Movie review: Atrangi Re: Good idea polluted by a confusing storyline and false suspense


Himanshu Sharma, who wrote the Tanu marries Manu frank, foolish Raanjhana and the abyss Foreigners and Zero, has shown that as a writer, he passes with perfect ease from the sensitive to the strange or worse. With Atrangi Re, he once again shows his predilection for a stranger “entertainment” brand. It will be noted that all his films are directed by Aanand L. Rai, whose directorial filmography therefore equals his!

Rinku (Sara Ali Khan) tried to run away an incredible number of times with her “boyfriend” Sajjad (Akshay Kumar) but was caught each time. Her family (she is an orphan raised by her grandmother and uncles) decide enough is enough, and from the ultra-conservative small town of Bihar, decide to marry her to the first bachelor they find suitable. They drug Rinku and kidnap a visiting medical student, Vishu (Dhanush), a South Indian, and drug him as well. They both get married and take a train to Delhi. Of course, Vishu never thinks about filing a complaint with the police.

Vishu is accompanied to the northern Indian city by his best friend and colleague Madhusudan (Ashish Verma), but the man disappears without a trace and we don’t know why he doesn’t look for his friend in the place where They surrender. Of course, there is no convincing explanation as to why the two are there.

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On the train, Rinku realizes that Vishu has a fiancée and that suits him. They decide to go their own way in Delhi. Inexplicably, however, Rinku accompanies her to his medical center (for men) and no one thinks to object when he keeps her in his room, even if he decides to sleep outside!

Vishu is to get engaged to his fiancee Mandy (Dimple Hayathi) and Rinku, who now tells him he’s the nicest man he has met after losing his parents, accompanies him. During the engagement ceremony, however, all hell breaks loose when Vishu’s wedding photos are seen on his cell phone (Who took them? We’re not told!). The engagement is broken.

Vishu is, surprisingly, the least bothered because he has started to like Rinku, and she too is starting to reciprocate. But what about Sajjad, who keeps appearing? Ah, so hangs a tale. This story has a twist of sorts, and it has something to do with Sajjad’s religion and Rinku’s family.

The denouement, when it comes, is told in an unconvincing and odd way. Leaving several things unexplained, it creates further confusion as to whether Vishu and his friends are medical students (in one scene he said he has four years left as a student!) Or doctors. Their conversation is very ambiguous, suggesting the writer’s alienation from medical academics!

Dhanush, as Vishu, is good at his role, best when shown stressed and having a blast in his character’s native language (and his real) language, Tamil. Sara Ali Khan impresses – pretty much. Akshay Kumar is doing well, struggling with a weirdly presented character. The rest is fine, Seema Bis was wasted as a grandmother.

As always, AR Rahman’s background music is vastly superior to his songs, of which “Rait Zara Si” is conventionally catchy. But “Murali Ki Yeh Dhun” works as a nice relief for everything we hear these days. However, I wish that for such a beautiful raag-based on composition, the orchestration had not been so heavy in percussion.

Like the unusual subject of the film, it deserved much better treatment!

Evaluation: **

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