Hey, all Desi story writers out there!
There’s news for you!
Bollywood has found a way to use your trash ahem… scripts!
If you have half-baked and incomplete scripts lying around, hand it over to EROS International. They will find someone to weave it all into a single movie.
Who cares whether it makes any sense!
Tell the audience they are getting the value of watching two movies for the price of one ticket and the chutiyas will line up in no time!
Tamil actor and star Dhanush (SIL of superstar Rajinikanth) makes his Bollywood debut with Raanjhanaa, directed by Anand Rai and supported by Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol.
Himanshu Sharma is credited with the story and screenplay. Perhaps it was best to let him figure out how to merge his two unrelated stories.
What does Raanjhanaa mean?
I had no f%cking clue until I checked http://www.bollymeaning.com/2013/04/ranjhana-ranjhanaa-raanjhanaa-raanjhnaa.html
The first half of the movie is set in Kashi aka Varanasi aka Banaras.
Kundan (Dhanush) is a Brahmin and son of Tamil parents settled in Kashi. His father is a temple priest.
At an age when he is incapable of getting a hard-on, Kundan falls in love with a Muslim girl.
After many years of courting, and a dozen slaps later, he learns her name is Zoya (Sonam Kapoor).
Zoya starts falling in love with Kundan.
Zoya backs off when she learns Kundan is a Hindu.
Kundan slits his wrist.
Zoya starts loving him again.
When Zoya’s parents learn their daughter loves a Hindu boy, she is dispatched to her aunt’s place in Aligarh for further studies.
Kundan promises to wait for Zoya to return.
Zoya returns after eight years and fails to recognize Kundan.
Zoya recognizes Kundan after he monkeys around a bit.
Zoya’s parents plan to get her married against her wishes.
Kundan helps Zoya avert the marriage.
Kundan proposes to Zoya, who responds that she loves her college-mate Akram (Abhay Deol).
Akram is a student leader who starts a political party to fight for equality and against social evils.
Zoya is inspired by Akram’s principles and falls in love with him and joins his political movement.
At the same time Zoya rejects Kundan because of his rustic nature and says Hindu–Muslim marriage will not work out.
Kundan slits his wrists.
Kundan then decides to help Zoya but also decides to get married to Bindiya (Swara Bhaskar), his childhood friend who is crazy for him.
Kundan tells Zoya’s dad that he was Zoya’s childhood lover, something her dad never bothered to find out all these years.
Kundan convinces Zoya’s dad to marry her off to Akram because he is a Muslim and not a small town guy.
Kundan then finds out that Akram is actually Jagjeet Singh, a Hindu.
Jagjeet, a popular and principled leader of a new political party, an inspiration for youths also copies in exams and agrees to con Zoya’s family by posing as Akram, a Muslim.
This is Zoya’s master plan for marriage.
Kundan exposes the news to Zoya’s father on the day of her wedding.
Zoya slits her wrist.
Akram / Jagjeet is beaten up and thrown on the train tracks.
Kundan helps Jagjeet get to a hospital. Jagjeet’s family take him to Punjab.
Everyone suddenly remembers that Kundan was also supposed to be married on the same date and there is a collective gasp!
Kundan is kicked out of his house.
Kundan decides to help Zoya re-unite with Jagjeet.
His death is as abrupt as TV serial characters who are killed off when the actor’s contract runs out
Kundan runs away in guilt.
Some guy says he cannot wash his sins away in Ganga. So, he comes back to Delhi in search of Zoya.
He doesn’t know what he wants. Zoya doesn’t know what he wants. Jagjeet’s sister doesn’t know what he wants.
Director Anand Rai and writer Himanshu Sharma are clueless about what’s going on.
Zoya is suddenly catapulted as the leader of the political party that Akram / Jagjeet formed.
Kundan serves tea in JNU campus. He uses his Tamil language skills to save a BSF Jawan from protesting farmers. In his free time, he gives political speeches for the party.
All members of Zoya’s political party are always present together and they mostly sleep in the open air in JNU campus.
Kundan overshadows Zoya as leader of the masses.
The Chief Minister is threatened by the new political party and hatches a political conspiracy.
Does Zoya become the new CM?
Does Kundan or Zoya slit his/her wrist again?
Does Zoya find another marriageable guy to pretend to be a Muslim?
Does JNU add Tamil to its mandatory subjects and Parotta-Kuruma on their menu?
To get answers to such curious questions, watch the movie.
Dhanush, for whom Raanjhanaa is a debut vehicle, has given an energetic and refreshing performance.
His inexperience with Hindi makes some dialogues sound awkward but despite his unconventional looks, limited Hindi diction and accent, Dhanush is a better actor than the likes of Abhishek Bachchan and Imran Khan.
I suspect we’ll see Dhanush in more Hindi movies.
Sonam Kapoor is a complete misfit for the complex role of Zoya which has shades of Grey and she delivers an incompetent performance which coupled with her anemic appearance was an eyesore for me.
Swara Bhaskar who plays the role of Bindiya was far more lively, expressive and, may I add, sexy too.
Abhay Deol is generally a good actor but he was completely wasted in an inconsequential role with very little screen time or stuff to do.
Even in the scenes where is supposed to be building the base for his party, he is hardly shown doing anything except walking briskly.
Abhay Deol is let down by poor writing.
Coming to the songs and music, while there was nothing to criticize there was nothing memorable either.
It has hardly been a few hours since I saw the movie and I can’t recall any of the songs or BGM segment.
It was only after the titles started rolling I learned that the music was composed by AR Rahman.
Given Rahman’s stature, I’d consider the music a letdown.
Verdict – Skip It
The first half of Raanjhanaa isn’t bad if you are in a generous mood.
The flaws could be overlooked due to some redeeming factors such as Dhanush’s good performance and the beautifully captured Banaras.
Also, the first half sticks to the typical Indian “Love Triangle” genre.
The movie degenerates in the second half with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Even Dhanush’s earnest attempt to carry a Bollywood movie on his lean shoulders cannot save you from dozing off or walking out.
For me the only respite in the second half was a power cut in the theater for about five minutes followed by another five minutes of only video and no audio.
I’d wholeheartedly recommend skipping Raanjhanaa.