Atrangi Re movie review: Sara Ali Khan, Dhanush are soul of a unique love story, Akshay Kumar adds the Midas touch
Atrangi Re movie review: Starring Sara Ali Khan, Dhanush and Akshay Kumar in lead roles, Atrangi Re boasts of a casting coup which can just not go wrong.
Atrangi Re lives up to its title. Directed by Aanand L Rai, it's refreshingly different, unique love story that so beautifully breaks through the clutter. It's not remotely close to how we have visualised or seen romances on screen over the years. The film delves deep into relations we hold onto, emotions that are left behind, the denial we often live in and the acceptance that follows after a lot of pain. The story subtly touches upon the issue of mental health as well but at no points gets preachy. Starring Sara Ali Khan, Dhanush and Akshay Kumar in lead roles, Atrangi Re boasts of a casting coup which just cannot go wrong. Though with energetic stars like Sara and Akshay, you think the story might go a bit over-the-top, but the director maintains a balance so brilliantly that none of his characters overshadow each other. Each one of them — even the supporting actors including Vishu's best friend (Ashish Verma) and Rinku's grandmother (Seema Biswas) — stand out in their parts. Akshay the superstar, allows Sara to take the forefront, while Dhanush complements her energy.
The story revolves around Rinku Sooryavanshi (Sara) and Vishu (Dhanush) being married to each other forcefully. On their way to Vishu's hometown, they come to an understanding that they'd follow their own paths because they're not meant to be together--and also because Vishu is getting engaged in two days. Now enters Sajjad Ali (Akshay Kumar) who Rinku is in love with. How Rinku deals with the dilemma of being in love with Sajjad and also having feelings for Vishu at the same time is what Aanand L Rai tells us through this film, but in a rather unconventional way.
The screenplay of Atrangi Re is perhaps one of its USPs after the music. Himanshu Sharma's writing takes you to a different world where love has a different meaning. The scenes have been stitched in a manner that they make you cry and smile at the same time. Atrangi Re is free from any cliches of Bollywood films. It doesn't stick to the tried-and-tested formula that we usually see in love stories. It is not your usual boy meets girl kind of a story. Neither is it about a couple who got married off forcefully, deciding to give their relationship a chance. It's way beyond what you and I could think of.
In the climax, you actually realise that the film deserved much more attention than what you would have given until that point. The story unfolds at quite a smooth pace without any needless subplots. Though honestly, I would have wanted to know a bit more of Vishu's background, his parents and fiance. That, I feel, would have allowed us to relate to his character better as we do with Rinku's.
In the end credits of Atrangi Re, Sara Ali Khan features at the top of the cast members, followed by Dhanush and then Akshay Kumar. This pretty much sums up how Sara is the soul of this film and holds her ground throughout. As Rinku, a small town girl, she's crazy, feisty, thick-skinned and quite the rebel, yet emotionally attached to her parents. This is Sara's fifth release, and you'd be mighty impressed to witness her range as an actor. The Bihari dialect that she’s picked in the film is on point and she never lets it go off track. Her performance in the song Chaka Chak is definitely her best so far. And not to mention her performance in the final act, which just pierces through your heart.
Playing the calm to Rinku's storm is Vishu, a doctor. Dhanush looks confident in his part and since his Bollywood debut with Raanjhanaa eight years ago, he has quite fitted into the Bollywood scheme of things. Assign him some dance steps, add quirk to his character or give him some funny antics to pull off, and he aces it. However, Sara and Dhanush together as an onscreen couple don't really trigger any sparks with their chemistry. It's quite bland to say the least. Then there's a dialogue in the film when Dhanush is talking and Sara says “Gaali mat do (don’t swear)” to which he replies, “Tamil mein bol raha hu (I’m speaking Tamil)”. Well, it's time Bollywood gets over with this obsession of including stereotypical humour in a bid to add a comic punch.
Akshay, who’s a magician in the film, brings the Midas touch to the story, playing a pivotal role. Call it an extended cameo or whatever, he doesn't let it affect his performance onscreen. Atrangi Re is Aanand and Akshay's first-ever collaboration and it definitely has upped the expectations for their upcoming projects — Raksha Bandhan and Gorkha.
Last but not the least, Atrangi Re's music is just pure gold and all credit goes to AR Rahman’s compositions and background score, and Irshad Kamil's lyrics. Each song sets a different mood, the essence of which you want to take back home. From Dhanush's Love Me Little Little and Akshay's Garda Udda Diya to the soulful tracks, Atrangi Re brings back the magic of musical love stories. Watch it on Disney+ Hotstar from December 24.
Movie: Atrangi Re
Direction: Aanand L Rai
Cast: Sara Ali Khan, Dhanush, Akshay Kumar