperation, Abhay contacts Mukesh Kapoor and fixes a meeting with him. At the same time Jai also fixes a meeting with a few MI-6 Officers. Abhay reveals to Mukesh that Jai possesses sensitive incriminating data, which can badly affect his business and therefore asks Mukesh to eliminate Jai. Mukesh, however is suspicious of Abhay but is forced to accept the offer, when Abhay reveals his knowledge of Mukesh's identity as that of an ex Indian Army Colonel and the capture of Gurinder Singh by DSD.

However, Abhay double crosses Mukesh by informing Sonia about the threat to Jai's life and orders her to lure Jai to an undisclosed location. Jai's meeting ends up in an shootout with 2 MI-6 agents getting killed and he himself getting wounded. Jai however makes it to the place, where Abhay and Sonia are waiting for him.

Abhay, on seeing Jai, severely beats him and derides him as a traitor. Jai however justifies his actions and accuses the Indian system of harboring corrupt and eliminating those who raise a voice against corruption. Abhay mocks Jai's justification, by calling it a lame excuse and insults his generation, but Jai counters this by stating that it was the older generation who was responsible for the massive corruption in India. Jai further questions the legacy that the older generation plans to leave for the youth, thus forcing Abhay to agree with him.

Meanwhile, Mukesh, angry at being fooled, takes Tariq Bhai hostage and plans to execute him, but is forced to stop when Jai informs him that he will surrender all the sensitive information regarding Mukesh Kapoor's deals and requests for a personal meeting. Mukesh, realizing that Abhay still has Gurinder Singh, reluctantly agrees. Jai informs Abhay about a major Army housing scam in Mumbai, involving Gurinder Singh and the Defence Minister. He further tells that the only eyewitness to the entire scam, a watchman named Baburao Shastri (Naseeruddin Shah) is being hidden by Jai in a small hotel in Paharganj, Delhi.

Abhay immediately heads back to India and meets Baburao, who confesses to him, about the irregularities in a major Army housing project in Colaba, Mumbai and the involvement of several senior bureaucrats and Army Officers lead by Gurinder Singh. Abhay records Baburao's confessions and gives them to the same influential journalist who earlier had met Gurinder Singh. The journalist is revealed to be Abhay Singh's ex-girlfriend, who tells him that she plans to run Gurinder's story tomorrow. Abhay gives her Baburao's confession and requests her to listen to both the stories and run the story which she finds fit. The journalist listens to both the stories and decides to run Abhay's story, thus deciding to expose the Army's housing scam.

Meanwhile, Brig. Srinivas finally captures all the DSD members and frees a captured Gurinder Singh. But it is of no use as the DSD is absolved of all the crimes and Army's Housing scam gets exposed. Gurinder Singh, overcome with shame and guilt, shoots himself dead.

In the ending scene, Jai pays a final visit to Abhay before vanishing for good and Abhay is shown performing his duties as usual.


  • Sidharth Malhotra as Major Jai Bakshi
  • Manoj Bajpayee as Colonel Abhay Singh
  • Rakul Preet Singh as Sonia Gupta
  • Pooja Chopra as Captain Maya Semwal
  • Adil Hussain as Retd. Colonel Mukesh Kapoor
  • Kumud Mishra as Retd. Lt. General Gurinder Singh
  • Naseeruddin Shah as Baburao Shastri
  • Anupam Kher as Tariq Ali
  • Kali Prasad Mukherjee as Bhima
  • Patrick Clarke as Roger
  • Vikram Gokhale as General Pratap Malik, COAS
  • Rajesh Tailang as Brigadier K. Srinivas
  • Juhi Babbar as wife of Colonel Abhay Singh
  • Nivedita Bhattacharya as News reporter
  • Maan Praveen Sirohi as Lt. Col. Aubin Mathew


The film was announced in May 2017. It was shot in Delhi, London, Kashmir, Cairo, Agra and more. Aiyaary is directed by Neeraj Pandey.


Soundtrack album by Rochak Kohli and Ankit Tiwari
Released 1 February 2018 (2018-02-01)[6]
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 13:12
Language Hindi
Label Zee Music Company
Rochak Kohli chronology
Monsoon Shootout
Ankit Tiwari chronology
Official external media

All lyrics written by Manoj Muntashir.

Track listing
No. Title Music Singer(s) Length
1. "Lae Dooba" Rochak Kohli Sunidhi Chauhan 3:49
2. "Yaad Hai" Ankit Tiwari Palak Muchhal, Ankit Tiwari 5:20
3. "Shuru Kar" Rochak Kohli Amit Mishra, Neha Bhasin, Rochak Kohli 4:03
Total length: 13:12


The film was originally scheduled to be released on 26 January 2018 but this was moved in order to avoid clash with Padmaavat. The film was then scheduled to be released worldwide on 9 February 2018[7] but was later postponed to 16 February 2018.[8]

Critical Reception[edit]

Alaka Sahani of Indian Express gave the film a rating of 1 stars out of 5 and said that "Even though the movie puts together an unimpressive ensemble cast comprising some of our worst actors, it does not takes a lot of time to establish their characters. A veteran in Neeraj Pandey movies, Manoj Bajpayee carries the film on his shoulders.[9] Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV criticized the film saying that, "Aiyaary, comatose and convoluted, is like a patient who's been wheeled in on a stretcher and declared dead on arrival. It never manages to get up on its feet and break into a saunter, let alone a sprint." and gave the film a rating of 0.5 stars out of 5.[10] Rohit Vats of Hindustan Times gave the film a rating of 0 star out of 5 and said that, "Aiyaary is sketchily-written and not compelling. It tests patience even if you are a fan of the genre."[11]

Shrishti Negi of News 18 gave the film a rating of 0.5 stars out of 5 and said that, "Unlike Pandey’s other films, there is a nonsense of flatness in Aiyaary. Apart from a few scenes, the movie seems to be randomly constructed and fails to evoke any thrill."[12] Bollywood Hungama gave the film a rating of 0 stars out of 5 and said that, "On the whole, AIYAARY misses the mark and is a huge letdown on the account of its flawed script and the lengthy run time. At the box office, it will be a very very disappointing fare."[8]