Atrangi Re is a film written by Himanshu Sharma and directed by Aanand L Rai. The film is handled by Aanand L Rai, Himanshu Sharma, Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar under the banners T-Series, Cape of Good Films and Color Yellow Productions. The film stars Akshay Kumar, Sara Ali Khan and Dhanush in the lead roles.
Dhanush plays the role of Vishu, a doctor who is on a trip to Bihar. On the other hand, there is Rinku (Sara Ali Khan) who runs away from her house for the ninth time to be caught by her family. They decide to get her married to an unknown stranger. So they kidnap Vishu and forcefully marry her. On a train trip to Delhi, the two tell about their respective lovers – Vishu is about to get engaged to his girlfriend in Chennai, and Rinku is deeply in love with Sajjad Ali Khan (Akshay Kumar), a magician. What happens next and how they solve this problem makes up the film.
There is a popular dialogue by Vadivelu which says, “Puyal vegathula poyitu iruken, kurukka edhuvum vandhura kudadhu”, which means that I am going at a reckless pace, I hope no obstacles come to the fore. It seems that the mood in which the film was made is because both the director and the writer have created a film where the visuals are either magical or seem extremely strange and illogical.
In the former, the film aims to be a fantasy drama and is quite successful. For example, there is the introduction of Rinku, where she is being chased by goons in cars. She ends up in a train station and starts attacking them with soda bottles. She is eventually caught, but doesn’t give up. This vibe looks refreshing. But there is the other end of the spectrum. Vishu (Dhanush) has a girlfriend with whom he is engaged for a few days. Nevertheless, when he is traveling with Rinku on the train, he immediately develops feelings for her, without thinking of his girlfriend. It is these sequences where the film falters.
Another issue with the film is the casting of the leads, except for Dhanush, who is brilliant and handles the film perfectly. It is enjoyable to watch his antics and Tamil dialogues. Sara Ali Khan’s Bihari accent is inconsistent and needs more work. In some scenes, she recovers, but in others, it’s a little off.
Akshay Kumar as Sara Ali Khan’s girlfriend might have been an interesting idea on paper but there is a clear lack of chemistry between them. To make them younger, more effort could have been put on the makeup department which could have made their romance believable.
It would be a crime to dismiss the film entirely because of the work of music director AR Rahman and cinematographer Pankaj Kumar. Rahman uses his experience and delivers a great score coupled with the soundtrack for us to remember. Chaka Chak and Ritt in particular are slight earworms. Pankaj Kumar’s scenes have the same qualities that we saw in Tumbbad and it is a memorable walk for him.
Aanand L Rai is one such director who has given us many progressive films like Tanu Weds Manu. But, here it seems to be lacking. The film raises a lot of issues but does not delve deeply into any of them. Apart from the bow and technical quality, the film underperforms on other departments. But the positive elements are so good that it makes the film worth watching.
Decision: AR Rahman, Dhanush shine in Atrangi Re, making it a watchable drama.