Brief note on AASHIQUI 2 (Hindi, 2013)
The original AASHIQUI became a cult classic, and was driven by 3 primary forces–a gripping narrative, a tight knit love story and the freshness and uniqueness of its debut cast.
AASHIQUI 2 directed by Mohit Suri aims to replicate the same formula, and succeeds.
The film is a modern update on the A STAR IS BORN, directed by Frank Pierson and featuring Barbara Streisand & Kris Kristofferson in the lead (there was an earlier version in the 50′s, and the film also has similarities to the Hrishikesh Mukherjee classic ABHIMAAN), however the film draws closest inspiration from the 70′s film, and to a large extent, ends up being a more gripping love story.
A fading star (Aditya Roy Kapur) struggling to cope with an alcohol addiction, decides to take a step back and positions a simple girl (Shraddha Kapoor). As Shraddha rises to the top and becomes a sensation, Aditya slowly descends into his addiction. How Shraddha becomes his salvation forms the crux of this love story.
Mohit Suri is very easily one of the finest storytellers in Hindi cinema today, however doesn’t seem to get much credit for his efforts outside of the Bhatt camp (this seems to be his biggest boxoffice hit to date).
His direction is seamless, and he etches out both, the premise of the love story and the depth of the characters with remarkable ease. His command over the genre of love stories with a tragic ending is nothing new if one has seen his earlier films like WOH LAMHE and AWARAPAN. Shagufta Rafique’s story is a winner, and works well. The slow descent of Aditya is well portrayed, as is the poignancy of the love story between Aditya and Shraddha.
The lead artists are the surprise draw of the film, as they both stun with some very confident performances.
Aditya Roy Kapur is slowly coming to the fore as a promising leading man. His performances in ACTION REPLAY and GUZAARISH (both supporting acts) were commendable, and he was noteworthy in the recent YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI in a underwritten role, however this a career defining performance as he comes to the fore with a knock-out performance He gets all the nuances of his character bang-on, and manages to portray the anguish of his alcohol addicted character with total conviction. His screen presence is commanding, and he manages to strike all the right chords in the love sequences.
Shraddha Kapoor is stunning! She reminds one of a young Madhuri Dixit, and this is easily one of the most noteworthy debut performances I have seen in a while. Its a deep performances and Shraddha gets a dream opportunity to showcase a gamut of emotions in what is easily the years finest debut performances from a female leading lady. Bravo.
The chemistry between the two is fantastic.
The other star of the show is the music. Each and every strong hits the right chords. Jeet Ganguly, Mithun Sharma, Ankit Tiwari deliver a remarkable soundtrack, and the music is instrumental to the films success.
All up, AASHIQUI 2 is one of the best Bollywood films of the year, and deserves all the success it has got.
Prashant Harish Hari