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Naach April 15, 2007

Posted by Sai in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.

This intense love story from Ram Gopal Varma bombed at the box office against competition from Veer-Zaara and Aitraaz and not all reviews were complimentary. As a result, I stayed away from the film for so long. Finally, I saw this film and realized that the film got a raw deal. And this is so so so much better than those two films mentioned above, it makes me sad. The amount of money that these films made is in reverse order of their quality.

Rewa (Antara Mali) is a passionate dancer and wants to build a career in choreography without bowing down to the diktats of Bollywood. Abhi (Abhishek Bachchan) is an aspiring actor who is willing to give what the audience wants whether he believes it or not. The two meet during their struggling days and fall in love. Abhi achieves success soon enough with talent, luck and a practical outlook. On the other hand Rewa doesn’t get the chance that she deserves due to her attitude. She is also unwilling to piggyback on Abhi’s success while Abhi doesn’t mind helping her out. These differences in their outlook causes them to part. Rewa finally gets her big break in a music video directed by Diwakar (Ritesh Deshmukh) who believes in her talent. He also convinces her to star in the video as she is best choice to successfully translate her vision. The video is a great success and Diwakar gets the chance to direct a film. He casts Abhi and Rewa as the main protagonists. While Rewa is able to distinguish between her professional relationship and her personal one, Abhi is less successful in controlling his feelings leading to an emotionally charged climax.

The Idealist versus The Pragmatist. I don’t recollect seeing a film with this conflict being the central focus and Varma succeeds in bringing this conflict to the screen (ably aided by his writers Pooja Ladha Surti, Musharaff Ali Khan, Sulekha Bajpai). Rewa is an idealist. She wants to live and work as she believes is the way to do it. She wants to make it on her own. Abhi is a pragmatist. He wants to live and work by the demands of the world as long as it keeps him happy. He doesn’t mind getting some help in achieving his goals. As much as the world believes that the idealist is unfit for it, the world is unfit for the idealist.

Varma has made this film like an idealist without thinking about the commercial appeal of the film and therefore it bombed. There isn’t an overdone moment in the film (Abhi’s retaliation against the journalist comes close but such incidents have occurred in the past) and that is what makes the film good. The realistic nature of the film makes its watchable despite its slow pace and lack of conventional entertainment.

This is Antara Mali’s best role and her best performance. She puts her life into the performance. It is a pity that the movie bombed as badly as it did. There was a lot of talk about her being scantily clad. Believe me, that was the last thing that came to my mind because there was so much more to observe and enjoy than her legs and midriff. Abhishek Bachchan delivers a quality performance. This is one of the movies during the phase that he developed into a competent actor. Ritesh Deshmukh displays his talent once again. It is sad that he is being typecast into comic roles these days. Priya Badlani, who plays Mamta and Rajesh Tandon, who plays Sandesh also perform adequately in short roles.

The soundtrack and the choreography play a very important role in the appeal of this film and Varma gets a combination of talented people to do the job. I hadn’t heard the music of this film before watching it and I was pleasantly surprised. The score gels extremely well with the film. The captivating choreography was an even bigger suprise and some of the numbers have left an enduring impression on my mind.

A large part of the work of composers Amar Mohile (Awara Man Mein, Bandhane Lagi, Sara Sara), Shailendra Swapnil (Naach Naach Ke, Rakht Ka Hai) and Nitin Raikwar (Berang Zindagi, Ishq Da Tadka) and choreographers Terence Lewis (Sara Sara, Bandhane Lagi), Raoul-Maitria (Awara Man Mein, Naach Naach Ke, Rakht Ka Hai), Shabina Khan (Berang Zindagi) and Harshall-Vitthal (Ishq Da Tadka) gives a very hatke feel to the movie. The best songs in terms of score, singing, choreography and visuals are Awara Man Mein and Bandhane Lagi with Sara Sara following closely. These had me spellbound.

The camerawork is simply superb. Credit to Varma and cinematographer Kiran Reddy (who was supposed to have brought this concept to Varma and was originally slated to be the director). Amar Mohile’s background score also helps the film immensely.

Rewa’s love for dance and the importance of dance to the story makes it a suitable title for the film. However, on first hearing, it gives the impression that the movie is about dance and that would have worked against the film.

I believe this is Ramu’s best work so far in the drama genre and I am sure he can do even better. However, this film is quite abstract and has nothing to appeal to the general public. Connoiseurs might want to check this out and those who like to watch artsy films with no commercial value (though I wouldn’t say that this would be called an “art film”).



1. Shujath - April 15, 2007

When I saw this movie in a theatre there were exactly 10 people including me and it was the first weekend! That pretty much sums up how this film fared.

In terms of the theme this is probably Ramu’s most sensible film in recent times but I felt that he had gone a bit overboard with the “Naach” factor in the movie. The slow and long shots of the characters dancing plus even the songs/choreography are very typical of RGV and I don’t find it appealing anymore. I did get impatient a lot of times during the movie. However, the best part and the redeeming moment is the pre-climax confrontation between all three characters which made me forget about the film’s flaws.

This was Abhishek’s first release post Yuva and hence a good performance was expected. Antra Mali was great too. Ritesh was a revelation in this movie. I had only seen his debut movie before this where he was just about ok but here he impressed me a lot. Among the younger lot I consider him to be the best and yet the most underrated.

Naach is not a film for everyone. It is more likely to appeal only to RGV fans. It is a fine film but boring at times too.

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