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If Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge was all about respecting one's parents wishes, Akaash Vani is a mini-attempt and a serious one at respecting a child's wishes. Yes, I just compared this effort to what is considered an epic of our times. Because it is a valiant effort. If only, it had avoided the trappings of a few clichés.
Akaash Vani starts of as a regular love story and takes its time in establishing itself with sweet nothings. Then it creates such a tricky situation for the protagonist Vani (Nushrat Bharucha) that I daresay, many a Indian young girls find themselves in when it comes to choosing a partner for herself. Again, there is nothing novel at all about the situation, we have seen the dilemma over and over again, in the life of Indian cinema. But, the manner in which Akaash Vani tackles the situation is quite close to reality. If only, that reality was adhered to for a little longer.
If you are expecting a Pyar Ka Punchnama repeat from Akaash Vani, you will be disappointing yourself. Akaash Vaani means serious business and has taken on a very everyday but loaded issue between parents and their young children.
The generation gap played out beautifully. Our parents struggled a lot - in their careers, with their finances, in their relationships. But today's generation has moved up the Maslow's hierarchy of needs. What went by as 'normal' with our mothers, is an absolute no-no for us. I am so glad, writer-director Luv Ranjan picked the smaller issues which underline bigger issues, like the man asking for a glass of water from his woman, instead of the very obvious no-nos.
Yet, the writing cops out at some instances. It does get a tad preachy and my 'other man' complaint a la Jab We Met stays. Why can't he be a decent, competent, likeable guy? Is it because it is just easier for love to try and win when he's a louse? The other big one which almost slides by is how Vani suddenly takes on her situation head-on.
You almost let this one go by because you are rooting so strongly for her. And for this credit goes to Nushrat Bharucha. Her face withers and body droops with her situation from a sparkling, confident kid. Kartikeya Tiwari on the other hand is still ticking because of his puppy face. Whether or not he can act will be told only when he takes on something different from a lover boy. The other actor who gets us involved is Sunny Singh Nijjar as the relentless male chauvinist.
A lot about Akaash Vani is courageous. To take up the topic of a love story which faces opposition in this day and age, when such stories are done to death, is brave. To take it on with such a slow pace when Indian films are getting shorter and shorter is an interesting decision, even if I might have been okay with a film that was thirty minutes shorter. To go the serious route after the laughter riot Pyar Ka Punchnama was made out to be is another bold move. And the most beautiful of them all, the one that made the movie for me was that characters didn't do 180 degree turn-arounds in their thoughts and attitudes. For the rest of the mile, there is always a next time.
- meetu, a part of the audience
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