CAST & CREW
“ Raanjhanaa” is an emotional love story about the love, the prejudices and the ambitions of normal people and how they fall apart and reunite. The film is set against the backdrops of Varanasi and Punjab, before settling for Delhi in the concluding parts of the film. Significantly, this effectively is the debut into Bollywood of southern star Dhanush.
Plot: Kundan (played by Dhanush) and Zoya (portrayed by Sonam Kapoor) are childhood friends at Varanasi where they were growing up, and there is a crush for Zoya in Kundan’s heart. However, coming back after eight years, Zoya confides to Kundan that she cannot marry him as she was already in love with co-student Akram, (played by Abhay Deol). Realising the situation, Kundan decides to get married to Bindiya ( Swara Bhaskar), a childhood friend. Things become violent on the marriage date as it is discovered that Akram was actually a Sikh named Jasjeet Singh. Kundan informs this and the marriage is broken, and Jasjeet gets severely mauled by Zoya’s kin. Kundan is also told that Zoya contemplated suicide, while Jasjeet confesses that it was Zoya only who had persuaded him to change his identity.
In a disturbance, Kundan forgets about his own marriage with Bindiya and is thrown out by his kin. He gets even more crestfallen hearing that Jasjeet had actually succumbed to his injuries. Bewildered and frustrated, he finally lands up in JNU where Zoya had become an influential party leader. While most others in her party liked Kundan, Zoya continued her grudge against Kundan. On the prompting of the Chief Minister, Zoya plans revenge by arranging a blast during Kundan’s campaign speech. While Kundan is lying grievously injured in the ICU, Zoya has a change of heart and informs a Press Conference she had jointly plotted the blast. Rushing to meet the dying Kundan she comes to know that he knew of the plot but still went ahead as he was tired of life and his sole desire was to fall in love with her in the next life.
What stands out surely is Dhanush’s superb performance in this very first film of his in Hindi, portraying the expectations and frustrations of the character superbly. What is more significant is that the remaining cast also pitches in admirably to enhance the total acting quotient of the movie, with Sonam Kapoor upholding the promise that she displayed in Delhi 6 with her deglamourised next door girl appearance. Others who draw attention are Swara Bhaskar, even in a curtailed role, and Abhay Deol shows restraint in a complex role.
Amongst the other pluses of the film A R Rahman’s music must rank topmost with both the songs as well as the background score building on you gradually, like it always does. The screenplay has been deftly used by director Rai to maintain a sustained interest in the happenings without making them appear contrived or flashy. The manner in which they build up the amazingly sensational final scene is also of a superior quality and speaks highly of their innovativeness. The spirit of the film, as it moves around the various parts of northern India is ably captured graphically through the lens of Nataraja Subramania, Vishal Sinha
Verdict: It is obviously a love story, but one that is different not only in content, but also in depiction. Sans the political interjections towards the final stages, it would have been an unblemished and extremely lovable love story. Even otherwise, it remains an immensely watchable film, and any regular movie goer should regret missing it.
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