Like his earlier movie Pyaar Ka Punchnama, director Luv Ranjan’s AkaashVani is a promising but ultimately inconsistent film that starts out at one place, but ends up at quite another. This long, rambling love story makes an important point about marriage, and about parents shoving their decisions down their children’s throats to stay within societal norms. It even touches fleetingly upon the issue of marital rape. But it’s a pity these thoughts get somewhere lost in this convoluted mess of a film.
Akaash (Kartik Tiwari) and Vani (Nushrat Bharucha) hit it off from their first day on campus, and spend the next four years mooning over each other. Their grating romance, that plods on for the first hour of the film, makes you feel as if you’re trapped in an elevator with a pair of lovesick teenagers. But all their dreams of a naughty honeymoon are flushed away when Vani agrees to an arranged marriage to please her desperate parents.
Working off a slim plot, Ranjan stacks up the clichés even as his screenplay moves along a predictable route. You’ve seen such stereotypes as the insensitive husband, or the parents who’re only concerned “ki log kya kahenge”, or even Akash and Vani’s friends who offer some trite advice but do precious little as characters.
Pyaar Ka Punchnama alum Kartik Tiwari and Nushrat Bharucha exude confidence and share a warm chemistry, but can’t inject much life into this comatose script. AkaashVani is the kind of film where you find yourself repeatedly checking your watch to make sure it’s still working, given that everything moves at a snail’s pace on screen.
I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for director Luv Ranjan’s AkaashVani. It’s a good cure for insomnia. Queue up for a ticket, those of you having trouble sleeping.