Akaash Vani a disappointment

By HT

With relatively fresh cast and tiny budget, AkaashVani is bagging loads of appreciation from critics. Nushrat and Kartik turn out to be promising actors and they make the film watchable because of their chemistry.

Film: Akaash Vani
Cast: Kartik Tiwari, Nushrat Bharucha
Director: Luv Ranjan
Plot: The film starts with Akaash (Kartik Tiwari) & Vani (Nushrat Bharucha), both setting out on their journey towards a common destination – St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. It so happens that the moment they meet, their life takes an unusual turn. As they walk towards their first class in college, they are on their way to share their lives with each other for the next three years. Vani generates a calmness and control in Akaash that he never had and Akaash gives Vani a streak of rebellion she could never think of possessing within herself. And then it happens, for no reason except for the fact that they complete each other, they fall in love. In three years, Akaash & Vani become companions not only in the important things of life but also in the most stupid, mundane, irrational parts of each other’s life. But as college ends, they have to separate and when this separation reaches a point where it seems their destiny is to get each other back against the will of their families, society and their own dilemmas. The journey of Akaash & Vani’s struggle to find each other once again in the world they first met is the story of AkaashVani

Subhash K. Jha, Bollywood Hungama
Rating: ****

In one of the film's high dramatic moments shot on a small deserted railway station in the night, the film's protagonists, now estranged by an unfortunate series of circumstances, sit on the bench and...well, they sob. Yes, they simply cry their hearts out. First, the girl. Then in a melancholic celebration of the me-too syndrome, the boy, now alas no longer a boy(and he smokes to prove it) also breaks into little sobs that build up into a wail as the shehnai, indicative of a cruel marital joke, plays in the background.

The sequence in the hands of a lesser director would have fallen flat on its sobbing face. Luv Ranjan has the punch-filled boys-will-be-boys saga Pyaar Ka Punchnama behind him to prove his solid grip over the grammar of the hearts of the young and the confused.

Akaash (Kartik Tiwari) and Vani (Nushrat Bharucha) seem clueless about what they really want out of life, or from each other. Is Akaash fooling around with her in the college? Is he serious in his filmy antics? Or filmy in his serious antics?

Ranjan's screenplay takes the lovers from the corny escapades and frigid philosophizing of the college campus to the precipice of heartbreak. The journey given a vivid visual manifestation by Sudhir K Chaudhuri's fluid camerawork, is made with ample feeling and remarkable restrain.

Unlike other contemporary celluloid raconteurs Ranjan is not fearful of silences. He doesn't fill up every conceivable nook and corner of the storytelling with words and music, though I must state here that Hitesh Sonik's background music and the songs in the later part of the film go a long way in building an appealing case for the lead pair's star-crossed relationship. If Akaash and Vani seem so lost without each other it's a lot to do with the way their emotions are pinned down by the words and the music that underline the course of their togetherness.

To his credit director Luv Ranjan is able to hold the lovers' predicament in place .He has a keen eye for the inner life of his protagonists. Their inner turmoil is palpable and urgent. Seldom since Sanjay Leela Bhansali's have we wished so intently to see two people in love to be united. Ranjan quietly sucks us into the story of Akaash and Vani. Suffused in contemplative silences and deriving its dramatic energy from the age-old debate on arranged versus love marriages, AkaashVani is thoughtful and absorbing not prone to tripping over with nervous anxiety and excessive energy to hold our attention.

The world of AkaashVani is far removed from the bantering bawdy backchat of Pyaar Ka Punchnama. But that is the beauty of the second film. It tells you that the director is not frozen in his initial world.

Verdict: With first-rate performances by both Nushrat and Kartik this is one love story you can't afford to miss.

Ananya Bhattacharya, Zee News
Rating: ***

From that talented a director, ‘Akaash Vani’ is almost a disappointment in parts. The story is fresh – no doubts about that, but it plays with clichés. So while there are moments which define it and turn it into a brilliantly made film, there are others which take away some parts of the same brilliance. ‘Akaash Vani’ has some scenes which can move even a heart of stone to tears, yet at others can make one wish it didn’t go on for so long. For at a runtime of 149 minutes, the film might find it hard to grab the twenty-first century youngster’s attention – whose love story the film tries to portray on celluloid. The redeeming factor of ‘Akaash Vani’ is the superb, solid performance by its lead cast – Nushrat Bharucha and Kartik Tiwari – take a bow.

As far as art direction is concerned, there are scenes which are lifted straight out of a dream perhaps – and hats off to the brains behind it for the same! Cascading rivers, picturesque locales, snowfalls and hilltop cottages – Luv Ranjan makes poetry come alive on screen.

Verdict: Watch it for Nushrat and Kartik. The duo deserves an extra star for their performance.

Mohar Basu, Koimoi.com
Rating: **1/2

While expectations are sky rocketing high from Luv Ranjan, his story was clearly disappointing. The film which was directed towards the younger faction of the audience will surely not be able to please them, at least the urban audience. While the romance of Akaash and Vaani is quite impressionable, it is hard to buy that a girl educated at India’s one of the most premier colleges acts so dim wittedly. It is almost a blemish on the name of Stephen’s that they could not educate their students aptly to learn the most important value of self respect, which is factually incorrect. When Vani’s elder sister elopes to marry a man outside her caste, Vani almost acts like a martyr and marries the man her father chooses ending her four year long relationship with Akaash over a phone call. Even if you do manage to digest the break up, it is impossible to believe a 21st century woman marrying a man without getting to know him at all.

Luv Ranjan did cast smartly for his film. Despite a terribly edited film, with a script full of loopholes, I salute Nushrat and Kartik. Their on screen chemistry makes the characters believable. Their romance is full of naïve-ness and yet possesses the strength to last beyond imposing social institutions, time and distance. The film is their story and they wonderfully lend to each scene an enthralling chemistry. The one scene towards the climax where Nushrat and Kartik break down at a station speaks volumes of their impeccable sense of timing at emoting right and their neat execution of feelings which they are meant to portray. At no point do they fail to live up to their roles, neither do they over do the melodrama keeping it just rightly blended. Despite a script, that could have been much better, Nushrat and Kartik are certainly the working wheels of this film and both deliver a spectacular performance in their own right.

Verdict:The film makes for a decent one time watch. Watch it just for the beautiful and enchanting chemistry of Nushrat and Kartik! A double thumbs up to the duo.

Smitha, Oneindia
Rating: ***

Romance is a genre that has been tried and tested several times in Bollywood and that's why when filmmakers mention that their film is a 'Romantic Tale,' you don't flutter your eyelids with excitement! Luv Ranjan's directorial debut Pyar Ka Punchnama was a surprise hit, thanks to its 'hatke' storyline, witty dialogues, hilarious situations and straight out of life scenes. His second venture Akaash Vani therefore had high expectations riding on it.

While Akaash Vani is not completely disappointing, we definitely expected more out of Luv Ranjan who has proved his maturity and knack in storytelling before. The plot of Akaash Vani is fresh, but comes with a lot of cliches. You cannot take the credit from the director for churning out a story that has some amazing moments that will bring tears in your eyes and tug at your heart strings.

Background score by Hitesh Sonik is brilliant and so was the cinematography by Sudhir K Chaudhary. He manages to capture the emotion in each scene with utmost ease and also the pictorial locales to precision. Dialogues by Luv Ranjan is apt and gives you an idea of what is to come.

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