His directorial debut, PYAAR KA PUNCHNAMA, was a revitalizing take on romance. A satire on the affairs of heart. The story of three friends and the tumultuous relationships they share with the women in their lives, PYAAR KA PUNCHNAMA was lapped up for its spanking new concept, straight out of life situations, witty one-liners and crackling hilarity. Director Luv Ranjan endeavors a contrast in AKAASHVANI, his second outing.
From its trailer clips, it's palpable that AKAASHVANI too fits in the romantic variety, a genre that's beaten to death by the dream merchants in Mumbai. But Luv Ranjan assures that AKAASHVANI does not veer into the banal and repetitive zone, does not become just an additional love yarn to hit the Hindi screen. Sure, it's about a good looking pair and the ups and downs in their lives. But what you carry home, besides this loveable pair, are some incredible moments that arouse myriad emotions as you partake in Akaash and Vani's journey. This in itself is the strength of this endeavor!
Like PYAAR KA PUNCHNAMA, AKAASHVANI also has a bond with realism. It's about the present times. It communicates the contemporary lingo. Yet, it has the old world charisma that still makes you go weak in your knees. It has shades of everything, from fidelity and commitment to resentment and mistrust to anguish and betrayal. Handled most efficiently, with several authoritative moments, AKAASHVANI is, without doubt, a delicate love story that triumphs.
With PYAAR KA PUNCHNAMA, Luv Ranjan demonstrated he's a commendable storyteller. With AKAASHVANI, he only seals it furthermore!
Akaash [Kartik Tiwari] and Vani's [Nushrat Bharucha] lives change the moment they meet at a college in Delhi. Akaash is from Chandigarh, while Vani is from Dehradun. It's love at first sight for Akaash, while Vani too reciprocates it immediately. In those three years spent in college, Akaash and Vani share several incredible moments, full of laughter and sunshine. But an incident changes their lives. Akaash and Vani drift apartâ€¦
Akaash and Vani meet again. Gradually, the will to get together supersedes the predicaments on their way.
AKAASHVANI may be a vintage love story at heart, but Luv Ranjan ensures that the love birds in his movie are far removed from the ones you've witnessed in different avatars in assorted movies. Yet, the movie takes you back to the days when love and emotions were conveyed through words and expressions, unlike today's times where social networking sites play an integral part in our lives. What also sets this film apart are the episodes in their love story, which, again, revives memories of the unadulterated romantic sagas we grew up watching in the 1970s and 1980s. Conversely, it's difficult to prefigure the course of their journey, since the writing on no account scrounges from times of yore. The romantic episodes in the first hour and the emotional track in the post-interval portions keep you hooked, with the culmination conveying an imperative message, which is so relevant in the existing scenario.
The solitary inadequacy is that the love tale is a bit too prolonged in the middle of the second half, a grievance we had in PYAAR KA PUNCHNAMA as well. In fact, a few sequences, although vital to the plot, could've been shortened for an enhanced impact. The narrative droops in between, honestly. AKAASHVANI is a love story and its soundtrack mirrors its attitude [Hitesh Sonik]. But there's a flipside too. Although the songs are melodious, gelling well with the mood of the movie, it lacks that lilting aspect that compliments a love story well. The background score, also by Hitesh Sonik, is fantastic. I'd like to make a special mention of the lines penned for the lead actors [Dialogue: Luv Ranjan]. It augments the outcome of several sequences. Cinematography [Sudhir K. Chaudhary] is stunning, with each frame capturing the emotion and also the pictorial locales to precision.
AKAASHVANI rests on the young shoulders of Kartik and Nushrat. Kartik shuns the slight uneasiness that was apparent in his debut movie, working really hard on justifying his character this time around. He is affable, easy on the eyes and adds a lot of strength to his character. Nushrat delivers a spirited performance yet again. A confident actor, Nushrat gets the nuances of her character right. In fact, she catches you by absolute surprise as she handles the tricky moments in the narrative with elan.
Luv Ranjan's choice of the supporting actors is perfect. Sunny Singh Nijjar [as Ravi] is first-rate. Sana Shaikh [as Sumbul] and Gautam Mehra [as Shekhar], the two friends of Akaash and Vani, are competent. Kiran Kumar and Shubhangi [as Vani's parents] and Mahesh Thakur and Prachi Shah Pandya [as Vani's uncle and aunt] are wonderful.
On the whole, AKAASHVANI appeals for the characters that Luv Ranjan has created as well as the buoyancy and gusto with which the principal actors bring alive the characters on screen. The movie contains just the right blend of sparkle and spice and is definitely worthy of a watch. Go for it!