Madhuri Dixit is back! The pristine beauty of 90?s who made every heart ?dhak-dhak? with her swirling-twirling moves makes her singing-dancing comeback after a hiatus of 7 years in Salim-Suleiman configured theatrical musical bonanza AAJA NACHLE. It was big task for any composer to deliver an exuberantly show-stopper musical show as Yash Raj last troupe musical DIL TO PAAGAL HAI, featuring Madhuri, SRK, was magnanimous success. The album extrovertly delivers musical ammunition in the style and flair of fun-filled ?nautanki? histrionics with mixed bag of results.
?Aaja Nachle?, a tantalizing ?chocolate box? title track about the zeal and notion of spirited dancing is a brilliant solo songstress effort by ever versatile Sunidhi Chauhan. The serpentine flow of ?shehnai? coupled with synchronized drumming of ?dhol?, ?tabla? and arranged harmoniously with keyboard notes delivers a feisty rustic folklore outlook. Salim-Suleiman harmonic textures has big take on typical ?nautanki? style of work where the frivolously paced classical music propels and collides impetuously with crispy wording (Piyush Mishra) to give a thriving dancing floor appeal. This Madhuri special number gets into higher tempo with westernized inputs to give a signature finale look in ?Aaja Nachle (reprise)?. It has the gloss and crush of Madhuri?s flamboyance written everywhere on it but hasn?t got the gleaming spark of her everlasting tracks like ?Ek Do Teen? or ?Mera Piya Ghar Aaaya? etc that made her prodigy overnight.
Salim-Suleiman gets into typical Chopra-Johar?s mushy romantic overtones in its sluggish arrangement and supple rhythmical patterns in squashy ?Ishq Hua?. The excruciatingly vociferous splurge of Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal are under utilized as they are coordinated with pale sounding contemporary orchestration. Even the exhaustively impounding wording of Jaideep Sahni proves inadequate to lift its spirits and all it ends up as poor cousin to tracks like ?Tumhi Dekho Naa? (KABHI ALVIDA NA KEHNAA).
View Aaja Nachle
?Show me your Jalwa?, an outrageously voluble song about encouraging locales to join fun fare troupe at scintillating dancing show is a brilliant handiwork of lyrical catchphrases, folksy harmony and throaty vocal flows. Jaideep Sahni?s enthusiastically imposed exhortations are remarkably emoted by unconventional but promising Richa Sharma, Kailash Kher and Salim Merchant that bring shades and glimpses of Udit Narayan?s rendered ?Mitwa? (LAGAAN) for its ?go-getter? feel.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, now a regular in melancholically profound sluggish tracks gets into another sentimental eloquence about beleaguered love relationship in average sounding ?O Re Piya?. Like ?Maula Mere Le Le Meri Jaan? (CHAK DE INDIA), it has more narrative appeal in its poignant wordings with predictable arrangements of bass guitars and drumming in its melodic backdrop with splurge of ?qawalli? flows in its latter interludes.
The picturisation in the form of an Opera of the Laila-Majnu story is fantastic. In song and dance, the villagers, after many rehearsals, enact the story to a resounding applause. In one word, the execution of the whole Opera is brilliant. Never has the Laila-Majnu tale been told so convincingly and effectively.
Madhuri Dixit is not in her best of form, but she leaves her mark on the film. The years away from the camera have not dimmed her enthusiasm to perform and this can be seen from ?Take One?. Her dancing, as usual, is superb. But for me it is Akshaye Khanna in his cameo, and Konkona Sen Sharma who excel. There?s also Jugal Hansraj who shows some fire, briefly, in his performance as Laila?s brother in the Opera. Ranvir Shorey still looks cock-eyed after his NO SMOKING role and surprisingly has the same body language. Irfan Khan, for his part, is caught in his ?Hutch-recharge mode?. A waste of a brilliant actor. Thankfully, Vinay Pathak moves from his BHEJA FRY act after the first few scenes.
On the flip side, you see guruji flinging a slipper in jest at Dia while having his meal and the next moment he digs the same hand into his plate (yuck). A scene later, Dia tip-toes in home late with slippers in hand and immediately sits at the dinner table to eat with her father. Also, there is no attempt on Dia?s part to find out whether her parents are dead or alive, when she visits her village after 11 years. But yes, she wants to save Ajanta!
To go or not: For Madhuri Dixit fans, there is no holding back, they will find their seats any which way. To answer the first question, it?s not a great movie, but definitely worth a one-time watch!
Ratings : 2 / 5
Movie Cast & Crew
Actor: Madhuri Dixit, Akshaye Khanna, Konkona Sen Sharma, Kunal Kapoor, Ranvir Shorey.
Lyrics: Piyush Mishra, Jaideep Sahni, Asif Ali Beg
Director: Anil Mehta
Music Director: Salim Merchant, Sulaiman Merchant