Release Date : Jun 21,2013
Review by : Kaushik L M
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Production: Krishika Lulla
Cast: Abhay Deol, Dhanush, Sonam Kapoor
Direction: Aanand L Rai
Screenplay: Aanand L Rai
Story: Aanand L Rai
Music: AR Rahman
Background score: AR Rahman
Cinematography: Natarajan Subramaniam, Vishal Sinha
Dialogues: Anand L. Rai
Editing: Hemal Kothari
Singers: A. R. Rahman, Aanchal Sethi, Anwesha Datta Gupta, Chinmayi, Jaswinder Singh, Javed Ali, K.M.M.C. Sufi Ensemble, Karthik, Keerthi Sagathia, Madhushree, Meenal Jain, Nakash Aziz, Neeti Mohan, Pooja Vaidyanath, Rabbi Shergill, Rashid Ali, Shiraz Uppal, Shreya Ghoshal, Sukhwinder Singh, Vaishali Samant
Lyrics : Irshad Kamil
Distribution: Eros International

After an extensive promotional and marketing blitz, Raanjhanaa has finally released, marking Dhanush’s grand entry into Bollywood world. A.R.Rahman’s music has already given the movie a huge facelift and the fact that Dhanush is a National Award winning actor has ensured a fair amount of hype for Raanjhanaa across the country.

Audiences in the South already know the capabilities of Dhanush well and here in Raanjhanaa, he has been given a character (Kundan) that involves almost everything that a young hero can do in a romantic flick, and the star pulls it off with typical ease and intensity.

Starting off as a playful kid, Kundan then becomes a die-hard young romantic who will go the extra mile just for the sake of his lady love Zoya. Even if his love isn’t reciprocated for most part, he is selfless enough to unite Zoya with her political activist boyfriend. But, things aren’t that simple and the script takes an interesting turn at the intermission point before meandering towards its conclusion.

The first half takes you along on a joy ride thanks to the exuberance and energy on show. The teenage love between Zoya and Kundan has some magical moments such as the scenes when Dhanush gets repeatedly slapped by Sonam and the scene at the railway station when they part ways tearfully. The quintessential ‘cutting of the wrists’ is a staple in Indian romance films during moments of duress and tension, and here we have many such impactful scenes.

The second half moves at a really slow pace as the focus is more on politics and the election rallies. But Dhanush and Rahman’s numbers make you sit through till the climax, which will leave an impact.

Dhanush passes the Hindi diction test and comes out almost unscathed. The effort shows indeed. There is also a scene when he speaks Tamil in the 2nd half, much to the delight of the audience. His effortless jigs, those heart-wrenching tears and the naughty remarks are all Dhanush’s trademarks and Bollywood will surely take notice of him. The movie isn’t short of fun either and many dialogs are already crowd favorites, thanks to the trailer.

The leggy Sonam Kapoor is pretty as always but she is overshadowed by Dhanush and the other actors such as the brilliant Swara Bhaskar and the versatile Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub. Swara Bhaskar is the actual Heer in the movie as her love for Kundan is so unconditional and intense till the end. Ayyub is Kundan’s childhood friend and is with him all along his adventures and misadventures. These two come a close second after Dhanush, in the acting stakes.

Abhay Deol manages to make a mark in an extended cameo and the twist in his role makes you take notice. Shilpi Marwaha as his sister is another noticeable character in the scheme of things.

The atmospherics and the sheer earthy energy of Benaras are awesome on screen thanks to the work of Nataraj Sinha and Vishal. The scenes of revelry during Holi are again captured beautifully.

The music of Rahman is magical in the classical ‘Tum Tak’ which depicts teenage love and the title track which portrays youthful exuberance. Dhanush makes these songs even more special on screen. Tu Mun Shudi is a political montage song while the likes of Banarasiya, Ay Sakhi, Piya Milenge, Nazar Laaye and Aise Na Dekho are all part of the screenplay as aptly placed montages.

On the whole, though the second half loses focus and the pace takes a beating, the sheer audio-visual brilliance, the delightful first half and the performances of Dhanush, Ayyub and Swara make the Raanjhanaa experience worth it.

Verdict: A perfectly cast Dhanush is reason enough to catch the film



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