Once in a while, there’s released a movie that can make to sit back and immerse in the rhythm that the story carrying. Laila Majnu is such a movie.
The story we all know. Imitiaz Ali had rewritten the story with his brother Sajid Ali who is the director of the movie. To retold the story, the story was set up in Kashmir–a modern and peaceful one not the blood-drenched explosive smelted state we are habituated to see. Laila had been shown as the epitome of beauty while Qais aka Majnu was shown as the normal any guy who has to work hard to look smart–wearing good clothes and keeping stubble. Not going to tell the story because we all know it.
The movie has been divided into two parts or acts–Laila and Majnu. Laila narrates the bonding and breaking of it between Laila and Qais. Majnu narrates the act of Majnun (crazy, literally one who is possessed by a jinn). Now when it is a romantic movie based on one of the most famed love stories of Layla and Majnun the question arises when then does the love happened. Actually, love is superfluous here in the movie; it was there all over the narration again not. Ali brothers have been able to show the love in its most purest form and that is the mystical form. The only time an individual can feel the love was when Qais mumbled the name of Laila, and on asking reverted by pointing everywhere in the room like an embroidered elephant to say Laila was there, that time you can feel the love.
The script of the movie though sometimes feels to be hitting the low note but that was momentary because of the editing and giving a turn you could not except. Like when Laila was hit by her husband, as a viewer I thought this is what she deserved now she have to compromise but no she just turned back and attack him verbally. There were few moments like this that gives the age-old tale the modernity that is needed.
The main uniquities of the movie are its cast and music.
When it comes to retelling an age-old story and that too a love story, Bollywood follows casting new faces. Like Amir Khan and Juhi Chawla in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), Arjun Kapoor in Ishaqzaade (2012), Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher in Mirzya (2016), etc.
The whole acting crew of Laila Majnu is fresh and young. Except for Parmeet Sethi there was no such known or popular face in the main cast. And that is why it stands out from the aforementioned examples.
Tripti Dimri not only look beautiful and bold but she acted with this raw attitude that the character Laila stands out like any modern day story heroin. She, though, fail to enact some of the emotions. Like the Mizpah portion in the end.
Avinash Tiwari as Qais had been the most surprising one. He is not handsome but smart proving the dialogue he had said. The second part, the Majnun phase, he had enacted with such an elan that you feel the madness in your nerve. A seasoned or experienced actor can act like that but a debutant actor cannot never act in such a way. In recent time I cannot recollect such a confident debut act except Harshvardhan Kapoor. He had come here to steal the limelight with his acting and I think if he is given chances he will prove his worth. And Imtiaz Ali thus introduced another new talent.
The supporting cast is new and thus most of the names are not known. They have also proved their skills with whatever chance and time they had gotten or given.
Another thing in the movie stands out is the music. The 10 songs never seemed to be pushed into or thrust into. They act as the narrator. Though the song Ahista seems to be misplaced. Niladri Kumar and Joy Barua have added the shades of lament and madness and happiness into the music subtlely and softly. The background score of the movie by Hitesh Sonik justified the mellow tone of the movie.
The cinematography of the movie also needs a mention ’cause it never dedicated to focus only on the beauty of Kashmir. It focusses on the calmness that the valley is enjoying with some disruptions in the between. It mainly focusses on the characters and their environ that’s why when Qais on the first time out says Laila they can see everyone but no one can see them, the valley was shown shrouded in fog while keeping the old man in the focus who was playing an instrument. And thus forming a rhythm of bonding between Laila and Qais.
To wrap up, if not for the story then for the cast especially for the lead actors’ effort the movie should be watched. It felt bad when I found out I was one of the six or seven who turn up to see the movie not choosing Nun over this beautiful soothing and refreshing movie.