Film Review: Atrangi Re (2021) by Aanand L. Rai

by Aryan Vyas

Similar to each Himanshu Sharma-Aanand L Rai collaboration, “Atrangi Re” is a movie seeped into magical realism. Cinema is make-believe; a movie, it doesn’t matter what absurd top it’s aiming at, can nonetheless work if its makers go in with full conviction. Taking a leap-of-faith is a factor that follows naturally whereas being engrossed within the world-building of a film. “Atrangi Re” begins with a pressured marriage between Rinku (Sara Ali Khan) and Vishu (Dhanush). The movie doesn’t waste time to indicate us that Rinku is from an abusive household with a protracted, difficult previous. She is from Bihar, drenched in rain and heat shades of colour. Rinku is pressured into marriage as a result of she is ceaselessly attempting to elope with the love of her life- Sajjad. Vishu then again, is a person of motive who has his life found out and desires to go the straight path; he units up checkpoints that coincide together with his age, who’s thrown into falling for a lady that’s precisely reverse to him on that spectrum. Vishu finds himself on the fallacious place on the fallacious time as he turns into sufferer to the now-infamous groom kidnapping in sure Indian states. Delicate spoilers observe from right here on

Pankaj Kumar’s colorfully wealthy visuals give “Atrangi Re” an virtually fairytale-ish really feel. That’s exactly what made the movie work for me, because it’s in keeping with what the story’s going at. Within the second act, there’s a transition; it asks you to take an enormous leap-of-faith. Even when some could discover that transition abrupt, I used to be prepared to let go of that reservation because of the author’s conviction within the characters. Akshay Kumar’s Sajjad primes his horns to play the antagonist of types within the star-crossed love story of Vishu and Rinku, making a rift between the newly married couple. Quickly we study that Sajjad doesn’t actually exist; he’s only a coping mechanism that Rinku has developed since childhood. And the way do you present that coping mechanism in a Bollywood musical that’s aiming at magical realism? You exaggerate it. You make it arrive on an elephant whereas enjoying magic methods in the course of the street in broad daylight. And what higher method of reinforcing it additional than by casting somebody who’s change into an OG for his nice over-the-top comedic timing- Akshay Kumar? The grandiosity with which the film decides to go for it renders and gels that facet of the narrative seamlessly with the soundtrack. That is AR Rahman’s latest greatest work. 

Vishu’s greatest good friend is Madhu, performed by a wonderful Ashish Verma who nails the function of a ‘hero’s good friend’ determine once more. It’s by way of his character that the film depicts how psychological well being is normally seen within the large circles. He claims that he is aware of how all girls assume, since he’s a psychiatrist. His resolution of ‘therapeutic’ Rinku is just by telling her that Sajjad is lifeless, as she’ll quickly be alright and are available again to Vishu as soon as she has no alternative left. So now, addressing the elephant within the room- lots of the net discourse in regards to the movie surrounds its portrayal of psychological well being. I feel that the movie isn’t even attempting to go that route; the visuals, the soundtrack, every little thing is making a case towards that. On the identical time, I perceive that psychological well being is a sensitive topic and because it’s additionally extraordinarily subjective, as a filmmaker you consistently stay on the sting of patronizing your viewers. Nevertheless, even when one have been to search out the significance of psychological well being from a mainstream Bollywood film, “Atrangi Re” makes a case towards somebody who thinks like Madhu. That’s exactly why within the final act, Vishu goes towards his good friend’s recommendation and acknowledges Rinku’s psychological house, giving her the time to search out that decision herself. He believes in her and doesn’t go the poisonous route by asking her to decide on one by delusioning her into believing one thing else. Love usually comes out of struggling and trauma. And seeing ‘love’ as the last word factor that would resolve most issues that encompass us isn’t one thing that movies aren’t used to displaying. The screenwriter’s depiction of those troublesome points shouldn’t be checked out in its literal sense. 

The way you take a look at a title like “Atrangi Re” goes to be wholly based mostly on whether or not you resolve to go along with the swing it’s going at. One other factor that I actually admired is the way it makes covid part of its very world. Our on a regular basis lives are inseparable from the occasions of our environment. The quintessence of melodrama is in its remedy of on a regular basis individuals’s troubles with the grandeur of tragedy. The movie units up its world so nicely that even when the massive ‘reveal’ is made, it could come throughout as much less shocking however no much less affecting. I used to be prepared to let go of most of the flaws I had with the film- from its bumpy transition into the second act to the Freudian climax which may really feel prefer it’s asking a bit an excessive amount of to purchase into its hyper life like strategy, as a result of it hit all the precise cords emotionally for me. And that’s the very essence of melodramatic genius. Aanand L Rai’s visible sensibility is pointed and sharp-edged, which hits the feelings house by the emphatic angles of closeups of Dhanush. 

Sara Ali Khan does a fair-enough job right here as nicely, which matches to indicate how good administrators can play into an actor’s strengths and masks their blemishes. The filmmakers together with Dhanush’s character within the film aren’t leaning on the facet mainstream cinema tends to be at relating to the depiction of psychological sickness; they’re making a case towards it. The movie additionally feels surprisingly meta, as Akshay Kumar’s character, a fraction of Rinku’s personal creativeness, is actually named Sajjad Ali Khan. Let’s additionally give credit for having a full-fleshed Tamil monolog from a Tamil actor in a Bollywood movie. By way of all such selections, I couldn’t assist however discover how Himanshu Sharma-Aanand L Rai are making initiatives that function an antidote to what lots of Bollywood ‘area of interest’ cinema stands for nowadays. An entertaining and emotionally hard-hitting musical has change into a uncommon commodity in Bollywood currently. Watching “Atrangi Re” gave me a chance to expertise what a Bollywood musical all the time stood for, sufficient for me to miss lots of its flaws.

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