Aaja Nachle poster

Aaja Nachle

wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)

quick review:

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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Director: Anil Mehta
Running time: 150 minutes
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Aaja Nachle - Preview

- meeta, a part of the audience

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
Just an observation, not complaining...not yet.

- meeta, a part of the audience

27 reviewers(?) - 8 yays 12 so-so 7 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...A potential detour into high histrionics is dissipated with a flash of a mega-watt smile... full review

Thumbs up, Buzz18 : ...The music is the kind that gradually grows on you.... full review

Thumbs up, by Bikas Mishra, DearCinema : ...However filmy the story could sound but it has been done so well that leaves one impressed... full review

Thumbs up, by Praveen Lance Fernandes, indiatimes : ...The music is cleverly inculcated into the screenplay and neither once do you feel that the film could have done without them.... full review

Thumbs up, Movie Talkies : ...Without trying to dissect the success of Chak De India, one can safely say that the obstacles in Aaja Nachle are not strong enough.... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Now Running.com : ...Jaideep Sahni has given the gorgeous Dixit a role she can sink her teeth into.... full review

Thumbs up, by Shruti Bhasin, Planet Bollywood : ...The music is average but luckily incorporated into the scenes to not make it tedious.... full review

So-So, by Naresh Kumar Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...It is Madhuri and other actors of the film that make you sit through this elaborate musical, and at times boring, saga called ‘Aaja Nachle’.... full review

So-So, by Jaspreet Pandohar, BBC : ...Her dazzling smile and skilful ability to liven up ordinary song and dance numbers reinforces her deserved reputation.... full review

So-So, by Rachel Fernandes, Bollywood Mantra : ...Jaideep Sahani’s screenplay lacks the punch to keep viewers riveted to the film’s proceedings... full review

So-So, by Martin D'souza, Glamsham.com : ...in the implementation of the age-old Laila Majnu kahani, Anil does the trick.... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...To a large degree the holes in this screenplay are covered up by the excellent characters Sahni creates, and the actors who pump life into those roles... full review

So-So, Indicine : ...Aaja Nachle is not the perfect comeback vehicle Madhuri Fans would have been hoping for.... full review

So-So, by Sidin Vadukut, J.A.M : ...While everything is nice and feel-good and also intermittently funny, it is also a little blah... full review

So-So, by Vaibhav Wankhede, M TV : ...Sometimes the movie comes across as too gaudy and loud but it is successful in maintaining the light mood... full review

So-So, by Shailesh Limbachiya, Passion for Cinema : ...Apart from Madhuri, another hero of the film is Choreography and Music... full review

So-So, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...Adi, boss, you need to understand that while we are all desperately craving escape, it doesn't necessarily translate to excess... full review

So-So, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ... Every little twist and turn of the meandering plot is predictable... full review

So-So, Upper Stall : ...Thankfully for once Salim-Sulaiman’s background score has been kept at a lower level so as not to intrude on the film... full review

Thumbs down, Bollyvista.com : ...This film is an ideal example of a promising plot (though not novel!) let down by half-baked development of script and characters... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, Express India : ...And though she’s not as lissome as she was, she still has killer moves. But she’s not played to her strengths.... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...Vaibhavi Merchant’s choreography, like it or not, is nowhere in the league of Saroj Khan’s vintage hits with La Dixit... full review

Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...She's top notch, but how one wishes the script would've done justice to her talent... full review

Thumbs down, musicNmovies.info : ...The movie consist too many subplots and supporting characters but none of them are powerful and significant enough to smoothly precede the movie... full review

Thumbs down, by Hanumant Bhansali, Radio Sargam : ...The screenplay moves smoothly without any hitches and that hurts the most... full review

Thumbs down, SearchIndia.com : ...In several scenes, Madhuri's face lacks the sparkle or vivacity that endeared this luminous beauty to millions of Indians in the 1980s and 1990s... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

6 readers - 2 yays 0 so-so 4 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by jerry dale : i'm not to much watch an indian movie

Yay! Thumbs Up, by TimELiebe : Marvelous "Save the Theatre" Musical, starring Dance Great Madhuri Dixit - what else do you need?

Nay! Thumbs Down, by Hindilyrics4u.co.in : one of the better movies of 2007,simplistic(just like the movies of a time gone by),the right amount

Nay! Thumbs Down, by Hindilyrics4u.co.in : I wish the music of the film was promoted better. Considering its a musical, you need memorable trac

Nay! Thumbs Down, by Lyricswale.com : The Story is still good and a few characters really etched quite well; good pace and grip; Akshay Kh

Nay! Thumbs Down, by Tamillyrics.co.in : Although the ever-jabbing critics have been no good to such a lovable movie,the audience have apprec

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

Dia (Madhuri Dixit) wants to revive an old and long forgotten dance theater. A theater that she is in love with. There are people who don't want this to happen. We see the drama unfold with a lot of singing and dancing.

