January 15, 2008

Aacha Nachle. A tall order.

If you love the kind of Hindi movies I do, you can´t help but to developing a sort of system/defence mechanism for the handling of logic-defying storylines, movie goofs and continuity errors. Bollywood bettered itself in that area during the last few years, fortunately, which now makes it is all the more annoying when a big honcho studio like YashRaj falls back onto its evil 90ish ways.

(You have no ideas how much I wanted to love Aaja Nachle. Not that I had too high hopes for it knowing the latest films coming out of YRFChak de excepted). But even despite all odds. Even with all the not so flattering reviews. Even though I still hoped for something. I mean c´mon. Madhuri. And Konkona, Kunal, Ranbir, Vinay, Akshaye and Irrfan.

And then the movie opens with Madhuri doing a really bad Michael-Jackson-meets-Flashdance-meets-MiamiSoundMachine tap-dance/aerobics routine (with tap-dance sounds) wearing sneakers (apart from very unflattering spandex). For heaven´s sake. [self-defense mechanism kicks in] Maybe YR wants us to feel as if Mads was never away and DTPH released only a few months back? [ok. that might work. sort of. pretty far fetched but possible] Next she gets the call that her former Guru is dying and that she should come to India as fast a s possible. And the next time we see her she´s on the plane and she´s done a complete hair-makeover. [wft is that??] "Oh my. Guruji is dying. Lets get a plane ticket and since I´m in such a hurry, why don´t I get a haircut first?" [Bas. Goodwill khatm. And dont´get me started on the whole Ajanta set decoration and background dancer thing]

These days YashRaj don´t make it easy for the Bollywoodfan to love their films. Most of their movies come without a proper story. And what really makes me mad is that for the umpteenth time I get the feeling that they think their audience is too stupid to breathe. [Anyone recall the "magnetic" cola-can in D:2?]

So I did not have high hopes for Aaja Nachle. But that they would piss me of within the first 2 seconds of the film was something even I did not expect. Thankfully it got better once the title track comes on (at about 30min into the film) but by that time I already had stopped watching on the first night. I only gave it another chance the next day because I wanted to see Madhuri dancing.

And then Akshaye saved the day. The little verbal dispute that follows right after Madhuri danced my favorite song of the film, Aaja Nachle, made my little heart go pitter-patter "Who are you?""I´m the bad guy" As sunny wrote over at Marco´s forum: "I´d love to have a Raja like that. Sigh. All those problems I could come up with every day, so he could solve them for me..."

So no, not all is bad in Aaja Nachle. Madhuri looks great [even if her hair-length changes from scene to scene... but lets just take that as a nostalgic flashback to the good ol´90ies] her smile still chases away the rainclouds and she is still my favorite dancer. Plus there are some sweet side-characters. My favorite is the adorable Mr. Chojar played by Vinay Pathak.

But he as well as the rest of the supporting cast was painfully underemployed. Especially the big calibers like Irrfan Khan and Ranvir Shorey. What a waste. Only Konkona had some space to work with. And Kunal Kapoor got away with the most romantic sentence in the movie [Which I wont tell because I can´t tell you all the good parts]

So. The story [Dancer elopes with American photographer only to divorce him soon thereafter. Whole town hates her for that - the eloping. not the divorce. they don´t know that yet - 11 sal ke baat she comes back to safe her hometown´s theater that is to be replaced by a shopping mall by putting up a stage-play with a cast of villagers against the more or less hostile reluctance of same villagers] is lame-ish. The execution sloppy in many parts. But I liked the cast. I liked the songs. I liked Laila-Manju.
If you love Madhuri as I do, you have to watch it. Just be sure to "leave logic behind" and bring an extra big helping of "instant-movie-goofs-forgiveness" and once you´re settled you´ll have yourself a nice timepass and you will finally have Madhuri back.


Beth Loves Bollywood said...

I haven't seen this yet, but your review is making me ask "We may have Madhuri back, but at what cost?"

Our dignity? Is it worth it? I can accept that it is, at least for some people. I'm not a huge Madhuri fan (nothing against her - just haven't seen many of her movies), so maybe it wouldn't be for me.

Anonymous said...

Yash Raj bannar sucks nowadays, few years back ppl waits for their release but now it seems me that they are just making movies for money nothing else. and thats why their last few movies like tara ra ra rum and aaja nachle was flop. but Chak de was good.

Anonymous said...

Also wanted to love the movie against all odds and managed liking it at least.
I would like to know whether the fact that real and reel life of stars somewhat mix in Bollywood had something to do with Aaja Nachle flopping (minor SPOILER!) cause in both you had Madhuri coming over for a short visit and then just leave again. A little bit of a downer in the film as well as in reality. Maybe the Indian audience didn't take it that well?

Anonymous said...

I wanna download this movie

babasko said...

@timrepass: then you came to the wrong place. no downloading here mere yaar.

Anonymous said...

aaja nachle is a wonderful movie n madhuriis at her best in it...It;s not for idiots ...go n watch OSO n Welcome...you nonsense people


AAJA NACHLE ....a lovely movie..in true sense a " different" movie,.,...n Madhuri just wowwwwww...
Pls comeback madhuri , we want more from you...Fantabulous acting , superb dancing , gr8 starcast , gr8 music,....everything is gr8 is AN.,.Thanks Madhuri for doing it. You fitted the role very beautifully....you were destined to do this role of Dia

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