‘ATRANGI RE’ IS A WEIRD AND WHACKY STORY, ALL FOR GOOD

Rating: 4/5
Mind-blowing is the word for Director Aanand L Rai’s film that has brilliance written all over it, majorly for its writing

Those questioning the casting of Akshay Kumar opposite Sara Ali Khan, Rai has slapped them all subtly. The three leads are perfect fits for the film. For the first 50mins, Atrangi Re will come across as a simple love triangle, which mind you is always very much enjoyable. But just then, you will have a twist- something that will shake your ground and you’ll be blown at the genius of the writer Himanshu Sharma for coming up with a story of such nature and treating it with this way. The film is whacky in all the pure essence of the word, but equally sensible and mature.

Watch the trailer here:

PLOT

In a small town of Bihar, Rinku (Sara Ali Khan) loves a person for many years now, later to be revealed as Sajjad (Akshay Kumar). She elopes with him every time her strict grandmother (Seema Biswas) wants to control her. Enters Vishu (Dhanush), a medical student from Delhi on a project, who is kidnapped and forcibly married to Rinku. What happens next is very unlikely of a love triangle.

STORY/SCREENPLAY/GENERAL

The story, screenplay and dialogues are all penned by Himanshu Sharma. It’s indeed a one man show, and more than anything else that works for this one, it is impeccable writing by Sharma. The nuanced story topped interesting screenplay grows over you as the film progresses. The characters or the situations or how conflicts are dealt with by the characters, is so organic yet fresh and novel that you just can’t get over with it. It’s sheer genius firstly to think of a story of this manner and then to deal it with maturity and humour, ticking all the boxes of the genre as well. It is a romantic drama laced with an issue at hand. It is important to observe how that issue is tackled by Sharma in disguise of the protagonist.

Talking about things other than writing, almost everything falls into place with cinematography at its powerful best. Right from the word ‘go’, you are gripped into the film and hooked onto the situations. The conflict comes early on making the drama all the way more palatable. You start guessing on how things can take shape or what the direction will the story take its form in. A simple story with an amateur team would have travelled the conventional route and things would have gotten boring. What makes this film special is the depiction of social issue and more importantly, the handling of the subject.

atrangi re, disney+hotstar, film, review, hindi, 2021
On sets of the film (image source: instagram)

The film belongs to Sara then Dhanush and then Akshay Kumar, rightly in the order of their prominence. The characters are also sketched in a manner that you like all of them and you are ready to accept them with their eccentricities and vulnerabilities. There are times when you question Rinku or Vishu’s behaviour in certain situations, but that’s the fun part of it. Sharma opens layers as and when the appropriate time comes. The good part of the screenplay remains that it doesn’t give out things in open right from the beginning, but also makes sure to engage you so that you don’t drift apart by the time the real catch appears.

The film also never drags and there is also a progression to the graph of the narrative. One thing leads to another and sufficient time (cinematic time, and not runtime) has been given to each situations to cook and take shape on their own. The issue at hand is also made to progress in a satisfactory pace wherein the drama focuses on how to bring a solution to it. Sharma has made sure that the tricks and ways employed to solve the conflict are all genuine and also an eye-opener of sorts. It also imparts lesson on how one can deal with a similar situation in real life. Having said that, it never means to preach.

The film could include however more characters and a little more importance to the back story for the purpose of more emotional immersion of the audience.

PERFORMANCE

Sara Ali Khan comes across as a boss lady commanding the space she is in. She is present in almost every scene and rules them. You love her in this role, move ahead with her, and also wish to pat her head with affection. It is indeed a challenging role but she passes the examination with flying colours.

You wish Dhanush had a more easy Hindi accent so that he could do more Hindi films. Dhanush, a legend in his own, charms you in every scene of his. He never goes wrong. Evidently, when he mouths dialogues in Tamil, he is unstoppable. But even during the major part when he speaks Hindi, you embrace him like your own. It is because of his earnestness as an actor that this role (written with utmost maturity by Sharma) is likeable. This is also a challenging one, but Dhanush is already a winner, in almost every territory he’s stepped on.

atrangi re, disney+hotstar, review, hindi, film, 2021
Scenes from the film (image source: youtube.com)

Akshay Kumar, has a small but a very meaningful role. In the role of a magician, he carries himself with elan. This is a role different from what he is used to doing in the recent past, and it’s great of him to join the film in a role that has so much depth.

Seema Biswas has a small role and she does fine. The makers could have had more of her for a parallel track but nevertheless.

Ashish Verma is simply outstanding. You can’t imagine the film without him. If Dhanush and Sara are base for the dish, Ashish is no less than salt. He brings in so much meaning to the film that you as audience become him. He is your personification directly. The ease with which he performs his role, he deserves all the admiration.

OTHER TECHNICALITIES

Music and score by the veteran and legend A R Rahman does wonder for the film. You listen to the songs of the film separately- chances are that you may or may not like them. But during the film, they act as inseparables. The songs are woven intricately into the screenplay. The score too is optimum- not too less, not too much. It is also because of this nature of sound that you feel the film with its sensibilities right.

When you have the genius Pankaj Kumar behind the camera, you expect magic. And he delivers right on promise everytime. Every frame here is a justified splash of colours. You understand cinema and you will then understand the meaning of various lights and colours used within one frame. The visual appeal is so exquisite that you can watch the film on mute once only to appreciate its cinematography. He has made mundane things look so exotic that you can keep watching the scenes endlessly. Wish the film was released in theatres, and the climax would have given you goosebumps. Production design by Nitin Zihani Choudhary is also something that you can keep discussing at length. Pay attention to the details in elements used all across cities and you’ll be mesmerised. Working perfectly well in sync with the camera, the sets are a treat to watch. The film has absolutely no flaw when it  comes to its visual richness.

Editing by Hemal Kothari also catches your attention. Right after the big twist arrives, the film from that point is also this engaging because of how it has been edited. Not too much time has been spent on one thing and things move ahead in a pretty decent manner. The time of the film and the time in the story have to be thought of together because that is a notion that is fulfilled through editing.

It’s an extraordinary film with masters of the craft at work. Almost everything in the film is bang on. It is an enjoyable feat with all the elements right on track. It’s a must watch film. Wish it was out in theatres for a better visual comprehension.

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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