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Atrangi Re Review

Last updated on: December 24, 2021 18:15 IST
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Sara Ali Khan is definitely a chip off the old block and Bollywood.
The abandon in her dance, the candour in her histrionics, a combination of the ada and attributes of Rekha and Madhuri Dixit all rolled in one, she is like an old soul in a contemporary body, applauds Sukanya Verma.

Two people are drawn to each other amidst inner conflict and outward confusion where one needs to fight their past and another to go all out for their present to be together in future.

Atrangi Re is about bizarre love and right up director Aanand L Rai and his favourite writer Himanshu Sharma's alley.

Be it Tanu Weds Manu, its sequel, Raanjhanaa or Zero, the Rai-Sharma combo likes to empower lovers with the boldest of impulses while setting up a path strewn in curious obstacles often of their own making. It's a whimsical, fantastical or theatrical universe inhabited by people without filters or simplicity.

They are victims of their own passion, teased and tormented by headstrong instincts and propensity for drama.

Being odd, difficult and intense is part of their strange, complicated appeal though not everyone has a taste for it.

But characters living in a bubble seldom care about opinions.

Ditto for Rai's latest penned by Sharma.


Atrangi Re is too far removed from reality to notice that its excitement supersedes its logic.

Its footloose, fanciful tone is busy swinging to the cross-cultural beats of rebellious Rinku (Sara Ali Khan) and gallant Vishu's (Dhanush) exuberant chemistry though the Bihar girl and her kidnapped Tamilian groom, a medical student from Chennai studying in Delhi are forced to marry against their wishes.

When we first meet Rinku (that's what Sara's grandmother Sharmila Tagore is affectionately known as among close ones), she's being chased by her hostile grandmother's (Seema Biswas) men trying to stop her from eloping with her beau for the nth time.

As Vishu watches her take them single-handedly, one banta bottle at a time, he expresses a desire to help the damsel-in-distress.

This is their relationship in a nutshell, which acquires character and a distinctly 'unstoppable force meets immovable object' charisma against A R Rahman's magical score.

The virtuoso fills the frames in soul and sentiment so perceptively, it's as though he is crafting moments left out of the script.

A warm end credits gesture acknowledges this contribution as well of fellow collaborators.

It must be said, Rai chooses his technicians with care. How a movie is shot not only determines its atmosphere but also gives stories and characters a perspective and personality. And cinematographer Pankaj Kumar is a master of mood. His depiction of the cheer and dreamlike elements in Atrangi Re make it impossible to not enjoy the view even when one cannot relate.

At the beginning, boisterous Rinku and doting Vishu's undeniable connection keeps us engaged. So much that we don't want to question why she is flirting so brazenly with him during his engagement when her heart is set on another (a somewhat miscast, feebly written Akshay Kumar).

Sara Ali Khan is definitely a chip off the old block and Bollywood.

The abandon in her dance, the candour in her histrionics, a combination of the ada and attributes of Rekha and Madhuri Dixit all rolled in one, she is like an old soul in a contemporary body. Rein in that energy a little better and there's no stopping this livewire.

Vishu's response to her mixed signals is unsurprising and the only reason it works is Dhanush.

If this guy says he has developed feelings for his dining table, you'll believe him.

If he cries because someone ate his sandwich, you'll cry with him.

If he says divorce when he should say annulment, you don't question him.

Whether he is delivering a long monologue in Tamil or fighting helpless tears in silence, Dhanush has extraordinary conviction.

Atrangi Re hits so many right buttons purely on his strength.

Its other hero Akshay Kumar's supporting presence as Sajjad the magician hints at a love triangle but not in the way you think.

Atrangi Re wants to make a case for repercussions of trauma on a person's psyche and builds a mild mystery around it that is too obvious too early.

In a bid to justify the issues plaguing Rinku, the movie gets too ahead of itself and makes some questionable decisions, the kind that would make Sigmund Freud pull his hair, especially every time Vishu's psychiatrist buddy (Ashish Verma doing his usual routine supporting gig) opens his mouth to babble fundas on mental health as per Bollywood.

Atrangi Re occurs inside such a cocoon, really, where family has no role and friends unconditionally play along purely because the makers ostensibly didn't want to complicate things.

Though it acknowledges a post-COVID reality, it's largely untouched by it and even makes a joke about a companion virus, David.

Whimsy is oxygen in Rai's dominion.

Between its glamorous state of denial, hastily concocted back stories, dubious scientific solutions, Om Shanti Om-esque high drama of a climax and a zigzag love story, Atrangi Re is as fascinating as it is foolhardy.

Atrangi Re streams on Disney Hotstar.

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