What’s Good: It’s a twisted love triangle with its edge so sharp that it busts all the perceptions of “What romance should be?” & the urge of finding someone as hopeless as romantic as Dhanush
What’s Bad: It makes you cry but fails to make toh laugh apart from a couple of funny sequences
Loo Break: Definitely, not during the songs!
Watch or Not?: This will test your patience at times but trust me, it’s all for the better!
Available On: Disney+ Hotstar
Runtime: 138 minutes
Rinku Sooryavanshi (Sara Ali Khan) has a penchant for running away from her home in Siwan, Bihar. Vishu (Dhanush), is a Tamilian who is pursuing his doctorate in medicine in Delhi. He gets kidnapped by her relatives when he comes to Bihar on a medical camp and both are drugged and married thereafter. The snag is that Vishu is all set to be married to Mandy (Dimple Hayathi) soon. And Rinku is in love with a magician called Sajjad Ali Khan (Akshay Kumar). They come to an understanding that she’ll accompany Vishu to his engagement in Tamil Nadu, and they’ll part ways when Sajjad comes back from Africa. But due to circumstances, things don’t go well as planned. Mandy breaks off the engagement after learning of the truth, Vishu develops feelings for Rinku, who in turn finds herself to be in love with both Vishu and Sajjad. How the dilemma gets sorted forms the crux of the story…
While the casting of Akshay Kumar, Sara Ali Khan and Dhanush was celebrated as a coup by some, others questioned it saying there’s too much age difference between Sara and Akshay. After watching the film his casting looks spot on. Because it’s the glue of chemistry between Dhanush and Sara, between Akshay and Sara and between all three actors that holds the film firmly together. Aanand L Rai has a yen for telling complex love stories. His Tanu Weds Manu: Returns for instance, tackled the delicate issue of a man falling for a lookalike of his wife while still married, Raanjhanaa dealt with a man’s obsession with a girl he’s been in love with since his childhood and here, he weaves out a story around a girl dealing with emotional trauma and how love helps her deal with it.
There are no quick fixes in the film. The couple doesn’t immediately get attracted to each other after getting forcefully married. The emotional tug they feel about each other develops over time. The film weaves together a set of episodes, which combine to bring them closer. How Rinku and Vishu deal with the elephant in the room, or the man on top of the elephant – Sajjad Ali, is handled creatively as well. There’s much drama but everything is brushed with a comic touch. You laugh at the tragi-comic sequences and wait eagerly for the next twist in the plot. The film is rather Chaplinesque in its proceedings, which take place at their own pace. But you don’t feel bored even once despite that. It helps that composer AR Rahman is in fine fettle here. Romantic films need good music and tracks like Chaka chak and Little little are earworms indeed. And the poetic Rait zara si provides the icing on the cake. Kudos to Irshad Kamil as well for writing evocative lyrics. Rai knows how to picturise a song well and all are imaginatively put together.
The implausible storyline would have fallen flat in the hands of lesser actors. But like we said earlier, Rai knew what he was doing when he chose this particular cast. Akshay Kumar has never done this sort of a role before. He gets to explore his sensitive side while still playing his strong suit – that of an over-the-top heroic character. The role suits him to a T and one can see that he has enjoyed playing this unusual character. Sara Ali Khan’s stars had dwindled after the debacle of Love Aaj Kal but here, she has once again shown why she”s much admired for her natural ease in front of the camera. Rai’s direction has boosted her confidence. She comes up trumps on all counts – whether as a feisty girl who wants to run away with her lover, as the bride having mixed feelings about her marriage or as the woman finally owning up to the realities of life. Dhanush has teamed up with Rai after eight years, who has again extracted a well-rounded performance from him. The South superstar has the ability to underplay his characters and knows how to use his silence and his body language and has done so here effectively. You want to know more about Vishu and wonder why he doesn’t have a backstory. You want to applaud Vishu’s resilience while dealing with the difficult situation he’s been in. His pain, as well as his love are achingly real.
