When two people meet on a landmark New York bridge both intending to jump off and kill themselves (for however lame a reason), but are saved by a series of events they choose to interpret as ‘signs’, the story can go anywhere.
Anjaana Anjaani, directed by Siddharth Anand, could’ve been a deep, thought-provoking psychological study in character, or it could evolve into a truly funny romcom that delves into their past and makes them emerge stronger, while still maintaining a believable cuteness as they go about it.
Yet, the filmmakers have chosen the most obvious and least interesting path for the characters to take. Not to mention, bordering on the absurd. That in a nutshell, is Anjaana Anjaani’s main problem. Almost certainly no one in the audience can identify with these people who are so desperate to embrace Mr Maut. A hotshot Wall Street investment banker who’s a virgin? Come on. Avatar seemed more likely. Priyanka Chopra’s smug character is so extreme from scene to scene that anyone falling in love with her would have to be well loaded to take care of all the psychiatric therapy she’d need soon. At one moment she’s the party-hard, play-hard, vodka-guzzling, broadminded and witty girl who lives life so freely it’s hard to imagine that anything bothers her at all. On the other hand she’s stalked her ex-boyfriend, slashed her wrists in reaction to the one time he slipped, tried to commit suicide in other multiple ways and doesn’t know what ‘asphyxiation’ means. Sigmund Freud would’ve been happy to meet her. Especially if she wore the clothes she does when she plans on getting drunk. Yeah, she looks great.
Ranbir Kapoor has a more consistent graph that goes from very boring guy to slightly-less boring guy. His performance is serviceable but lacks the energy we’ve seen in earlier films. Perhaps this is because he took his role as a manic-depressive too seriously, which would be great on his part. But then he’d have given the film too much credit.
Comic set pieces come and go. The pee-revenge is fun, but the gay truckers’ bar by the wayside is clunky and homophobic. Loose ends are easily tied up without much fuss or explanation (sure time heals all, but is 20 days enough for his partners to forgive and hug hum?). The item song is in the clichéd club setting are as random as they come. And then there is Zayed Khan (‘nuff said).
There is little expense spared on the look of the film and Ravi K Chandran continues to light scenes innovatively. The film looks nothing less than a Hollywood product with our two Bollywood hotties prancing around cross country in America (sometimes substituted by India and Bangkok). If only our screenwriters would take a leaf or two out of their book, then perhaps the audience too would be headed some place.
Hindi, Drama, Romance, Color