‘Isko to France ke museum mein hona chahiye thha, aur woh Dilli ki sadkon par khula ghoom rahi hai’ (She should be in a museum in France, but she is running around on the streets of Delhi)
Imagine a mental health professional saying that about someone who is grappling with a psychological problem. This premise sums up pretty much all of Anand L Rai’s Atrangi Re for me.
The rather interesting first half of the film ends with Dhanush’s friend realising that Sara Ali Khan is hallucinating about her lover Akshay Kumar. The brief sigh of relief that I heaved at the movie not being age-inappropriate quickly turned south by the way the film-maker treats Sara’s illness.
She is surrounded by a bunch of doctors, Dhanush included, who behave like quacks to say the least. The idea that manipulating a patient’s make-believe world will somehow rid them of their issues is non-scientific, bizarre and downright stupid.
The film would have amused an audience in the 90s maybe, but is far too regressive for viewers in today’s time. Atrangi Re could have been phenomenol- the cast is great (even Akshay does justice to his part), the music is outstanding, locations and dialogues well crafted, it is just the story that fails everyone and everything.
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