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Raanjhanaa (2013) - Hindi Movie Review

Raanjhanaa (2013) - Hindi Movie Review
Raanjhanaa (2013) - Hindi Movie Review

Cast :
  • Dhanush as Kundan
  • Sonam Kapoor as Zoya
  • Abhay Deol as Akram
  • Swara Bhaskar as Bindiya
  • Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Murari
  • Shilpi Marwaha as Rashmi
  • Arvind Gaur as Guptaji
  • Suraj Singh as Anand
  • Sujata Kumar Krishnamurthy as Chief Minister
  • Vipin Sharma (cameo)
Directed by : Anand L. Rai
Produced by : Krishika Lulla
Screenplay by : Himanshu Sharma
Story by : Himanshu Sharma
Music by : A. R. Rahman
Cinematography : Natarajan Subramaniam, Vishal Sinha
Editing by : Hemal Kothari
Distributed by : Eros International

Just when you thought film industry had lost its touch in creating romantic stories that could last for a long time, filmmaker Aanand L Rai sets his foot strongly in the romance genre with his love story Raanjhanaa.

Kundan (Dhanush), ever since he first lays his eyes on Zoya (Sonam Kapoor), falls hopelessly and irreparably in love with her. He goes to all length, takes her rejections, her repeated slaps etc. but his love only grows stronger till she finally gives in. That’s class 9 and on knowing about her attachment to a young Hindu boy, Zoya’s conservative family sends her off to Aligarh at their relatives’ house. Years pass, Zoya moves to JNU, Delhi for further education while the son of local pandit Kundan nurtures his love for her that only grows leaps and bounds with each passing year.

However, her dreams shatter when she returns as he finds out that she is besotted with another man Akram/Jasjit (Abhay Deol) from her college. Despite his unrequitted love, Kundan decides to unite the two lovers and while you think the film would slip into the Hum Dil Chuke Sanam region, Aanand L Rai incorporates many twists and turns that, although faulty, that make the film at least unpredictable.

To start with, filmmaker Aanand Rai wins your heart within ten minutes of the film as Raanjhanaa opens to a refreshing backdrop of Benaras where amidst Holi and Dushera and other festivities you see the innocence of young love taking shape.

The entire first half is extremely endearing, breezy and refreshing and sucks you in the story completely with you losing track of time. You really want to lovers to meet, you yearn for your predictions to come true but the filmmaker doesn’t give you what you want and instead holds your attention with a story you haven’t seen before.

But just when you come back after the interval with your hopes high you are let down by the archaic story-telling approach with predictable twists and turns where the filmmaker takes complete cinematic liberty to move his story forward. The entire sub-plot of politics, penance, revenge etc. appears improbable and hence disappointing too. But it’s the again where Rai sweeps you off your feet and leaves you cathartic.

The film stands tall on four strong pillars - Dhanush, chemistry, backdrop of Benaras and last but not the least AR Rahman. Filmmaker clearly scores an ace by casting Dhanush in the film. The South superstar in his debut Hindi film itself portrays a range of emotions right from love to rage, remorse to repentance. Even the age span gets depicted by him brilliantly.

If Dhanush wins your heart, Sonam Kapoor pleasantly surprises you too. It’s safe to say that the actress finally marks her debut as an “actor” as she performs commendably and complements both Dhanush and Abhay Deol well. Abhay too despite a bit role gives an impactful performance. Both Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub and Swara Bhaskar have been given laudable parts to play as Kundan’s friends and get some of best dialogues to mouth in the film.

Cinematography by Natarajan Subramaniam is delightful as his camera captures the bylanes of Benaras like never before. Music by AR Rahman is one of the highlights of the film and the tracks blend brilliantly with the story.

Raanjhanaa to say the least may not be a perfect story but it sure is one of the best romantic films of the recent times. It deserves to be watched for Dhanush’s debut, Sonam’s acting and AR Rahman’s music packaged with a refreshing story.

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