Atrangi Re | Movie Review

Dhanush was one of the better components of ‘Raanjhna,’ which came from the same crew as Atrangi Re. He rises above his character’s chunkiness here, straddling a responsible familial union and falling in love with a strange stranger.

Girl who has gotten away and the boy who is sincere but confused. And he’s a captivating character with a few magic tricks up his sleeve.The well-known Bollywood love triangle is reimagined. But hold on a second. How recent is the paint job? And, most importantly, does it, as it should sweep us off our feet? Unfortunately, no. The premise is interesting. However, the execution is a never-ending downward spiral.

Take Rinku Sooryavanshi, for example (Sara Ali Khan). When we first see her, she is fleeing from some men who are pursuing her. We become concerned right away. What is her name?

The plotting level begins to fade as the solutions become evident, with a heavy grandmother figure (Seema Biswas) breathing down her neck. And now we have yet another version of the manic pixie dream girl, busy channeling her inner Geet (Imtiaz Ali’s most popular leading woman has a lot to answer for) as she finds herself on a moving train, traveling from Siwan to New Delhi, with the sober, steady Vishu (Dhanush).

Greetings! (Rinku is from Bihar, she cannot pronounce the V) Babu, who is training to be a doctor, has his own concerns. But, in the greatest tradition of the hyper fairy dream girl, everything else fades away, leaving Rinku and her problems front and center, the most serious of which is her long-term obsession with ‘Jaadugar’ Sajjad Ali Khan (Akshay Kumar).

 ‘Atrangi’ means strange in a kind, affectionate way: Sara Ali Khan strives hard to be multiple people in one, but neither the script nor the actor gives the role enough depth. Instead, she comes across as overblown.

In the meantime, Bisu Babu’s BFF, also a doctor (Ashish Verma really needs to get more parts), gathers a group of ‘schizophrenics and bipolar’ to explain away some of the ‘Atrangi Re’-ness on show. We would have had much to consider about if there had been more depth. What distinguishes minds from one another? What is the best way to deal with these disparate minds? Scenes where you casually hurl around labels are a significant concern, as is the tendency to keep hanging ‘corrective’ medicines into peoples’ mouths.

Films dealing with mental health issues need to be very careful about how they position and frame their characters (this strand is played strictly for laughs). Psychiatrists should sue Bollywood for the sweeping ignoramuses they manufacture for ‘dimaag ka doctors’. That one scene alone is enough to make you cringe-watch the remainder of the movie.

Just so another character can work herself up into a rage? Why this, if you’re aiming to break presumptions (Anand L Rai and Himanshu Sharma were the brains behind the female-centric ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ films).  This Muslim-Hindu ‘Milan’ should have yielded something more substantial. Akshay enters his own ‘Atrangi Re’ role with zeal. But there’s no way he doesn’t look a mismatch with the much younger Sara Ali Khan.

 

Dhanush is a gift from the good lord, whatever religion you follow. Dhanush was one of the finer characters in the film ‘Raanjhna,’ as well which was produced by the same group. He rises above his character’s chunkiness, treading between an obedient familial union. And falling in love with a mysterious stranger, and treats us to an actor.

This was supposed to be a profound mystical mystery tour, but it turns out to be a flop.

 

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