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Atrangi Re Review {3.0/5} & Review Rating

ATRANGI RE is the story of a girl in love with two men. Rinku Suryavanshi (Sara Ali Khan) resides in Siwan, Bihar with her extended family. The extended family killed Rinku’s parents when she was a child. Rinku is in love with a mysterious man named Sajjad (Akshay Kumar) and has eloped with him multiple times. After her latest failed elopement, her maternal grandmother (Seema Biswas) gets fed up with her. She tells her family to get her married with any man available, preferably someone from outside Bihar. Her family members spot Vishu (Dhanush) in their town. He’s a medical student who has come to Siwan for a camp. His marriage is already fixed with his girlfriend Mandakini aka Mandy (Dimple Hayati) and their engagement is just a few days away. Rinku’s family abducts him and forces him to get married to Rinku. The next day, they book a ticket for them on a train to Delhi. On the train, Vishu is in a daze over last night’s development. Rinku tells Vishu that she is in love with Sajjad and that she’ll depart with him once she reaches Delhi. Vishu is relieved to know that even for her, it’s a forced marriage. He reaches Delhi, where he studies. Rinku tells him that Sajjad has gone to Africa to study magic and that he’ll return in 10 days. Vishu has to leave for Madurai. So, he tells Rinku to stay put at his hostel till Sajjad returns. Or else, she can join him for his engagement in Madurai. Rinku accompanies him to Madurai where Vishu and Mandy get engaged. All is going well until Mandy chances upon the video of Vishu and Rinku’s wedding. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Atrangi Re

Himanshu Sharma’s story is innovative and unconventional. The screenplay, however, turns this flawed plot line into a watchable fare. The writer has added some very touching and impressive sequences. Hence, one doesn’t mind even if the goings on get too ‘atrangi’. Himanshu Sharma’s dialogues, as expected, are one of the highpoints as they are very witty and suit the character’s traits.

Aanand L Rai’s direction is great. His storytelling has evolved and it’s evident in several scenes. His biggest victory is that he manages to hold the attention of the audience and give a convincing execution to a plot like this. Any other director could have fallen flat but Aanand comes out with flying colours. He also makes an important comment on mental health. The second hand could have been sharper and a little more sensible though.

ATRANGI RE starts off very well. A few scenes in the first half are exceptional like Rinku and Vishu’s forced marriage, their conversation in the train etc. The sequence where Vishu rattles off a monologue in Tamil in front of an emotional Rinku is beautiful. The scene minutes before the intermission point is a shocker. Post-interval, the film continues to be interesting although some developments are difficult to digest. The way Rinku resides peacefully in an all-boys hostel and nobody minds is difficult to comprehend. However, even more unconvincing is how in the second half, all the hostel mates come together to participate in the madness for the sake of Vishu and Rinku’s love story. The ending has another twist and while the conservative audience would reject such a culmination, the ones looking for something ‘hatke’ would lap it up.

ATRANGI RE is embellished with some fine performances. Sara Ali Khan had played another ‘atrangi’ character in LOVE AAJ KAL [2020] but it fell flat. However, here, she is in superb form and proves that she is one of the most promising actors today. This was no easy character and as the film progresses, one realizes the character is so layered and complex. However, Sara plays it effortlessly. Dhanush, as expected, gives a rocking performance. He has given several memorable performances over the years and yet, one is blown away with his act in this film. He’s of course impressive during the emotional monologue, his dance in the loo or when he loses it in the train and auto rickshaw. But there are scenes where he has no dialogues and it’s impressive how he communicates with his silences and eyes. Akshay Kumar is lovely in the supporting part. He adds a lot of starry appeal. Ashish Verma (Madhusudhan) is dependable as the sidekick.  Seema Biswas and Dimple Hayathi are okay in their small roles. Pankaj Jha (Rinku’s mama) and Gopal Dutt (Divorce lawyer) are hardly there and are wasted. One expected more from them. Mannat Mishra (Baby Rinku) is cute.

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A R Rahman’s music is soulful and one of the USPs of the film. ‘Rait Zara Si’ is like a theme of the film. ‘Chaka Chak’ is foot-tapping and the best of the lot. ‘Tere Rang’ and ‘Toofan Si Kudi’ spring a surprise and are well shot. ‘Tumhein Mohabbat Hai’, ‘Garda’ and ‘Little Little’ are not as impressive. A R Rahman’s background score is brilliant and it gives a nice touch to several scenes.

Pankaj Kumar’s cinematography is very good. One doesn’t expect out-of-the-box camerawork in a film of this genre but the lensman surprises. Nitin Zihani Choudhary’s production design is very appealing. Ankita Jha’s costumes are realistic. Manish Malhotra’s costumes for Sara Ali Khan can be trendsetting. Sham Kaushal’s action is passable. RedChillies.VFX’s VFX is rich. Hemal Kothari’s editing could have been tighter.

On the whole, ATRANGI RE rests on a very unconventional plot. But it addresses a pertinent topic, that is, mental health which is tackled with sensitivity. Also, the performances, the musical score and several well-executed scenes turn the film into a watchable fare.

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