Heer Raanjha, Romeo and Juliet or Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. The list can go on to include Devdas, and many more. Watching Anand Rai (TANU WEDS MANU) paint a magical canvas that goes beyond the call of heart, leaves you with a sense of deja vu, but only for a fleeting moment.
is a poetic journey for a film lover. Right from its opening approach, performances from the lead actors, the supporting cast, the music and the manner in which the story unfolds... It's magical. The dialogues require special mention: hard-hitting, yet laced with a heavy dose of light humour.
But first things first: Dhanush
is a delight. Trust me; you haven't seen such simplicity and intensity in a performer before. He weaves his way into the role and in your heart 'just like that'. He also gives you moments to hate him. His single-minded, pure love (though one-sided later on) makes your heart reach out to him. It also reaches out to another character, layered between the two love birds, that of Swara Bhaskar, his childhood friend. As he is busy pursuing his love (right from St IX) for Sonam Kapoor
, Bindiya (Swara) pines for his love. CHECK OUT: Anand L Rai - Abhay has a 'special' role in RAANJHANAA
Sandwiched between these three is Abhay Deol
, an upcoming politician who comes to marry Sonam. Zoya (Sonam) was sent to her aunt's place in Delhi to complete her education after her initial brush with Kundan (Dhanush). Here she meets Akram (Abhay). Seven years later when she comes back, she is a more mature person and confides in Kundan about her love for Akram. Kundan is devastated.
Rai begins with a melange of scenes and songs that encapsulates the soul of the film within the first 15 minutes. The persistent romance between Kundan, a Hindu boy, and Zoya, a Muslim girl is stuff what legends are made of. Kundan is persistent to the point of being slapped 15 times. Zoya agrees to meet him, not because she loves him, but because of his 'consistency'. Their initial scenes are innocent, yet deeply romantic.
Set in Benaras, Rai quickly establishes the credentials of the two families and the other pivotal characters. Apart from Swara Bhaskar who is quietly making a mark of her own, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub as Murari, Kundan's friend, breaks through with a cracker of a performance. There's also Vipin Sharma who is sparingly used but whose fleeting moments on screen leave a lasting impression. It's moments like these that make RAANJHANAA a delight. Rai has understood well the use of characters, in order not to make them overbearing.
This is Sonam Kapoor's breakthrough moment. Her TEZAAB. The genius was always there within (read AN OPEN LETTER TO SONAM KAPOOR
). All she needed was one big moment and it has come in the form of Zoya. She came close in MAUSAM, but only just. Finally, she stands tall with a role that oscillates from being shy and in love to cold and ruthless. She handles the swing with equal aplomb. You don't know whether to hate Zoya or love her. CHECK OUT: Dhanush's screen mom Urmila loves RAANJHANAA climax!
RAANJHANAA is not a love triangle; it handles the emotions of four young lovers. And what draws you to it is the opening dialogue as Kundan goes into flashback. There's something in the simplicity in his voice and his diction. His parting dialogue too, is practical and full of love. It will tear you apart. ''Mood nahin hai,'' he says with that same love even though he has been 'stabbed in the back'. Listen to the entire sentiment.
As you leave the theatre, you feel that 'Titanic' emotion.