If you aren't a romantic at heart then this film isn't for you and if you are then get ready to be swept off your feet as the filmmaker takes you on one of the most refreshing rides in the recent times. Raanjhanaa is nothing like the recent slew of romantic films that have been doing the rounds in the industry. It has madness of love, layers to characters as well as script and acting that will really make you sit back and notice.
Set in Benaras Raanjhanaa traces the live of a young Tam-bram Kundan (Dhanush) who sets his eyes on a well endowed Muslim girl Zoya (Sonam Kapoor) and falls hopelessly in love with her. The first half pretty much showcases his madness for her where he is willing to go all lengths to be with her. After years Zoya's heart melts even but her family gets a whiff of the young teenager's attachments with a Hindu boy and sends her packing to Aligarh.
Kundan's life all this while gets stuck in a time warp where his love for Zoya grows more than his age. He waits for his lady love to return but the one who makes a comeback is a totally different person. Zoya confesses losing her heart to a Delhi boy Akram/Jasjit (Abhay Deol). The disappointed lover makes up his mind to get the two lovers together but gets fate against him and we see him going through many twists and turns. But does his love conquer all? Watch to find out.
Filmmaker Aanand L Rai who last made the superhit Tanu Weds Manu shows Hindi cinema what good writing actually means. In a genre which constantly gets panned for being tripe and cliche, Aanand displays freshness and a script that celebrates love in its purest form.
The denouncers may reproach the writing for his main protagonist who like a love-struck puppy follows his lady love everything to the point of stalking but it's the innocence with which the director depicts these emotions is what makes for an endearing watch. However, even Aanand who hold fort for the entire first half falls prey to the curse of the second where his story slips into a predictable plot and he loses his points through the various sub-plots, that of the political backdrop, that he introduces.
But it's towards the end where the writing picks up once again and you are given a climax that leaves you cathartic. A highly unconventional end seen in a romantic film in the longest time.
Aanand L Rai's true strength comes in the casting where he scores an ace by roping in Dhanush for a part that could be played by him and him alone. It's his portrayal and the age-span that he convincingly plays showcases his caliber and re-establishes the reason why he is a superstar down South. Sonam Kapoor who has till now been criticised for her acting too displayes her talent and complements Dhanush well. Abhay Deol in little cameo too is very effective.
The review cannot be over without the mention of AR Rahman's composition which becomes an integral part of the film and is truly mesmerising.
To sum it up, Raanjhanaa despite its flaws in the story is one of the best romantic films of the recent times. A definite watch for all.
Critic: Mansha Rastogi
(3 / 5) : Good