Anjaana Anjaani - Movie review
A film based on relationships with just two central protagonists is a challenging premise and more difficult to tackle
Dir: Siddharth Anand
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Zayed Khan
What it's about: A film based on relationships with just two central protagonists is a challenging premise and more difficult to tackle. You don't have the liberty of add-on characters, side-tracks or even momentary breaks and fillers. A film of this kind is largely dependant on the screenplay and the chemistry between the lead pair. That's what makes Sajid Nadiadwala's Anjaana Anjaani, directed by Siddharth Anand, unique in its own way and rather different from what you've seen in the year so far. It's the story of Kiara (Priyanka Chopra) and Akash (Ranbir Kapoor) who meet one night during the worst point in their lives. They've given up all hope and want to end their lives. After a few failed attempts, they both realise that perhaps they have some unfinished business to take care of before their time is up. They give themselves 20 days in which to complete their mission and then meet their end together. They make a pact to spend these days making all their dreams come true. In the process, the inevitable happens and come D-day, things change.
What's good: Although it's been said that the premise has been lifted from a few foreign films including Girl On The Bridge, this is quite a novel effort by Siddharth Anand. A truly defining love story comes along rarely - the rest all tell the same stories in different ways. Anand, who has given us Salaam Namaste and Bachna Ae Haseeno earlier, begins this one at a leisurely pace. He spends a good amount of time establishing his two main characters because they're the crux of the film. Once you're engaged with Kiara and Akash, there's no looking back. You laugh with them, enjoy their antics, understand their predicaments and root for them. Just when you feel things are slackening a bit, Anand adds a twist and revs up the proceedings. A love story without new faces is a tough task but the film's freshness lies in the romantic quotient between Kiara and Akash. From their failed suicide attempts to their escapades on land and in water, it's a fun-filled ride. The second half is actually when the film gets into full gear when the couple embarks on a road trip across the United States. Impeccably shot, the film is a visual treat with producer Sajid Nadiadwala going all the way to give it that larger-than-life feel. Anjaana Anjaani is not a complicated love story; it's still heartfelt and even heartbreaking at times. The performances are top-notch -- Priyanka Chopra is at her casual and spontaneous best. She embraces the character completely and makes it totally believable. Ranbir Kapoor continues his rock-steady run and is one of the main factors that make the film so poignant. From facing failure to rediscovering joy to coping with pain, he captures every emotion beautifully in the role of a lifetime. It's amazing how this young actor scales a new high with every film and every performance. Tanvi Azmi and Suneha Khanna in bit roles are delightful.
What's not: The inconsistency in the pace of the film is a hindrance. There are also cliches that Siddharth could've avoided. The cheating boyfriend asking for forgiveness and then driving his ex-girlfriend to her new love is a bit outdated. The director also hasn't focused much on his lead pair's relationships with other characters, which leaves many gaps. A lot of the second half reminds you of Jab We Met -- that's where the screenplay needed some new quotient. A love story works wonders when embellished with great music -- except two tracks, Anjaana Anjaani doesn't offer anything exceptional on that front. That's why when the songs try to take the story forward, the result isn't as effective. The Zayed Khan track, irrespective of its length, needed one strong scene to enhance the character.
What to do: Get romantic in the season of action. Watch AA to believe in love once more.
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