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24 September 2014
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Aaja Nachle
Director: Anil Mehta
Cast:
Madhuri Dixit, Konkana Sen Sharma, Kunal Kapoor & Jugal Hansraj
Information:
Contains mild language and violence
Length:
143 mins
Release:
30 November 2007 by Yash Raj Films
pg certcamera
Madhuri Dixit in Aaja Nachle
Madhuri Dixit in Aaja Nachle

"Worth a watch purely for the cast's brilliant performances," BBC Shropshire Bollywood.

Star film rating
Star film rating

SEE ALSO

See our Aaja Nachle gallery which shows pictures from this film.

Our Bollywood Previews section gives you all the information of forthcoming films coming soon to a cinema near you.

Read our preview on Aaja Nachle

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You can personally contact our Bollywood Correspondent, Manish Gajjar, who maintains our Bollywood section at BBC Shropshire: manish.gajjar@bbc.co.uk
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Dia (Madhuri), a young and highly spirited girl, lives in a small town called Shamli where she spends her time learning classical dance at the local Ajanta theatre.

Dia is an ardent student and a favourite of guru Makarand who teaches at the theatre.

But life changes, when Dia falls in love with a National Geographic photographer who comes to Shamli to cover a story on classical dance.

Going against her parents' wishes and cultural norms, she runs away with her lover to New York.

12 years on, already divorced and a mother to her teenage daughter, Dia returns to her hometown in India to be with her dying teacher. But he passes away before she reaches Shamli.

However, Makarand leaves a message on film, urging her to save the now-derelict Ajanta theatre from a local MP and a businessman. They plan to build a shopping complex in its place.

For Dia, Ajanta holds fond memories as the place she learnt to dance and now she intends to resurrect the theatre to fulfil her teacher's dying wish.

She is given two months by the local minister (Akshaye Khanna) to rescue her beloved theatre and uses local people as actors, who initially ridicule her idea.

So amidst hostility, mistrust and tension, Dia takes up the challenge of putting together a stage production ensuring every cast member is selected from the small town.

Cinematographer turned debutante director, Anil Mehta, takes far too many cinematic liberties in Aaja Nachle, leaving you with lots of unanswered questions.

If Dia was supposed to use the locals as actors then where did the dance troupe come from (in the initial dance sequence staged to attract the local villagers to the Ajanta theatre)? And where did Dia get the money to finance the revival of Ajanta?

These and many more unanswered questions arise during the story, thus diluting the screenplay.

Considering that Aaja Nachle (meaning come dancing) centres round melody-driven dance numbers, the musical score by Salim-Sulaiman is another weak point with chart busting numbers few and far between.

Having said this, Mehta deserves full credit in effectively and convincingly executing the scenes of the opera style Laila-Majnu stage spectacle towards the climax. This certainly makes up for any short comings in the first half of the film.

Performance wise, Madhuri Dixit, makes a grand comeback as Dia fighting confidently till the end, achieving her aim as she mesmerises you with her terrific dance moves and colourful costumes - rightly deserving for this Bollywood diva!

Another positive about Aaja Nachle are the engrossing scenes involving Akshaye Khanna and Madhuri Dixi, leaving you to ponder whether there is room for a sequel as far as their relationship is concerned.

Of the entire cast, it is the chemistry between Kunal Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma that catches your attention.

The portrayal of their initially volatile relationship as it slowly turns into affection towards the end is simply superb.

This shows yet again the sheer professionalism of both these actors.

In its second week running, the film has taken a gross box office figure of £231,191 which is considerably below average for a Yash Raj Film and that too with Madhuri Dixit's grand Bollywood comeback!

Considering that there are no major releases at this time of the year, Aaja Nachle is worth a watch purely for the brilliant performances by the cast.

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Reviewed by Manish Gajjar
BBC Bollywood Correspondent
   
 
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