Atrangi re full movie review Akshay Kumar
Atrangi Re Movie Review: Direction, Music
Aanand L Rai takes the most simple route to reach an extremely complicated destination as far as the storytelling is concerned. He makes sure to keep the intrigue alive most of the time building things on the go while moving towards the finish point. He always tries to keep a proper balance between humour & comedy but this one remains to be his most unique attempt at narrating a story.
Rai creates history by ending the movie with “A film by AR Rahman” and thankfully so because the songs bring everything together. Rait Zara Si & Tumhein Mohabat Hai will be on my playlist forever. Following Rahman’s style, the songs aren’t mere melodies but act as extended dialogues to the narrative.
Atrangi Re Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Atrangi Re is way way more than being your routine love triangle. A very welcoming change for Bollywood to learn how you can tell an age-old story in so many different ways.
Atrangi Re Movie Review: Script Analysis
Think of a love triangle, now imagine all the permutations-combinations you can think of and what could happen in the lives of those three people to get till a result, Himanshu Sharma’s story of Atrangi Re won’t fit even in a single aspect of whatever you just predicted. The script majorly highlights PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) backed by a tormenting misery of a certain character in the film. It falls in the ‘so complicated yet so simple’ category of stories as the twist, which might get monotonous & unconvincing for a few as the film progresses, won’t let anyone leave the cinema hall with a half-hearted viewpoint.
The brilliance of Sharma’s script is that it doesn’t rely much on ‘the twist’ as it keeps building to one soul-fatiguing climax just before it makes you smile before leaving. The entire film is just a rush of emotions ranging from “oh, f*ck that’s so heartbreaking” to “what is even happening on-screen?” and trust me Sharma & Aanand L Rai manage to put all the pieces back together to wrap up this intricating piece of art.
Atrangi re full movie review Akshay Kumar
Does it ever fall short? Yes! Where? Comedy! Given the track record of what extent Rai & Sharma (Tanu Weds Manu & Returns, first half of Zero) could go to tickle your funny bone, this is nowhere near it. I also get how much the story is supposed to rely upon has to rely on drama, but there was an incredible amount of scope.
Supremely promising cinematographer Pankaj Kumar (Haider, Tumbbad, and upcoming – Brahmastra) adds his magical fresh touch enhancing the look & feel of the film. Rai and Sharma complete their trusted trio with editor Hemal Kothari, who had an extremely complicated job this time in stitching together a convoluted screenplay without many bumps.
Atrangi Re Movie Review: Star Performance
Dhanush and Sara Ali Khan remain to be the soul, heart of the film with AR Rahman’s music (more on that below) acting as blood to keep them alive and pumping. Dhanush just owns every frame he’s injecting pure conviction in every scene. There’s a beautifully penned scene in which he speaks in Tamil, without any subtitles but even if you don’t know the language, you’ll still get what he’s trying to say & that’s Dhanush for you.
Despite Dhanush’s exceptional presence, it’s Sara Ali Khan’s visible efforts that cements the hope of how better she could get with a proper script in hand. It wasn’t just the effortless physical attributes of Rinku that she becomes adept at, but also the modulation of her accent that she skillfully controls.
Amid all the acting and drama, Akshay Kumar, unfortunately, remains to be the weakest link of all three. It’s not because his character doesn’t comparatively have equal depth, it’s just too routine stuff from someone who himself has set the standards too high. Ashish Verma, playing the role of Dhanush’s friend, is wasted and it’s more annoying because we’ve seen the kind of talent he possesses to handle comedy which remains to be unused here.
All-in-all, Atrangi Re is an unusual love story buoyed by some fine performances by Akshay Kumar, Sara Ali Khan and Dhanush and hummable music by AR Rahman. Aanand L Rai has found his rhythm again with this entertaining film which also packs a message. The director should have taken a gamble on this feel-good film and given it a theatrical release, rather than just going for an OTT release