Review - Aaja Nachle: Not glitch-free, but enjoyable nevertheless
Aaja Nachle is another ordinary story narrated pleasantly and in a digestible manner. So, you know the end, but you wait for the next obstacle that the protagonist will face. The dialogues are a good spread between funny and casually profound. A good first half and the magnificent climax makes you forgive the multiple glitches in characterizations and a few in the script. There are only so many things you can do with a feel good movie.
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I really like this trend of combining commercial cinema with believability. Where full advantage is taken of liberties given to the art form but yet no major leaps of faith are required. The one main thing the makers ask of you is a little benefit of doubt in character transformations towards the end. But by then you have enjoyed yourself enough to give it to them.
It's a musical, so neither is great acting demanded nor is it delivered. Everybody has to do their bit without going over-the-top and that's what they stick to. It is very interesting and rather commendable that although Madhuri is the heart and soul of the movie, only once in a while do you realize that it is Madhuri you are watching and not Dia. The gripping script deserves as much credit as the woman herself. She is aging gracefully, and it's great that she is playing mother to a 10-12 year old and not posing as a college student. I am really glad they didn't work very hard on covering up the blemishes on her face. Makes her more earthly.
Fortunately, the story is not just about her. And the movie is not just about her magical smile and wonderful eyes. Focus on just one character makes a movie very plain. Anyway, there is nothing very remarkable about her character. Aaja Nachle is more a comment on the onslaught of commercialization. About how politicians and businessmen play together to achieve whatever fancies their whim. It is also an attempt to show how a new educated breed of politicians can use this power to make a difference if they will. And all of this is running in the background, so there is no preaching. All-in-all, pretty decent fare for a feel good movie.
After a long while, a really long while, I was thinking, "oh cool, it's not even interval yet" instead of "oh crap, it's not even interval yet." The first half was very engrossing. And that the script was in the safe hands of Jaideep Sahni was a comforting thought during the interval. "Even if it drops, it's not going to plummet to the bottom." And drop it does. The second half seemed rushed. The little nuances of characters that I admired in the beginning were all mish-mashed and lost by the end.
But, the 20-minute grand finale in the form of a play makes up for all of that. What a spectacle! Yes, they don't let you forget you are watching a movie that has Yash Raj money pouring into it, and not a play. The edits, camera movements, art design all work towards that...and what a spectacle!! The lyrics, the music, the performances, the costumes, the colors, the choreography all make you wish that your eyes didn't need to blink. And that makes the extra half hour (over the standard two-hour length) acceptable. The audience in the theater was clapping after the play. It's almost as if the makers anticipated this and left a brilliantly timed pause at the end of the play.
Is it only befitting that the who's who of the Indian "parallel" cinema is asked to sing and dance? Because the characters in the movie are also the most unlikely to dance. Who would have imagined Ranvir Shorey, Vinay Pathak, and Konkana Sen Sharma would all be part of a musical? Or is it just that the producer wanted to say, "See, I made them dance too!" I wonder.
Is this becoming a formula at Yash Raj Films?
- One "star" whose name will pull in crowds
- good, relatively low profile actors to form the rest of the cast - who shouldn't mind/should have the exposure
- an above average, feel-good script
- dialogues that balance humor, charming believability, profundity
- meeta, a part of the audience
Aaja Nachle - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Yash Raj Films
- Producer: Aditya Chopra
- Director: Anil Mehta
- Lead Cast: Madhuri Dixit, Konkana Sen Sharma, Kunal Kapoor
- Supporting Cast: Vinay Pathak, Ranveer Shorey
- Story: Aditya Chopra
- Screenplay: Jaideep Sahni
- Dialogues: Jaideep Sahni, Jaideep Sahni
- Cinematography: Mohanan, K. U. Mohanan
- Editor: Ritesh Soni
- Background Score: Salim Merchant, Sulaiman Merchant
- Choreography: Vaibhavi Merchant
- Music Director: Salim Merchant, Sulaiman Merchant
- Lyrics: Jaideep Sahni, Piyush Mishra
- Costume Designer: Manish Malhotra , Dolly Ahluwalia, Dolly Ahluwalia, Manish Malhotra , Mandira Shukla
- Art Direction: Sukant Panigrahy , Sukant Panigrahy
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 150 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Melodrama, Musical, Social