Cast: Abhay Deol, Soha Ali Khan, Shayan Munshi
Direction: Shivam Nair
Rating: ** & 1/2
Every now and then, Bollywood churns out these surprise packets. With an Abhay Deol-Soha Ali Khan star cast, Ahista Ahista isn’t exactly the most hyped re lease of the season - it wasn’t meant to be. You can’t be blamed if you went into the audi expecting nothing but mush rehash.
That’s where Ahista Ahista surprises you. This isn’t pathbreaking cinema in the romantic genre. It’s just a simple little packet that unfolds a nice tale of love, narrated without the pulp hiccups of over-the-top romance or loud masala melodrama.
Debutant director Shivam Nair’s film is set in Delhi. Abhay Deol is Ankush, a sort of ‘fixer’ at the Daryaganj marriage court, who arranges everything from marriage forms to witnesses to the shaadi photo-op for newly-wedded couples, all for a fee of course.
Ankush meets Megha (Soha) at the court one day, on the run from hometown Nainital and in Delhi to marry her boyfriend Dheeraj (Shayan Munshi), also from the same town. Dheeraj never arrives, and Ankush’s friendship with Megha grows, as — on realising she has run away from home and is alone — he helps her find a job and lodging in Delhi.
The twist comes as expected: Dheeraj arrives in Delhi after a while, after Ankush has fallen in love with Megha actually.
Where Ahista Ahista departs, is in the way Nair exe cutes his climax. It is a far cry from the ghisa pita triangle tangle you’d expect. And strangely, despite its boy-meets-girl theme, the narrative somehow grows on you. As the camera caresses the Capital’s winter, Delhi looks enchanting.
Two film-old Abhay Deol proves he has already moved beyond the two-and-half expression Deol clan jinx. If Abhay is a natural as the extrovert Ankush, Soha Ali Khan is perfect as the soft foil. Say, she’s resembling mom Sharmila increasingly these days.