Director: Anand L. Rai
What’s Good: A charming first half, Abhay Deol’s heartmelting dimples and the prevailing innocence in the story’s milieu will have you absorbed.
What’s Bad: Yet again, the second half goes absolutely haywire and butchers the high the film’s first half attains.
Loo break: Not Too Many
Watch or Not?: Anand Rai’s Raanjhanaa which unspools against the backdrop of Benaras is an unflashy desi love story. An adroit first half with a drooping second segment, the film’s absurdity quotient becomes unbearable by the climax. Just for the compelling performance of Abhay Deol and the bizarreness in Dhanush, the film is worth a shot! It is affable and gives some intoxicating humor, but lowers its own hilt due to the screenplay’s discrepancies.
Set in Benaras, a gully ka launda falls in love with a Muslim girl. Followed by the most uncanny ways of wooing her, the two part ways after the girl’s family discovers about them and send her off to Aligarh.
While she moves on and builds a new life, falls in love again, the launda is still madly in love with her. Where does this tale of unrequited love head for?
Raanjhanaa Review: Script Analysis
I could point out too many loopholes in the narrative. But before I begin, there’s the most important part – a tad bit tauter execution could have done wonders to the film! The slashing wrists business was an ultimate spoiler for me! Slapping for fun and ‘consistent stalking’ being a quintessential element for dating was plain illogical. The second part of the film almost drowned under the undue weight of its slimly researched political aspect of the plot. However, there were too many genuinely funny bits that will invariably crack you up! The analysis of ‘Bhai Tum Chor kaise Bane’ had me rolling. The film’s vision was unquestionably refreshing, but with the screenplay becoming increasingly jerky post interval shows the lack of smoothness in director’s translation of the script! I genuinely felt that I had slept off and woke up to find the story not making sense anymore, like it wasn’t even the same film at all.
Raanjhanaa Review: Star Performances
Dhanush has in him the Superstar persona. He performs with clever and quenching mirth. With unmatched energy, the man does stand out solidly. Though his diction fails, the innocence in his work and the naivety he gets in Kunder is laudable.
Sonam Kapoor is pretty but renders no marrow to her role, leaving it insipid and hollow! Her flat expressions in the film’s most climatic moments do some crucial and irreparable damage!
Abhay Deol in his few minutes managed to do the most impressive job. His tantalizing dimples are indeed magical and as an actor he is indeed fascinating!
Swara Bhaskar and Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub are mesmeric in the supporting roles and often exhaust Sonam and Dhanush’s act.
Naman Jain is unsurprisingly fulfilling in his few scenes, worthy of being mentioned.
Raanjhanaa Review: Direction, Music & Technical Aspects
Handling a fractured script, Anand Rai has his focus misplaced. A clear lack of believable novelty in the film post-interval, the narrative ends up being unnecessarily complicated and unjustified. The salvage point is in the antics that surface up enough in the film’s first half. Himanshu Sharma and Rai both fail to underline the layers of their characters. The zing wears itself out in its run time and it’s a shame that a film that is subtle and innocuous in its first half drags through its second! A.R Rahman’s effervescent music is flavorsome and comes across as the film’s most fascinating bit. The screenplay lacking a thumping quality makes the film end on a rather unsettling and dissatisfactory note.
Raanjhanaa Review: The Last Word
Painted on a novel idea of unrequited love, packing it with a kinetic first half, the film’s buoyancy transforms into brittle in its second half. With a few mercurial performances from its supporting cast mostly Abhay Deol, it is the clumsy and lackadaisical show in the second half that makes the film plain facile. Had the film maintained its force, it could easily have been more spirited. However a sluggish screenplay and lurching script makes Raanjhanaa a half baked effort and hence gets a 2.5/5 from me. It is exasperating to see how directors lack the perseverance to hold steady a film’s entertainment value till the end.
Raanjhanaa released on 21th June, 2013.
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