Aaja Nachle – Komm, tanz mit mir (2007)

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Aaja Nachle – Komm, tanz mit mir: Directed by Anil Mehta. With Madhuri Dixit, Darshan Jariwala, Raghuvir Yadav, Divya Dutta. Dia’s dance teacher is dying. She returns to the town where she learnt to live and dance and most importantly to save the endangered Ajanta theatre.

“A Yash Raj film scripted by Jaideep Sahni of Khosla Ka Ghosla, Bunty Aur babli and Chak DE fame, that was set to have the diva dance back into our hearts – in other words a must see film? I went with great expectations that were never met and was left with a sense of sadness for what Madhuriu0026#39;s comeback could have been but was not. This is the story of Ajanta, a dance/drama school with a supposedly revered teacher (?), a guy I do not know in a wandering dervish type avatar. He gathers young girls and trains them in the dancing parampara that must not die. What parampara you ask? Well – this parampara seems to be a cross between the dancing style of J Lo and Madhuri in Dil To Pagal Hai, a parampara that is very much alive and has nothing to do with our culture at all! The young Diya (Madz) runs off with a white photographer for National Geographia (sic!) and is disowned. She turns into an aerobics instructor as far as I can tell! Then the dervish dies and the small town has to be taught that parampara and Ajanta are more important than a mall on that site. And we all flock to the multiplex at the biggest mall to see this travesty! The older Diya has to return, lock horns with the Raja turned MLA (a totally wasted Akshaye Khanna), many goons (led by a bemused Kunal Kapoor), her old flame (Ranvir Shorey), her old friend (Divya Dutta) now married to her arch nemesis (a non-acting Irrfan Khan), and has to find a suitable Laila (an overacting Konkona Sen) for staging Laila Majnu Ki Daastaan on the stage of Ajanta.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhat works in this film is so meager – Madhuri has a flat role with no nuances, and the bravura kathak dancer is made to tap dance! I do not think a worse role could have been written for this actress who left her mark on the 90s and then shot back to notice as Chandramukhi in Devdas. But to her credit, she is the one who manages to make the film somewhat engaging. The music is decent in parts but better outside the film. Ranvir Shorey does a good job as the jilted lover, and Divya Dutta plays her role well.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhat does not work is so much – it kept me checking my watch so I could get a coffee in the intermission, and then wait for this film to end. Konkona, Irrfan, Akshaye have terrible roles with no depth whatsoever, and then do not do anything with what they do get to work with. Raghubir Yadav is okay but the guru belongs in a school for madaris! The sets are so fake and film city. The final play staged is too opulent and filmy for a small town. Do we really need to see Laila in a diaphanous white gown sleeping on a round bed shown from above? What this film needed was (a) a decent script, this was completely lacking – what a disappointing effort by Mr. Sahni (b) a decent director – this one had no clue (c) a realistic setting like that of Bunty aur Babli to make it all seem a bit real (d) someone at YRF to get a clue about what culture really means – it is not about BW dancing or tap dancing or aerobics/bollyrobics, how about some real culture for a change? But no worries – YRF will soon have to get a clue or sink; except CDI they have produced nothing but tripe in recent memory. I hope Adi Chopra wakes up before he throws away the legacy of the pere.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eBut the final word has to be about Madz – she still has IT, the smile, the style, the looks, the acting/dancing ability – hope she make better choices in the future.”

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