Akaash Vani (2013) – A review

Akaash Vani – Poster

I wanted to watch this ever since I had heard about it. I wanted to watch it even more than Race 2, and so I did. And boy, did I like it! In a nutshell, it’s a regular, somewhat clichéd, true-to-the-matter, romantic love story with decent acting, decent direction, decent music and wonderful writing. Its good on its own, but many of you would have this big question in your mind – is it better than the team’s previous flick, the cult classic Pyaar Ka Punchnaama? Well, umm… no! It is quite tough to put up something better than Pyaar Ka Punchnaama you see. So, if you’re disappointed, don’t be. Do go for it but with a different perspective. Appreciate the talent in the writer-director Luv Ranjan and buy tickets counting on him. I assure you that you won’t be disappointed. Both the movies are quite different from their roots. Pyaar Ka Punchnaama was fun and we loved it because it was fresh, something new. Aakash Vani is a mainstream romantic film. We’ve had a lot of similar films in this genre in Indian Cinema, so you can predict the story as the movie progresses. But the factor that makes Aakash Vani so good a film is its treatment. There is something in it that gives you a sense of Imtiaz Ali’s charm around it.

Right from the first scene, the movie keeps you with it. It makes you smile with its freshness and originality. Hats off to Luv Ranjan’s writing and treatment to the characters. Though the flow of the story seems a bit too quick and haphazard but you still enjoy the ride. The dialogues are really cool, the songs are pitched at perfect moments and they sound good as well. You don’t seem interrupted suddenly when the songs appear, which shows wonderful handling of screenplay. The first half is really good. But unfortunately, like several potentially good movies, this one too suffers from the second half syndrome. Maybe, that’s because the story takes a complete turn and everything changes. The tone becomes grave and gloomy, and perhaps that’s where he will loose the attention from majority of audiences because majority of them would be there just to have a light-hearted entertaining movie like Pyaar Ka Punchnaama. Same thing happened in the half-filled PVR hall where I was watching. People started laughing & mocking at serious occasions and you could see that they were no longer attached to the movie. This was partly because the acting was weak and the presentation appeared naïve. For example, in one scene when both Akaash (Kartik Tiwari) & Vani (Nushrat Bharucha) are sitting at a railway station and they start to cry. It could have been a very strong moment. Akaash hadn’t cried properly for 2 years since Vani left him. He should have poured his heart out. But you just don’t feel convinced by the way they both enacted it. It showed that these guys are new comers and have a lot to learn. Its times like this when the director has to wave his magic wand and show some magic. But Luv Ranjan was badly missed as a director there. Scenes like these sets them apart from stalwarts like Imtiaz Ali, Rajkumar Hirani, Yash Chopra, etc. who make their audiences weep along with their characters. But it wasn’t complete crap. It was good. A touchy fellow like me wouldn’t mind all that.

The thing that made me like the movie, despite its weak treatment, is the story and its respect for reality and being true to the matter at hand. Its not a love story where in a girl dumps a guy because she made a stupid promise to god and the guy starts defusing bombs in Army in order to kill himself but doesn’t get killed by one and in the end they both meet. No, this isn’t crap like that. This story is the one that you can relate to, one that you’ll see happening next door. This is a part social message, part entertainment film from where I see it. It would make an impact on those parents standing at the crossroads of 2 generations – their and their children’s. This movie would tell them their kids’ side of story. But its not all social message and teachings, it’s a cocktail of fun, drama, romance and practicality stirred a bit carelessly and served. Had it been stirred properly and served with a proper garnish, it could have caught up to become a mainstream movie that would give Race 2 a good run for its money.

Talking about acting, it was good for both Kartik and Nushrat. Their previous roles in Pyaar Ka Punchnaama were relatively easy to portray, I’d say. But these characters were a bit more complex to justify. They had more shades and diverse emotions and they justified them pretty well. Kartik is noticeably good in the first half playing the fun guy and Nushrat comes out more mature in the second half wonderfully expressing her character torn apart in keeping up her marriage. The dialogues are good. The conversations seem genuine and not made up which helps in generating a tempo. If this film had a big banner attached to it and A-listed actors, I am sure it’d have been a huge hit. Not having a crowd puller will commercially affect them a lot. It was a good decision to repeat the same pair from Pyaar Ka Punchnaama; otherwise a fresh pair would have made things even worse. But one thing is for sure, now onwards Luv Ranjan wont need introduction in film industry and nor would Kartik and Nushrat. I just hope they have good agents with them, like the ones Ranvir Singh has, that can give them A-listed films with A-listed players. It’s a very important factor to make your place permanent in this industry; otherwise surviving without a godfather is extremely difficult over here.

I am so glad I chose this over Race 2. I read a couple of major critics’ verdicts on Race 2 and it is exactly what I expected. I haven’t seen that movie but there is one thing I can tell you for sure – there is definitely more as movie in Akaash Vani then there is in Race 2. People who can spot and appreciate talent would like this film, for others who just like things that sparkle, go for Race 2. But better know what they say about things that sparkle.

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