Atrangi Re review: Aanand L Rai takes yet another risk, but the Sara, Dhanush and Akshay starrer is worth it
It was close to 3 years back that Aanand L Rai took a risk and gambled with the idea of Zero. The fact that Shah Rukh Khan would appear in the character of a vertically challenged man had already given the audiences something to look forward to. However, this risk did not pay off. Now, three years later, the man was back with another idea, another risk. We are talking about Sara Ali Khan, Dhanush and Akshay Kumar starrer Atrangi Re. Like his other films, this one too had made the audience curious- especially with the casting. But this gamble seems to have paid off.
From the trailer, we had gotten the idea that the film would have a forceful marriage- between that of Sara's character Rinku and Dhanush's Vishu. Their lives change, and suddenly they find new friends in each other. There are also their respective partners, unaware of this development. And then there's the age-old question- what's exactly Akshay Kumar's character is about? Is he Rinku's magician boyfriend or a figment of her imagination? Well, the answer is something that you wouldn't really expect and something that will take you by surprise, by all means! Will this film have a love triangle? You'll find out after watching the film. Beyond that, this review will have spoilers and well, I wouldn't want to destroy your movie experience at any rate!
The film banks heavily on the performances of the cast- Sara Ali Khan and Dhanush especially. Dhanush is a seamless performer and steps into the shoes of the medical student- Vishu Babu with ease. He has some difficult scenes written for him, and he performs with ease. He is a delight to watch and is the one who will take you along in the roller coaster of emotions that you'll find in the film. Dhanush is a star, a talent that needs to be tapped in the Hindi film industry as well and he has once again proved that.
After Love Aaj Kal's failure, there was a lot for Sara riding on this film. She had her craft to prove and mouths to shut. In fact, criticism of her performance had begun to come even before the film was released with people feeling that she might have 'overacted' in the film. With Atrangi Re, Sara proves that she is here to stay and that she is not afraid of taking on a challenge head-on. Here she plays Rinku Sooryavanshi, a girl from a village in Bihar with a traumatic past, and relatives who want to marry her off. She suffers a lot of PTSD and shows a variety of emotions. She plays a character who is feisty, fights for herself, fun-loving, but also in conflict with her own self. She is on a journey to come to terms with herself and the film required her to put her all. She does so with honesty and earnestness. She internalises Rinku. While she is brilliant in the film, there are some scenes where it looks that she is putting in a lot of effort. This gets especially highlighted because of the ease with which Dhanush carries himself. But, she is a revelation in the film.
Akshay Kumar indeed has an extended cameo, but his role is so so important. He doesn't have to put much effort into playing the character and does so with his ease and charm. The supporting cast is just as brilliant and Ashish Verma definitely deserves a special mention. I mean, watch out for the hospital scene in the first half, where he has to get goat's milk!
Quite a few things work in the favour of the film- the writing by Himanshu Sharma, A. R Rahman's music, Irshad Kamil's lyrics and Pankaj Kumar's cinematography. Also, it was such a great thing to see the use of Tamil dialgoues when the Tamilians are speaking amongst themselves, instead of breaking into Hindi! Director Aanand L. Rai binds everything together so well, not getting into subplots or diverting the attention of the audience. However, what was missing in Atrangi Re was Sara and Dhanush's chemistry. They needed to have firecracker-like chemistry but all throughout, it felt bland. It was a major down point- something the actors could not create despite giving their all. Another con was the editing. At 2 hours and 18 mons, it felt a bit too long and few, only a few scenes looked stretched.
All in all, this is a film that definitely deserves your watch. In fact, looks like Christmas brought in relief for film lovers- with brilliant titles like this one, '83 and Minnal Murali. Trust us, entertainment for the weekend is sorted. And if you missed Aanand L Rai after Zero, we need not tell you how unmissable this one would be. Just go for it.