ATRANGI RE REVIEW : A UNIQUE CONCEPT THAT TAKES YOU ON A FUNNILY WEIRD PATH
Hiren Kotwani, TNN, Updated: Dec 24, 2021, 01.15 AM ISTCritic’s Rating: 3.5/5Story: Rinku Sooryavanshi (Sara Ali Khan) is married off to V Venkatesh Vishwanath Iyer aka Vishu (Dhanush), a senior medical student from Tamil Nadu, at the behest of her Naani (Seema Biswas). However, she’s in madly in love, rather obsessed, with Sajjad Ali Khan (Akshay Kumar), a magician. How this story between this odd triangle unfolds gradually, taking unexpected turns along the way.
Review: The film takes off on a quick start with Rinku on the run, being chased by a few men. But she’s far from a damsel, this distress, she’s feisty, bold and strong-headed girl is someone who doesn’t give up too easily.
While Rinku’s dictatorial grandmother and uncles demand to know the name of the guy she’s been planning to elope with for years, she’s not willing to reveal his name just yet. Enraged by her insolence, the naani instructs her uncles to pick up (read ‘abduct’) any unknown guy from outside their town and get Rinku married off to him right away, so that she ceases to be a burden to the family.
Vishu is soon to be engaged to his girlfriend Mandy aka Mandakini (Dimple Hayathi), also the daughter of his college dean. But as it turns out, he finds himself forcefully married to Rinku instead. Sara and Dhanush share an interesting chemistry that despite not being all out there, yet livens up the screen.
Director Aanand L Rai and his writer Himanshu Sharma (story, screenplay and dialogues) have yet again come up with a novel story revolving around protagonists who are poles apart and unlikely to meet in real-life or normal circumstances. Rai strays off the beaten path and creates a new, hitherto unattempted and unexplored conflict in a love story. At the same time, he also beautifully brings alive the flavours of the locations the story moves to, while also giving each one a distinct appeal. The first half is a breeze, and even though there’s an inkling of what might unfold in the first half, through Vishnu’s friend Madhsudhan, (Ashish Verma), a lot is lost in translation in the second half. As a result, the narrative gets repetitive and a tad tedious in the latter half, making you wonder where it is all headed.
The concept at hand is unique and complex, and one that is not easy to translate cinematically without challenges, and that’s where the storytelling falters. But the good part is, that in most situations, the effort has been to keep the thread of humour intact. The film also addresses the mental health issue without deep diving into it too much.
Himanshu’s writing could definitely have been stronger, crisper and more effective. Thankfully, the songs aren’t jarring or interrupting in the narrative and take the story ahead. And of course, Rai makes up for it with an interesting twist in the end that touches you, like most of his stories.
Dhanush delivers a versatile performance and effectively conveys the many emotions his character Vishu goes through at different points in the film. Whether he’s expressing shock and anger at being abducted or admitting his love for Rinku, or the helplessness he shows when he feels he’ll lose her to another man, the actor is in brilliant form all throughout.
Sara Ali Khan puts her heart into his role as Rinku, and delivers her performance with spunk and tremendous conviction. At some points in the film, specifically some emotional scenes, a certain degree of restraint would have enhanced her performance.
As the magician Sajjad, Akshay Kumar gets a limited scope, though his character is integral to the story. He features in one of the highlight scenes of the film, where he delivers a daredevil act as a ‘man on fire’, literally.
Ashish Verma as Vishnu’s friend Madhusudhan, lends great support and steadily brings in a good dose of comedy.
Nitin Zihani Choudhary’s production design gives a rich and vibrant look to the film, which starts in Sivan, Bihar and moves to Delhi and Chennai during the course of the story. Cinematographer Pankaj Kumar has done a fine job of capturing the character of the various cities distinctly, adding to the look of the movie.
AR Rahman once again reaffirms his status quo as a composer unparalleled in the entertainment industry today. While his background score adds to the drama, his folk-classical-based soundtrack strikes a chord and even has you tapping your feet to the music. Credit also goes to Irshad Kamil for his versatile lyrics, be it fun numbers like Chaka Chak, Tera Rang and Little Little, the soulful Tumhe Mohabbat Hai and Rait Zara Si, or the upbeat Garda, making it a fantastic album one can listen to all day.
While there are parts of the movie that will leave you baffled and curious for more details, it’s not to say that the film doesn’t entirely entertain. Here’s a unique story at hand, an interesting team of actors, a refreshing soundtrack and some fine performances. If you’re keen to watch a hatke musical love story, this could be your pick of the week.