Ahista Ahista is a simple romantic film that depicts situations from everyday life. The movie is a medium-budget film sans any glamour and glitz that is seen in today’s bollywood films. In fact it represents films of a bygone era. Unfortunately the simple love story hardly works in today’s times. The story has no doubt been told well but unfortunately the simplicity and the pace of the film weakens the script. Performances are mediocre and one thing which works in a positive way as well as negative way for the film is the climax. But again the innocence of the protagonists seems misplaced in today’s times.
Ahista Ahista has been produced by Anjum Rizvi and directed by Shivam Nair. The film stars Abhay Deol (Ankush), Soha Ali Khan (Megha), Shayan Munshi (Dheeraj), Shakeel Khan, Kamini Khanna and Sohrab Ardeshir. The story has been written by Imtiaz Ali and the music has been composed by Himesh Reshammiya. The setting for the film includes the old by lanes and various other places in Delhi and Nainital.
Ankush has an interesting job which doesn’t pay well, but he manages to survive. Ankush works as a witness to couples who come to the registrar office to tie the knot. He is content with his daily wage and his lifestyle, till the day he meets Megha. She has run away from home to get married to Dheeraj. Unfortunately the man whom she left everything for doesn’t turn up and she is left standing alone on the streets of Delhi, without a roof or any money. Ankush sees this innocent girl and decides to help her out. He takes her about town, first to a mosque, then to a dingy sleazy room and finally to an old age home in the hope of finding her a job and a roof over her head. Eventually he manages to get her job and accommodation at the old age home with the help of his friend. Slowly the couple begins to confide and rely on each other. Their meetings increase and their familiarity gradually turns into affection.
Ankush, who had also taken a loan, now has to repay the loan and at this time it is Megha who urges him to take a job as a bank representative. Megha and Ankush become each others confidante and moral support. They decide to take the next step and get married, unfortunately at this juncture Dheeraj decides to re-enter Megha’s life. Megha is at a crossroads now, whom should she choose? And both Ankush and Dheeraj will go to any length to be with Megha.
The story is a sweet, simple love story and the execution too seems to have everyday and realistic portrayals. Director Shivam Nair has managed to tell his story quite convincingly, he builds each of the characters and situations in an extremely laidback and subtle manner. None of the characters or situations has an unrealistic or over the top look. Imtiaz Ali’s story is filled with a soft sweet innocence that undoubtedly is appealing at times. The characters too have an extremely subtle, simplistic and middle class appeal. The setting in Old Delhi has a warm old world charm within the by lanes and interiors. The film is balanced well with subtle as well as poignant moments. At times even the silence during scenes is able to make an impact which shows the director’s deft handling.
Unfortunately the sedate love story and simplicity of the film can at times be a bit boring. Also the entire film deals with the build up of the love story and except for the climax there are no other twists and turns in the film which makes it too routine. The pace of the film tends to drag after a while and the songs don’t seem to fit into the narrative and there are too many songs. The film is too long and winding at times and could have been better edited.
But the climax is different and though some may be disappointed by the unusual turn, it nonetheless works. The song ‘Allah Kare’ by Himesh Reshammiya is nice and ‘Ahista Ahista’ is appealing and the cinematography by Prakash Kutty manages to capture Delhi in its ‘gullis’ and ‘nukkads’ quite well. And even the dialogues seem to be taken from everyday life. As for performances both Abhay Deol and Soha are efficient and capable enough. Abhay plays the simple and caring lad quite efficiently; gradually one begins to develop a liking for his character. Even his subtle cute sense of humour is affable. He shares a good chemistry onscreen with Soha Ali Khan and he has improved quite a lot since his debut film.
Soha Ali Khan is apt for the sweet innocent girl next door role. She depicts strength and subtlety in a unique combination. Her demure simple looks and attire are in tandem with her character. Shayan Munshi has a small role but nonetheless his effort comes across clearly. Kamini Khanna boosts up the film with her effervescent energy portrayed in the character of Ankush’s friend’s mother. Zulfu’s character in no doubt loud but even this works for his role. He brings a dose of humour to the film with his antics and dialogues. The rest of the cast in small roles are able.
‘Ahista Ahista’ does have its moments, the execution is fine and the performances are average but unfortunately the content is not gripping enough. Amongst the masses and even at multiplexes there are very few takers for simple sweet love stories any more. At the box-office the film may not have a brilliant run.