[box type=”info” size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]This review contains spoilers. Spoilers spoil the film sometimes.[/box]
Director: Anand L. Rai
Cast: Sonam Kapoor, Dhanush, Abhay Deol
Director Anand Rai’s Raanjhanaa is basically a story about Kundan (Dhanush) getting friend zoned by his childhood love interest, Zoya (Sonam Kapoor) who refuses to hitch up with Kundan no matter what he does – and Kundan apparently is willing to do a lot, including, but not limited to slashing his wrist multiple times and attempting to kill himself, stalking her creepily for years, threatening to kill her, messing up her marriage – all while working as a general handyman for Zoya’s father. All of this is happening in Benaras, by the way. Meanwhile, her father finds out about a Hindu boy being involved, and sends her away to Aligarh, from where she then goes on to Delhi to study. So there comes in a Hindu- Muslim angle to it as well, and in the middle of a truly moronic film you are made to wonder whether the introduction of the religions will add any social significance to the film or not. Alas, it doesn’t!
However, our man Kundan refuses to give up. He is waiting for Zoya when she gets back more than seven years later. After screwing up Zoya’s marriage to a youth political leader who she had fallen in love with in college (played by Abhay Deol) and after his actions lead to the leader’s death, he creepily stalks Zoya to Delhi, where she has taken over her fiance’s political party. Kundan begins to serve tea to the party members, and gradually builds up a good rapport with them. Soon, after a sequence of ridiculous events, he has become the party’s new face. Zoya conspires against him with the help of the Chief Minister of Delhi and gets him shot so that she can have her place back at the top of the party. While most people might face some amount of stage fright while standing in front of a microphone, Zoya feels overtly sentimental and her conscience kicks in. Hence, at a press conference, she confesses to being involved in Kundan getting shot and points out the CM’s involvement as well. Meanwhile, Kundan dies in a hospital, finally ending the painfully ridiculous story that the audience is subjected to.
So there is love, or the lack of it rather (from Zoya’s POV). There is badly portrayed politics. There are religious bigots on screen. And at one point of time, there is Sonam Kapoor on screen playing a 14 year old. A really huge 14 year old.
However, the movie had a few positives as well. Dhanush acts well in his first Hindi feature. His character is endearing at times, but too emo to tolerate in the long run. Sonam Kapoor manages to look really good, on the other hand. She tries acting as well. She needs to try harder. The supporting cast has put in some really fine performances. Swara Bhaskar and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub deserve a special mention for their exquisite performances which made the movie watchable. Also, the razor does a good job of looking serious every time Dhanush slashes his wrists with it. The movie had a few well shot sequences, which tried to capture the spirit of Benaras.
There isn’t much to talk about the cinematography and the editing of the film, both are pretty good, in fact, miles ahead of the script though that’s not much of a standard to go by.
A. R. Rahman is definitely not at his best, and though the music isn’t bad per se, it falls short of what the Rahman fan would be expecting.
If logic and rationale is what you are looking for in a movie, I’d suggest that you stay away from Raanjhanaa. But in case, you fall in the category of people who enjoy meaningless sentimentality and/or you want to ogle at Sonam Kapoor on the big screen (sorry girls, there isn’t a lead hero to ogle at), then by all means, grab a Coke and head for the theatres.