When the Queen Bee of Bollywood, Madhuri Dixit, decides to make a comeback and chooses the film after a long hiatus, the curiousity factor increases and makes you wonder what’s so special about Aaja Nachle. The movie is a welcome relief from the bizarre films YashRaj Films chruned out in 2007 (barring Chak De India – which was excellent).
The story is simple, perhaps predictable – duh – but it has heart and good intentions to never give up on anything. Most importantly, it’s a one woman show as Madhuri Dixit does her 1000-watt smile and adds soul to the entire film.
The movie begins in New York City where Dia (Madhuri Dixit) is a successful choreographer and a single mother. She gets an emergency call from India, telling her that her dance guru is on his deathbed and so heads off to the city of Shamli, where she caused a scandal.
11 years ago, Dia used to dance at Ajanta Theatre and ran away from home with her American boyfriend. Circumstances show us that her parents are humiliated and leave Shamli. Upon returning to her hometown, she is faced with the dilemma that Ajanta will be broken down to be turned into a shopping mall.
She visits the local MP, Raja saab (Akshay Khanna) who makes a bet with her that if she can put on a fabulous show within 2 months, the theatre will not be demolished. The only glitch in Dia’s plan is she needs to train the local folks to be a part of the show. And thus begins the real story. Does Dia save Ajanta theatre?
Madhuri Dixit’s comeback was much needed in 2007. Oh how one missed her charm and gracefulness in movies. She is stunning and infuses a lot of life to her character; she is fearless, determined, and still a fabulous dancer. Out of all the secondary characters, Ranvir Shorey (Dia’s ex-fiancee) and Raghuveer Yadav (doctor) are excellent. Kunal Kapoor is average. Konkana Sen Sharma surprisingly shows a great flair for comedy. Irfan Khan and Divya Dutta seem miscast. Finally, Akshay Khanna, in a brief role, is superb…one wonders why he isn’t seen more often in movies?
The music is average but luckily incorporated into the scenes to not make it tedious. Show Me Your Jalwa is entertaining and Aaja Nachle will definitely make your heart go dhak dhak.
As a debutant director, Anil Mehta (an experienced cinematographer) has shot the film beautifully. His camerawork is focused on the star of the film (perhaps a little too much), but overall, does an excellent job of bringing all the chracters and plot to a good conclusion.
Aaja Nachle will entertain you for many reasons. You may not dance out of the cinema after the movie ends but you sure will be longing for more Madhuri afterwards.