Atrangi Re lives up to its title. Directed by Aanand L Rai, it’s a refreshingly different, unique love story that so beautifully breaks through the norms. The story revolves around Rinku Sooryavanshi (Sara) and Vishu (Dhanush) being married to each other forcefully. On their way to Vishu’s hometown, they come to an understanding that they’d follow their own paths because they’re not meant to be together–and also because Vishu is getting engaged in two days. Now enters Sajjad Ali (Akshay Kumar) who Rinku is in love with. How Rinku deals with the dilemma of being in love with Sajjad and also having feelings for Vishu at the same time is what Aanand L Rai tells us through this film but in a rather unconventional way.
The film delves deep into relations we hold onto, emotions that are left behind, the denial we often live in and the acceptance that follows after a lot of pain. The story subtly touches upon the issue of mental health as well but at no point gets preachy. Starring Sara Ali Khan, Dhanush and Akshay Kumar in lead roles, Atrangi Re boasts of a casting coup that just cannot go wrong. Though with energetic stars like Sara and Akshay, you think the story might go a bit over-the-top, but the director maintains a balance so brilliantly that none of his characters overshadows each other. The supporting actors including Vishu’s best friend (Ashish Verma) and Rinku’s grandmother (Seema Biswas) stand out in their parts. Akshay the superstar, allows Sara to take the forefront, while Dhanush complements her energy.
The screenplay of Atrangi Re is perhaps the biggest winner of this venture. Himanshu Sharma’s writing takes you to a different world where love has a different meaning.
As Rinku, a small town girl, she’s crazy, feisty, thick-skinned and quite the rebel, yet emotionally attached to her parents. This is Sara’s fifth release, and you’d be mighty impressed to witness her range as an actor. The Bihari dialect that she’s picked in the film is on point and she never lets it go off track. Her performance in the song Chaka Chak is definitely her best so far. And not to mention her performance in the final act, which just pierces through your heart. Playing the calm to Rinku’s storm is Vishu, a doctor. Dhanush looks confident in his part and since his Bollywood debut with Raanjhanaa eight years ago, he has quite fitted into the Bollywood scheme of things. Assign him some dance steps, add a quirk to his character or give him some funny antics to pull off, and he aces it. However, Sara and Dhanush together as an onscreen couple don’t really trigger any sparks with their chemistry. Akshay, who’s a magician in the film, brings the Midas touch to the story, playing a pivotal role. Call it an extended cameo or whatever, he doesn’t let it affect his performance onscreen.
Last but not the least, Atrangi Re’s music is just pure gold and all credit goes to AR Rahman’s compositions and background score, and Irshad Kamil’s lyrics. Each song sets a different mood, the essence of which you want to take back home.
Definitely one of 2021’s best films!