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ANJAANA ANJAANI. Director: Siddharth Anand. Players: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Zayed Khan. Music: Vishal-Shekhar. Theatrical Release: Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
So, ok, it isn’t actually the stuff legends are made of. But director Siddarth Anand comes up with another sweet, if, predictable, story after Bachna Ae Haseeno.
Anjaana-Anjaani, as the name suggests, is about how two strangers, both losers, who meet at the end of their tethers. When they find dying difficult, they decide to have a last shot at life and do all the things they wanted to and live out their bucket-list.
A Wall Street crash dashes the high-flying plans of go-getter Aakash (Kapoor) , who loses everything, along with
the will to live. Wishing to end it all, he finds himself on a bridge, ready to jump. Only, there is another loser there, Kiara (Chopra), who, by encouraging him to jump succeeds in effectively foiling his suicide bid.
The two, bent on dying, try various methods, fail stupendously and decide to do it on the approaching New Year’s Eve from the same bridge where they’d met. Till then, they decide to live gloriously.
Needless to say that what begins as a platonic relationship becomes a romantic one during a road trip to Las Vegas. The yuppy twosome discover each other and Aakash falls in love with scatter-brained Kiara. Complications arise on the rocky road to romance in the form of old flames and prior commitments.
Anybody who has seen Dilwale Dulhania Le jayenge, Jab We Met and countless others in the same mold will have a feeling of “been there, done that.” Without the crucial ingredient of a strong storyline or interesting sub-plots, the movie ends up being not much more than one rather long road-trip.
To their credit, leads Kapoor and Chopra are in their element, and it is their chemistry and superb comic timing which save the plot-less movie from collapsing completely. The sequences where the two try out every which way to die and fail are hilarious. Quite like Jab We Met, the first half of the movie has a perky heroine, and Chopra has mastered that art completely. Natural and effervescent, she is the typical NRI girl here who, in the second half, transforms into an introspective lady. Her sudden change is hard to understand, as is her reason to “die or to live full throttle.” Kapoor’s story is slightly better etched, but the weak story and characterization kill what could have been a really good movie. It is really difficult to sympathize or even empathize with two people who are having a whale of a time trying to die! The writer completely fails to give depth or credibility to her characters. Kudos to the actor duo for still managing to keep the viewers in their seats with their sheer screen presence.
Cinematographer Ravi.K. Chadran (of Black, Sawariya and the forthcomingGuzaarish fame) makes up for some of the film’s flaws with picturesque scenery. The Nevada deserts have been captured beautifully and so has the glittering Vegas, in its neon-lit splendor.
The music, both Salim-Suleiman’s evocative background score, which breathes life into many scenes, and Vishal-Shekhar’s brilliantly original soundtrack, deserves a special mention. Vishal-Shekhar put together a varied score and each song is memorable—be it the beautifully melancholic “Tujhe Bhula Diya,” the feather-light “Tumse Hi Tumse,” or the two very different (discotheque techno versus guitar-heavy crescendo) but equally hummable versions of the title track “Anjaana Anjaani.”
Go without high expectations, and chances are you will enjoy this musical joyride with this charismatic couple and come out smiling. Worth the price of admission and popcorn.
Madhumita Gupta is a freelance writer and teacher.