Rating : 3.5/5
Teasingly pleasing…. sensuously sizzling dance of the living
A child is beautiful; a girl, attractive; a woman, appealing and a lady graceful. Mellowed by motherhood, Madhuri Dixit looks stunningly graceful in Aaja Nachle.
Movie buffs believe that three of the greatest dance numbers in Bollywood are Helen… priya thu abtho aaja from Don, Asha Parekh…aaja aaja mera pyar thera from Teesri Manzil and Madhuri Dixit… ek do theen from Tezab. In Aaja Nachle, Madhuri sings and dances… come and dance with me…nacho nacho. This dance number will beat those three songs.
Madhuri carries her role with carefree aplomb. The film is totally a one lady show.
Diya (Madhuri Dixit) lives in a one horse town called Shamli with her parents. She is an independent minded girl and along with her friend Nazma (Divya Dutta) learns dance from Guruji, who runs music and dance school named Ajantha.
An American journalist Steve( Felix D’Alviela ) comes to town to write an article on the Indian traditional dances and falls in love with Diya. They elope, marry and go away to United States. They give birth to a girl child and later get divorced. Diya lives in New York with her daughter and runs a dance school there. She is also a professional choreographer.
Diya gets a phone call from her town that her dance master is sick and bed-ridden. Diya arrives, but her guru is no more. She wants to revive Ajantha, the dance school. However, she comes to know that the premises of the school are being taken over by Raja Uday Singh ( Akshay Khanna) and Farooq (Irrfaan Khan) for developing it to build a modern mall.
Diya meets Uday Singh and requests him not to erase the school from the map of Shamli. She also offers to conduct a song and dance show to revive the school. Then Uday Singh, who is also a member of parliament, gives her two months time to conduct the show, but with a rider. Diya can host the show only with the citizens of the Shamli town and not students from her New York institute.
Diya accepts the challenge. She befriends a local politician Chowdary (Akhilendra Mishra ). She starts from scratch and builds a team of dancers around Imran (Kunal Kapoor) and Anokhi (Konkana Sen). She is assisted by Doctor ( Raghubir Yadav), Guruji’s friend. Overcoming all natural and villain-made obstacles, she performs the dance drama Laila Majnu to the thunderous applause of the townspeople.
However, will Diya succeed in reviving Ajantha, her Guruji’s dance school? That is the proverbial million dollar question.
It is an out and out Madhuri Dixit show all the way. Her performance in Aaja Nachle simply surpasses all her Bollywood first innings portrayals. The ease with which she carries her character in the film is really amazing. It looks as if this style diva was never away from the silver screen after all.
Akshay Khanna is in his usual elegant elements. Irrfan Khan exhibits restrained badmanship. Kunal Kapoor gives one more memorable performance. Konkana Sen gives a sterling performance. All other supporting and minor characters enacted their roles quite adequately.
The multi layered story has been well written by Jaideep Sahni. The screenplay and direction are efficiently handled by Anil Mehta. The sensitive scenes show the touch of Yash Chopra.
The lyrics by Jaideep Sahni and Piyush Mehra are meaningful and thought provoking. The music by Salim-Sulaiman is mellifluous and yet foot-tapping. Shades of rap, rock and reggae had been skillfully amalgamated on the basic framework of Hindusthani classical ragas.
The cinematography by Mohanan is splendid and of particular mention is the picturisation of the Laila-Majnu dance drama. Choreography by Vaibhavi Merchant is gloriously exhilarating. Editing by Ritesh Soni is neat and sweet. Manish Malhotra, Mandira Shukla and Dolly Ahluwalia did a fashionable costume job. Madhuri’s costumes have been very thoughtfully created. Sukant Panigrahi and Fali Unwalla, the production designers, had a lavish affair with this Yashraj Films production. Aaja Nachle is presented by Yash Chopra and produced by Aditya Chopra.
Aaja Nachle is a pleasingly teasing film. As Madhuri croons on screen… come and dance with me…nacho nacho…you are actually invited for a sensuously sizzling dance of the living, for a celebration of life and for a solemnization of taking up the gauntlet.
Please go and enjoy the work of Madhuri Dixit in Aaja Nachle, where she is truly like one of the titles of ABBA’s music album…dancing queen.
Madhuri Dixit has comeback… and what a comeback!