Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 21st June, 2013
Time : 140 minutes
Director : Anand L Rai; Writer : Himanshu Sharma; Music : A R Rahman
Starring : Dhanush, Sonam Kapoor, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Swara Bhaskar, Abhay Deol
Much to my surprise, and despite a negative, unfavourable first impression, this movie works to the extent it does only because of a live wire, enthusiastic performance by Dhanush. And his relationship with wise-cracking, I’ll-stand-beside-you at-all-costs, close friend, Zeeshan Ayyub and the madly-in-love, inventive-cursing, sweet Swara Bhaskar. Sonam irritates and displays her meager acting skills while Abhay impresses for the brief while he is there in the film
Am not quite sure what was the story the director wanted to narrate here. There is a little bit of everything. Dhanush, A Tamilian boy, son of a Hindu temple priest in Benares, not too good looking, sweet but not the type who will ever set the world on fire, falls for Sonam. Daughter of an important government official and one of those fanatic Muslim types, who on hearing she is seeing a Hindu boy, ruthlessly packs her off to Aligarh.
Life and the movie then take some very strange twists and turns – we see JNU / student politics, we see a man who despite being very principled, firm and assertive otherwise, give in to a hare-brained scheme involving lies and deceit. We see aimlessness, selfishness treachery, the seamier side of politics, religion, betrayal and death. And all the while, there is love, the one sided, steadfast, I-will-love-you-till-I-die, will-do-anything-for-you kind of love.
I would pray that no one ever falls in love with a character like Sonam, selfish, almost taking delight in punishing the other when young, and delighting in using the other when older. And definitely not in the mad, intense, one-sided way that Dhanush or Swara seem to.
The background music is nice, couple of songs stand out. The milieu of Varanasi is well captured. The dialogue for both Zeeshan and Dhanush is very good, with the most caustic, funny lines delivered with panache by the former. But in the end it’s the enthusiastic, uninhibited performance by Dhanush that steals the show. You like him, feel for him. You want good things to happen to him. He somehow connects. And that holds you through the otherwise, uneven, slightly meandering, just a tad aimless film…