Every syllable of the one-line plot is as common as it can get. After all, you can say "boy meets girl" only in so many different ways. Despite that when you have fun; and you care for the boy and the girl; you know you are watching a brilliant film. And since the means are good, the time it takes to get to the yawn-inducing approach to the end and the end itself doesn't hurt that bad. A bit, yes.
Mr. Siddharth Anand and I need to have a word about lousy endings to films with decent starts and middles. That aside, I'm mighty pleased with the missing voiceover introductions. It also helps that there is no need for self-referencing with a producer who is not one Mr. Chopra. Worry not, I liked Anjaana Anjaani for the things that it is too. It is funny, it is crisp, it uses every-day, fun, and friendly quips to keep you laughing even though the story is not really moving on.
I've always been allured to the topic of 'suicide'. Does it take more strength to end one's life or to face it? No, no, no there is no such deep philosophy being discussed in the film (except for one lame monologue attempted by Tanvi Azmi which the film could have so done without). In fact, the time devoted to the three acts is too staggered. It's like two hours into the two-and-a-half hour film there was a desperate rush for a conflict. The late arrival takes away from what could otherwise have been a wonderful and I daresay 'real-life' dilemma.
A 150-minute film with only two main characters sounds excessive. This unjustifiable excess makes film seem slow and worse yet, banality of the characters' problems comes through. Suddenly, an issue that you could identify with comes across as self-obsession of the rich and the mindless. I'm not saying I want poverty porn, but fat fairy tale in party-land got tedious for a bit.
Sure, Anjaana Anjaani talks about the last wish(es) and hints towards the meaning of life. It's all too superficial though. Because that concept is not the focus. It's just the thread holding the two characters together.
These two characters get to know each other while we are getting to know them too. We are a part of their journey. They remind us of friends we have; those who get drunk and are more fun than ever; those who are hurting inside but are always making people around them laugh; those who we tolerate despite their self-obsessed sulking. Thankfully, there aren't too many side characters hovering around.
Just imagine having to see pink-lipstick-hyperventilating friend more than the two minutes of his screen time. Sheesh. We already had Zayed Khan overstaying his welcome.
Ranbir Kapoor, well, we are too accustomed to see him fall in love and realize it. He does it well without making it look like puppy love any more (despite his puppy eyes). So well, that I expect no less from him and give no extra credit when he meets those expectations. Tough luck, dude, bane of being a good romantic hero.
O-kay enough beating around the bush! I cannot keep myself from raving about Priyanka Chopra any more. Wow! Has the lady eased into her role as an actor on this earth or has she? Her comic timing, lilt in dialogue delivery, pauses are just brilliant. Her smile has a screen presence of its own but she doesn't overuse it. When her eyes reflect the pain she's going through, you want to hurt the make-up person who glycerinated them.
Of course, a lot of her dialogue delivery was possible only because of the dialogue. But, every once in a while it would go the cliché way, making the eye roll inevitable. Also the writing department seems to have taken a leave when the climax was being shot. Oops! I already complained about that. Well, it was that bad. It also hurt a bit that though the movie revolved around a woman, her life revolved around the men in her life. No career, no money worry, unabashedly dependent. I guess I have to live with it being a story about a woman like that.
Also, such a movie does annoying things to stick to mainstream formula while trying its bit to be different. Are we such snobs as an audience that we can't take our glam doll's hair out of place even when she is completely distraught? Do we have to snicker and make caricatures out of the queer?
An urban tale about a generation that doesn't know its way around. You can identify with the problems and the way they are put forth. Even though it is difficult to react similarly or arrive at the same solutions.
- meetu, a part of the audience