"Raanjhanaa" - celebrates pain of heartbreak
Film: "Raanjhanaa"; Cast: Dhanush, Sonam Kapoor, Abhay Deol, Swara Bhaskar, Mohammed Zeeshan; Director: Anand L. Rai; Rating: ****1/2
This enormously-enriching film about the pain of love has four heroes: Dhanush, Sonam Kapoor, A.R. Rahman's music and the city of Varanasi. Not necessarily in that order. But then 'orderly conduct' is hardly a given in a film about raging unrequited love.
He loves her to death. Cross his heart and hope to die. And it's their wedding day. But they're not getting married to one another. As he returns exhausted from messing up her marriage to another man, the slumbering band-baaja wallahs at his own wedding hasten awake and begin playing a wedding song wearily.
It's a brilliant defiant moment defining the contradictions and savage ironies of romantic associations.
"Raanjhanaa" tells us it's not so cool to fall in love. Unless you're ready to slither on the ground for love, if the need arises.
Ever wondered why we FALL and not rise in love? Just looking at this unforgettable dazzling and non-derivative take on unrequited love set amidst the bustling river-bank politics of Varanasi, we know all over again that love can kill your spirit, soul, self esteem and finally, your physical presence as well.
Angry, aggressive, passionate, temperamental, moody and quite simply majestic, "Raanjhanaa" is an opulent, epic, seductive, raging and rippling ode to love. The script, by Himanshu Sharma, journeys from the loverboy Kundan's childhood when he first sees his object of adoration doing her namaaz, and follows him to adulthood, much in the same way as he follows Zoya around.
In seductive spirals of song-filled rhapsody, we see Kundan pursuing his lady-love through the robust gallis and mohallahs of Varanasi. It's a beautifully charted journey, much less foul-mouthed and belligerent than Habib Faisal's "Ishaqzaade" and far more mature and relevant than Ayan Mukerji's "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani". It is also made vastly enjoyable by the director's confident and unhurried control over his lover's uncontrollable passion. It's as though Rai knows that the heart is more prone to betrayal than redemption.