Anjaana Anjaani – Review
Posted by Editor on October 3, 2010 | No Comments
Film – Anjaana Anjaani
Producer – Sajid Nadiadwala
Director – Sidhaarth Anand
Writer – Sidhaarth Anand
Actors – Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Zayed Khan
Music – Vishal-Shekhar
Its popcorn and coke entertainment time with Ranbir Kapoor-Priyanka Chopra starrer Anjaana Anjaani this week. It is not a film really to be taken seriously, but as it unwinds it gives you a platter full of re-fried onion bhajji and some poutine. The percentage? Well, there are moments but sewn together with recipes so old that the papyrus itself, on which they were written, is worn long ago. But all said, it has a certain sensibility, however limited that defines our new generation cinema and whatever sense remains of it.
Set in NRI la la land (that we somehow thought we had seen the end of), Anjaana Anjaani surprisingly makes you smile and it’s not only because of the endearing Ranbir Kapoor. A re-take of The Bucket List, AA goes the usual girl-boy-n-the-opposite-sides-of-the-spectrum-strung-together-by-a-crisis-situation romance way. Eye-candy casting, costumes and art direction go a long way in dressing up this snack and making the meal somewhat interesting.
Do I sound exceedingly uninterested? Many apologies but that is definitely not so.
Let’s make it simple. The film is a bucket list so let’s do a list on it as well. Let’s go with five things that go for it and five that don’t.
That go for it – Ranbir Kapoor. In full caps, bold, underlined and italicised too, if you wish. With his versatility he has elevated duds like Bachna-e –Haseeno, infused energy into a laidback Wake up Sid and character into a rocking-boat Rocket Singh. Another actor in his place would have killed the film with due respect. And there is no better contender for the title of ‘Real men cry’.
Costumes – In true Bollywood tradition, they look extremely good and sexy at all times irrespective of any other considerations. Which works, of course in keeping that fourth wall up. No one gone to watch AA was looking for realism anyways. Not even me.
Art – Sharmishta Roy is the queen of candy-floss flick art direction for a reason. That is because she is not just opulence and colour, but character as well. We see that characteristic touch of imagination as well as the flavour of the film in her art direction.
Moments – AA wins for some interesting plot-points that are not watered down outcomes of lazy writing. For instance, (spoiler alert!) the gay bar fiasco, the run-up to the climax etc.
What goes against it – Priyanka Chopra. Maybe it is prejudice or just simply bad direction but a more natural actress (or acting) would’ve made the mixture just right…(And why do our actresses and directors don’t realise that ‘chirpy’ and ‘full-of life’ does not mean screech and giggle alone?) But to be frank, apart from that her performance may be called quite heartfelt.
Formula – All romance is formula. It’s the packaging that makes it what it does. AA is packaged well but retains that dusty old spirit of Bollywood that wears this designer label of urbane sensibility as high fashion. Attraction points, what people do when in love, the first moment of inner stirring, connection and other sundry done-to-death details.
Music – Utter balderdash. Every song sounds like the other and very funnily is picturised in the same exact way as well. For a romantic film this is an absolute absolute suicide, isn’t it?
The gyaan – Like the formulaic story and character development was not enough, the ‘sub-text’ had to be insistent inspirational quotes like ‘Live your today like it was your last’ and so on make the experience petrifying if not squirmy.
Well, there are tertiary characters, Zayed Khan and we could go on. The film has energy and colour, and the lead pair is striking to say the least. But more importantly, it has a certain ‘real’ urban sensibility that Sidhaarth Anand, the director exhibited in ‘Salaam Namaste’ which finds shadows here as well. It is somewhat lost in the overweaning commercial necessities but if developed has the potential of giving a distinct identity to the floundering ‘new-age’ young Bollywood.