Spoiler Alert! Picture this. Akash (Ranbir Kapoor) and Kiara (Priyanka Chopra) meet on a bridge as two strangers: Anjaana Anjaani. Fate has it that both want to commit suicide but fate also leads them to fail in their quest. They try again and again until they begin to wonder themselves…maybe fate has other things in store for them? Maybe they should fulfil their last wishes before ending their lives? Er right, putting aside logic and realism for a second (this is escapist cinema after all), where is the originality in that story that you promised us, Siddharth Anand? Worryingly, that’s barely 10 minutes into the film and you are quickly beginning to lose interest. Fingers crossed then.
But wait, the director still has an opportunity to entertain us and do something amazing at this point in the way he directs his story onto the screen i.e. screenplay? Surely fulfilling the last wishes of Akash and Kiara would be fun, novel and interesting enough to keep the viewer hooked? Alas for everyone barring perhaps the youth (who are new to films), this is Siddharth’s single biggest failure in the film. Akash and Kiara’s road journey to self-discovery is slow, dull and predictable, particularly in the first half…the question is can you sit through it? If you do, you might find more laughs and fun in the second half although in truth, that drags as well. Also the comedy elements are not very funny, the romantic angle is as expected and there aren't many twists to wake you up. In fact, when you wake up you might be glad to find that the journey is nearly over and by the time Kiara finds herself back in San Francisco, you can leave the cinema hall before the end, confidently knowing the final outcome!
Screenplay failures aside, the film is technically sound but that was expected right? It certainly looks the part in terms of style and setting. Lavish backdrops of New York, Las Vegas et al are captured well by Ravi. K Chandran. The lead actors also look well pampered and stylised for the film particularly in the songs. Background score by Salim Sulaiman is effective. But the highlight of the film is the superb music by Vishal and Shekhar in what is arguably their best soundtrack since Om Shaanti Om, most songs excel here and are picturised well especially “Hairat”.
Performance wise it’s all about the lead pair because they feature in practically every scene of the film! No one is going to win any awards here but you have to admit the two actors help make the film much more watchable. Both act well but you get the feeling that Priyanka plays Kiara more effectively than Ranbir plays Akash. She displays all her emotions to good effect, portraying her larger than life character on the outside and an emotional, heartbroken individual on the inside. She also looks her stunning usual self! Maybe Ranbir’s rather subdued character wasn’t meaty enough for him because we are all aware of the immense talents he has. Maybe he was the wrong choice? Considering this is their first film together, the chemistry is good but you get the feeling they were far from inspired by the storyline. Zayed Khan has a small role to play and is ok.
So Anjaana Anjaani had a lot of things going for it on paper. Let’s face it, an exciting lead pairing of Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra would create a buzz for most fans not only the youth. Add some superb music from Vishal and Shekhar aired effectively in the promos, some lavish settings (New York, Las Vegas et al) and you have a winning formula, right? Well…WRONG! Unfortunately there’s the old issue of gloss over substance here and dressing an insipid story with these sub-factors does not necessarily constitute a good film...add to it weak screenplay and the end result is disappointing to say the least. Fans of Ranbir and Priyanka may enjoy this for a one time watch otherwise would it be too insulting to say this is maybe one for the youth only?