What Worked

  • The opening sequence - Cut to the chase, no riff-raff, straight to Madhuri Dixit dancing.
  • The crane shots - beautifully framed.
  • Editing in all of the songs. Nicely interspersed with the story.
  • Costumes in the flashback - reflected the trends from 11 years ago.
  • The exchanges between Madhuri Dixit and Akshaye Khanna.
  • The way Sushmita Mukherjee delivered one of the most clichéd dialogues.
  • The way the crowd cheered Irrfan Khan's entry!
  • Madhuri Dixit's graceful hip movements - would put Shakira to shame.
  • Too much energy is not spent on the action scenes. Smart move, since the movie is not about the action. The camera takes over and is done with it.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • Yet again, a white is portrayed as a dimwit - chews off a chili as if he doesn't even know what a chili looks like and that it is supposed to be super-hot.
  • What was dada's source of income? How does he get money to get himself filmed?
  • Is pizza was supposed to be an indicator of how educated and "foreign return" Raja saahab (Akshay Khanna)?
  • How did Dia organize the first dance!? Overnight everything is cleaned up and the stage is set for a grand performance. All too easy.
  • The abrupt cut into Akshaye Khanna playing golf. Very distracting.
  • The one glaring loophole - the entire village knew about Dia's infamous past. Then why does her friend's statement make any difference at all. Not a very smooth way to get the friend into action. There surely must have been a better way.
  • Divya Dutta's dialogue delivery in the scene where she comes to clarify things. Too melodramatic.
  • Najma's husband's (Irrfan Khan's) transformation in the end. Totally uncalled for and unnecessary.

Nitty-Gritty

This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • The difference in height between Kunal Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma seems to magically disappear in the scene where he has an outburst and tells her off.

Aaja Nachle - Cast, crew, links

Producer:
Director:
Supporting Cast:
Screenplay:
Dialogues:
Cinematography:
Choreography:
Art Direction:
Running time:
150 minutes
Reviewer:
Language:
Country:

Comments (14)

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[...] enjoys Madhuri’s comeback film, Aaja Nachle. Aaja Nachle is more a comment on the onslaught of commercialization. About how politicians and [...]

Madhuri or Madz as she would like her to be called (I guess), mother of two, aged 40, but still sizzles in her truest form. And I do not care if all those critics fail to recognize it. Probably they should get their lenses checked, or perhaps change their retinas.While I’d give this movie 2 stars out of 5, add another one coz a Star is already there. Madhuri did "Show her Jalwa".

I wish the music of the film was promoted better. Considering its a musical, you need memorable tracks. Kudos to Jaideep Sahni once again. He knows the pulse of the audience so well by now, for mass market films.

Although the ever-jabbing critics have been no good to such a lovable movie,the audience have appreciated it,even the non-fans.just for the fact that the ensemble cast is one of the best ones of recent past and when you are watching Aaja Nachle,not for one moment does it occur to you that this movie is only about Madhuri..
all the characters are pleasant and realistic.their interactions are believable(thanks to the screenplay) and the songs are well-placed.
to comment about Madhuri would be as unnecessary as unrequired.just that they dont make them like HER anymore...!!
one of the better movies of 2007,simplistic(just like the movies of a time gone by),the right amount of everything,makes for a feel-good viewing..one only wishes the critics had their heads in place while reviewing it..but then again,whoever said the critics fit their jobs??
highly recommended,just like Dancing when you feel happy :)

Sujoy, Acropol, Rohan - I am really glad you guys liked the movie too. I was wondering, why so many people did not like it. Well...to each his own...

Acropol, I think the songs are better to watch than to listen to. And once you have watched them, they grow on you.

this is perhaps the most accurate description and evaluation of the movie that I've come across. sadly, though, other reviews have done their bit and some of us might lose out on a good film.
well a big "thumbs down" to all the "so called" CRITICS............I've been to the theatre twice and would still look forward to seeing the film again.........as mentioned, and quite appropriately so, "Not glitch-free, but enjoyable nevertheless"

Thank you, unlikelypal! I have watched it twice too and don't mind another go :)


I visited your blog. Very interesting thoughts you have there. I am sure you have had more than four. Do update regularly.

I found the movie interesting, refreshing and different. I specially enjoyed the casting-ouch! ... LIC agent and all.

Thank you amrendra anand and wish you the same!

hey i saw the movie to man~~~its a pretty cool movie and yes as the movie says madhuri is back—- its true. its a very family entertainer type of a movie~~~must watch 3.5on 5( the music rocks

it's nice movie.maduri is really beautifull like those days

i love aaja nachle it is a great movie my mum was crying

oh me too, vivek! Not the tears bit though :)

@TimELiebe you might not get the sense of how i was/am laughed at for liking this film so much from the comment space here, but believe me, i've heard quite a few nasty things. :) comes with the territory :D

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