Aaja Nachle is a tad slow and monotonous, however Madhuri does manage to liven it to an extent with her earnest performance. It is an average film which is about Madhuri and for Madhuri. The script is in keeping with the popular theme of today’s times, triumph of the underdog, the deterioration of our culture due to modernism etc. However the main reason for the film being just average is its staid, placid screenplay which drags along. Madhuri tries to enliven this lackluster screenplay with her lively performance but unfortunately the film gets too monotonous and dreary. The film lacks high drama and enthusiasm; the subject of the film where an NRI returns to India to save her beloved theater where she learned to dance, sing and live amongst all obstacles is a tad boring. Overall Madhuri is the only saving grace and finally it is simply her presence that saves the film from being a complete let down.
Aaja Nachle is a musical which has been produced by Yash Raj Films and directed by Anil Mehta. The story and screenplay has been done by Jaideep Sahani etc. The music of the film has been composed by Salim-Sulaiman. Star cast for the film includes Madhuri Dixit as Dia, Konkana Sen Sharma, Kunal Kapoor, Ranvir Shorey, Irrfan Khan, Vinay Pathak, Akshaye Khanna, Divya Dutta, Yashpal Sharma, Juggal Hansraj, Darshan Jariwala etc.
Madhuri Dixit plays Dia, a dancer who lives in New York. However after living for ten years in New York, Dia gets a phone call that changes her life. Dia learns that her dance guru is dying and that the beautiful Ajanta Theater where he learned to dance and live is in ruins and will soon be lost forever. Dia decides to revisit her painful past by coming back to the town which abandoned her when she chose to marry an outsider. Now after ten years, a divorced single mother Dia returns to the town of Shamili to save her beloved Ajanta Theater from being replaced with a new swanky mall.
Dia has a formidable task ahead of her, in order to save the theater she has to put up a spectacular musical and her characters in the play have to be from the town. However this seems like an impossible task when Dia gets no volunteers for her play. Dia then adopts the policy of roping in any one she can manage to. What follows is a bunch of oddballs who get together but know nothing about song, dance or acting. Dia has two months to teach them the ropes, so will she manage to do it and save the theater from being completely wiped out?
The subject of saving the ruined theater by means of staging the ‘Laila Majnu’ play itself appears to be boring; moreover the screenplay is not infused with enough of drama and enthusiasm to keep the viewers entertained. The pace drags and the proceedings get monotonous. Jaideep Sahani’s screenplay lacks the punch to keep viewers riveted to the film’s proceedings. The screenplay does not have enough energy and drama. Anil Mehta’s execution too is unimpressive. Yash Raj films attempts to move away from the NRI and glam films that they are associated with, but in this quest their end product seems too dry and unglamorous which does not go down well with the audiences.
Jaideep Sahani is known for his characterizations, but unfortunately in ‘Aaja Nachle’ the lack of depth in his characters clearly comes across. Be it Konkana, Kunal, Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey etc, their characters don’t have a strong background which goes against it. Nonetheless what lifts these lifeless characters is the actor’s neat performances which infuse them with the much required spunk. Also many clichés have been used in the film. The music of the film is disappointing, as none of the tracks have that special musical quality. Title track ‘Aaja Nachle’ is average. Choreography by Vaibhavi Merchant is again average, but one would have expected something spectacular from Madhuri. Cinematography is strictly okay, especially considering that Anil Mehta is himself an ace cinematographer. Dialogues are fare.
Performances are good with Madhuri leading the pack, Madhuri is energetic and her expressions too captivate the audiences once more. She has a central role in the film and does complete justice to it despite her hiatus from bollywood. She looks fit too. Konkana too manages to hold her own and gives a good performance. Kunal Kapoor delivers an able performance and the rest of the cast too lends good performances providing good support. It is perhaps the decent performances which also manage to make the film average.
However the film’s script and screenplay is what takes the film lower and does not seem worthy of a film for Madhuri’s comeback. But Madhuri shines in the film and her performance does not disappoint her fans. At the box-office though, it will do average business due to Madhuri’s presence and the competent performances from the rest of the cast.