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ATRANGI RE - Ten quality films in a director’s career are surely much better than thirty mediocre ones. (Review by Bobby Sing)

01 Jan, 2022 | Movie Reviews / 2021 Releases

We know Akshay Kumar for completing his films in just a couple of months, moving on to his next, resulting in 2 to 3 releases almost every year. In a recent episode of Kapil Sharma’s show, the actor also revealed that he has seriously advised director Anand. L. Rai to keep the target of directing 25 to 30 films in his career instead of sticking to the idea of making only 7 to 8. 
 
However, after watching Atrangi Re, I strongly felt that certain subjects don’t deserve to be made as a quicky in just a few months. More importantly, talented directors like Rai need to stick to the mindset of making fewer quality films in their careers instead of many mediocre ones. The film made me feel that way as its subject, the script, and the presentation certainly seemed to be the victim of the decisive influence that comes along with the star actors in a project changing its entire vision. 
 
Based on an unusual theme of mental illness and illusion, Atrangi Re had all the elements of becoming a heartfelt, emotional film exploring the love of a woman for his father, mother, and the beloved altogether. We haven’t got many Hindi films dealing with such intense psychological subjects and Atrangi Re surely could have been the rare, exclusive one enlightening the viewers.
 
Sadly, it neither tries to explore the theme in any concerning manner nor makes you feel for the characters struggling with the unexpected, shocking dilemma of their lives. The film very lightly reveals the twist and, for some strange reason, maintains a humorous undercurrent in the execution that falls completely flat. Couldn’t understand why comedy has to be there in every Hindi film of the present cinema ruining it all?
 
In earlier times, there used to be comic-plot running parallel to the storyline, with the lead characters maintaining their emotional quotient throughout. But today, a distasteful mess gets created when the leads have to do both comedy and a touching display of emotions together with many sudden unjustified jumps in their expressions. The practice becomes a curse, specifically in subjects talking about childhood sufferings, mental illness, and obsessive illusions of a character.
 
To be fair, Atrangi Re begins as a novel film, straight coming to the point with no spoon-feeding for the viewers. It somehow maintains the narrative till the intermission, but then crumbles down as a scattered film in its second half. The uniqueness of its fresh plot loses its grip and the film never turns out to be a satisfying love story focusing on a daughter, despite a tragic sequence in the climax making a decent impact.
 
Dhanush excels in a character derived from his Raanjhana, providing the biggest support to the film, but Sara Ali Khan tries too hard, which shows in her major sequences subtly crossing the line leaning towards over-acting. Her performance misses the silent and thoughtful moments of a character deeply in love with an illusion. Akshay Kumar is fine in his limited appearance but adds nothing significant to the narrative other than his star presence. On the other hand, Ashish Verma lends good support with his comic timing leading the supporting cast.
 
A colourfully designed project, with eye-catching locations and cinematography, the casual look and feel of Atrangi Re doesn’t appear to be complimenting its intense theme. Maybe that is the reason one doesn’t feel emotionally connected to any character of the script, not even Dhanush. Plus, the initial quick marriage, its weird acceptance, and then the illogical hostel sequences also force you to look at the bizarre presentation with strong disbelief.
 
Coming to the music, the background score helps the drama, but AR Rahman yet again comes up with a soundtrack generating a mixed response. The veteran shows his presence at the beginning of a few tracks but then disappears after a minute, as usual. While Irshad Kamil once again proves his versatility in the lyrics, the world-famous composer doesn’t deliver a track that stays with you for long except ‘Tumhein Mohabbat Hai’ having the glimpses of the good old Rahman
 
The soundtrack is surely much better than the below-average music being served to the present generation. But that cannot be a compliment for a magician like Rahman. For the youngsters listening to him in the present era, this is AR Rahman 2.0 who is a far less impressive version of the original composer we witnessed, cherished, and loved in the 90s and early 2000s.
 
Overall, Atrangi Re has a unique emotional subject written by Himanshu Sharma that doesn’t get the deserving thoughtful treatment and thus remains a strictly average film in totality. It could have been an entirely different project, made without the influence of its star performers. In fact, that’s exactly how we ruin some brilliant subjects in our current Hindi cinema guided by star-presence, commercial elements, and box office returns in mind.
 
On a concluding note, entertainment doesn’t always mean comical treatment of a theme. Also, at times, casual entertainment doesn’t have to be the only motive of making cinema, that should ideally say it all.
 
Rating: 2.5 / 5
(Streaming at Disney+ Hotstar)
 
(Note : Living with a presumed character (as an illusion) also reminded me of a Tamil hit SOODHU KAVVUM featuring Vijay Sethupathi in the lead.)

Tags : ATRANGI RE Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Direct to OTT Release Reviews by Bobby Sing
01 Jan 2022 / Comment ( 0 )
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