Aanand L. Rai's Atrangi Re is one of the most anticipated films of this year. The film starring Akshay Kumar, Dhanush and Sara Ali Khan is a twisted cross-cultural love triangle. The movie marks Dhanush’s first Hindi-language movie in six years.
Produced by Bhushan Kumar of T-Series, Rai's Colour Yellow Productions and Kumar's Cape of Good Films, Atrangi Re released on 24 December on the OTT platform Disney Plus Hotstar. Here are some reasons why you should watch this movie right now!
The “Atrangi” premise
Rinku (Sara Ali Khan) has a habit of running away from her home in search of her lover Sajjad (Akshay Kumar). She believes that he’s waiting for her and the only way to manifest his love is to elope and marry him. But hold on, Rinku’s family has other plans. They decide to forcefully marry her off to a Tamil Brahmin Vishnu (Dhanush). What follows is a love triangle between Rinky-Sajjad-Vishnu, unlike anything you could imagine. There is a massive twist that Rai brings to the table, which turns out to be a pivotal turning point in the narrative.
The Anand L Rai perspective
Anand L Rai is the master of weaving simple emotions into larger-than-life-aspirational storylines. Be it the journey of the free-spirited Tanu in Tanu Weds Manu or Kundan and Zoya’s odd love story in Raanjhana, Rai has always given emotion precedence over any other element in his films. So, it comes as no surprise when he decided to experiment with a new subject and give it his unique layered treatment in his latest offering, Atrangi Re. In Atrangi Re, Rai stays true to the title and creates characters and situations that are extremely atrangi - odd.
The interesting characters
Akshay’s Sajjad is a quirky, comical, jester, a mad man who conjures up tricks from his circus hat and changes weather with a click of his fingers. Polar opposite to him is the modest Vishnu who is unknowingly caught in a drama he never signed up for. Dhanush is perfectly cast for this part and his performance is easily the strongest point of the film. Sara Ali Khan’s Rinku seems like a part written for the actress. Very similar to her ‘namaskar darshakon’ Instagram series, Rinku too has verbal diarrhoea, a lot of spunk and seems like a time bomb waiting to explode. Rinku is definitely one of the toughest characters to crack and Sara shines in many scenes where she lets go of the pressures of being in the frame with her seniors or wanting to play to the gallery with the colourful dialogues.
Excellent screenplay and storytelling
Rai’s screenplay has always been his biggest strength. His characters bring life to even the dullest dialogue. The film doesn't present a linear or singular point of view but lets the audience decide what to make of the choices these characters make in the last 20 minutes of the film. Atrangi Re is Aanand L Rai’s bravest attempt in storytelling, even braver than Zero, given the subject it deals with. It is heartening to see a director show passion about breaking new ground and experimenting with format and style, yet stick to his core belief in filmmaking.
Atrangi Re deserves a watch for attempting something new. It is risky but also a welcome step in the right direction. Don’t hesitate to embrace the new!