Anjaana Anjaani

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Anjaana Anjaani
Theatrical release poster depicts two people holding each other and looking towards one another. A snow filled park is in the background. Text at the bottom of the poster reveals the title, tagline, production credits and release date.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Siddharth Anand
Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala
Screenplay by
  • Advaita Kala
  • Siddharth Anand
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Ravi K. Chandran
Edited by Rameshwar S. Bhagat
Production
company
Distributed by Eros Entertainment
Release date
  • 1 October 2010 (2010-10-01)
Running time
147 minutes[1]
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 38 crore[2]
Box office 68.5 crore[3]

Anjaana Anjaani (English: Strangers) is a 2010 Indian romantic drama film directed by Siddharth Anand and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala. The film stares Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra as two suicidal strangers who make a pact to commit suicide in twenty days on New Year's Eve. In the interim, the couple fulfills their personal wishes and eventually fall in love with each other. The soundtrack was composed by Vishal-Shekhar, with lyrics by various artists.

Wanting to make an unusual romance film, Anand struggled to find new ideas while he was writing. At that time his wife Mamta came up with the core narrative of the film, which excited him and changed his perspective. Anand then approached novelist Advaita Kala, who developed the story into a feature-length script and later co-wrote the screenplay with him. Principal photography was entirely done across New York City, Las Vegas and San Francisco.

The film was released on 1 October 2010 to mixed reviews from critics. Reviewers praised the lead performances, music and cinematography but were critical of its pace and screenplay. Made on a budget 380 million, Anjaana Anjaani' , grossed 685 million at the box office becoming a sucess. Vishal-Shekhar received a nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Music Director for their soundtrack of the film.

Plot[edit]

Akash (Ranbir Kapoor) lives in New York City and is in need of $12 million, but is unable to clear a loan due to a stock market crash. Unable to find any means, he decides to jump off the George Washington Bridge. This is when he meets Kiara (Priyanka Chopra), from San Francisco, also a suicidal after catching her fiancé Kunal (Zayed Khan) cheating on her. They both attempt to kill themselves, but are prevented from doing so by the Coast Guard. Still suicidal, Akash deliberately gets hit by a car and Kiara falls on the bridge and breaks her neck. This is again unsuccessful, and they end up in the hospital together. Upon discharge, Kiara takes Akash to her house after his is seized by the bank.

The pair tries to kill themselves five times, failing each time; eventually, they make a pact to end their lives on 31 December 2009. With 20 days left before their deadline, they decide to fulfill their unrealized wishes and begin a journey together. Kiara helps Akash find a date and shares with him how Kunal cheated on her. The next day, Akash cleans Kiara's messy apartment. Akash, who can't swim, is forced to fulfill Kiara's wish of swimming in the cold Atlantic Ocean. At sea, however, Kiara falls overboard and Akash rescues her; this causes their yacht to drift away, stranding them. As the two slowly succumb to hypothermia, Kiara continues telling her story to Akash. They are rescued again by the Coast Guard officer who intervened at the bridge.

Upon returning to land, Kiara becomes depressed again. She attempts to kill herself by drinking bleach and is rushed to the hospital. After her discharge from the hospital, Akash realizes his love for her, and tries everything to make her happy. The two venture out to Las Vegas, as Akash had never gone on a holiday, and they end up in bed together. Unfortunately, Kiara tells Akash at this time that she still loves Kunal. He insists that she move back in with her parents and give Kunal a second chance. In the meantime, Akash moves in with his friend and colleague (Joy Sengupta), planning to return to India on the night of 31 December to start afresh.

Akash attends the bank settlement and reconciles with several friends with whom he had fallen out, as well as with his estranged father. Meanwhile, Kiara cannot stop thinking about Akash; on the 31st, she realizes that she has fallen for him. Kunal discovers this and drops her off at the airport. Kiara reaches the bridge, but finds herself alone, believing she will never see Akash again. Just then, however, he arrives; the pair go out to sea to die. Akash throws a beer bottle with a note in it, which Kiara obtains and reads before Akash proposes to her. Surprised, she accepts, and the couple share a kiss while the Coast Guard rescues them. As credits roll, it is shown that Akash and Kiara got married two years later and had a baby boy.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

After three romantic comedies, Siddharth Anand wanted his next to be a romantic film, yet different than the usual films which were being made.[4] At the time, Anand felt that he had run out of ideas to write, believing he was writing just "another story". This is when his wife Mamta came up with the core narrative concept about "two suicidal strangers meeting and falling in the love".[4] Anand revealed that it changed his viewpoint and they started writing the story, saying "It was a scene that got me completely excited and we started writing immediately. It's a scene that dictates the story."[4]

Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra were in talks to star together in another film by Siddharth Anand and Sajid Nadiadwala, which did not happen.

Anand then approached novelist Advaita Kala to develop the story into a feature-length script. Intrigued by the premise of the story, Kala started sketching the characters for the next few days.[5] Although a bit hesitant, she accepted the offer and began writing the script, which she found very different from writing novels. Anand helped her understanding the process of writing screenplays and co-wrote with her.[5] Kala wrote the first draft approaching it to that of writing a book and sent them as chapters to Anand, saying "Siddharth knows the grammar of Hindi cinema. I like the way he goes the distance to get things done for his film. Writing a screenplay can also be a lonely process like writing a novel, but along the way when others get involved, it becomes a fun collaborative effort."[5]

Anand set the film in the Christmas period, concluding with the New Year.[5] In an interview with Deccan Herald, Anand talked about how the American sitcom Friends influenced the two characters revealing he wanted the viewers to respond to Akash and Kiara in a similar way.[6] He said "I remember when I watched Friends I wanted to meet and know every character. That's how I want audiences to feel about Ranbir and Priyanka." He also wanted the two characters to resonate with the audience in a similar way like that of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995).[6] In another interview discussing the film, Anand revealed that he wanted to make it different than his earlier films, aiming it to be a "subdued romance", which is not sexy.[4] He said "Everyone is going to be covered up in scarf's and mufflers and over coats and boots. This is a rare instance that you’ll see Indian actors dressed full up without skin show.[4] It was announced that Sajid Nadiadwala will be producing the film as he was highly impressed by the script.[7]

Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra were the original choice for the film and their casting was confirmed by Anand in August 2009.[8] After Chopra had starred earlier in Nadiadwala's Mujhse Shaadi Karogi in 2004, both had wanted to work again since then but nothing materialized. Incidentally, Nadiadwala reached out to her to discuss a film he was developing with Anand and Kapoor.[9] When Chopra met Anand for the script narration, she did not resonate with the project and it did not work out. Later when Nadiadwala again approached her with the script of Anjaana Anjaani, Chopra accepted the role.[9] Manish Malhotra designed the clothes for Chopra whereas Mamta Aanand designed for Kapoor.[10][11] Salim Sulaiman composed the background score while Rameshwar S. Bhagat edited the film.[10]

The film's opening suicide attempt scene features the two characters at the Golden Gate Bridge

Principal photography commenced in New York City in late December 2009.[12] The setting of the film required to film in winter during the festive season of Christmas leading up to the New Year's Eve.[11] Ravi K. Chandran handled the cinematography while Sharmishtha Roy handled the production design for the film.[13] Filming was entirely done across various locations in New York City, Las Vegas and San Francisco as Anand wanted to capture the distinct flavour of each city.[6][14]

Anand selected the cities according to the characters; he chose New York city to depict Kapoor's character, Wall Street based Akash's background whereas San Francisco was chosen to depict Chopra's character Kiara as he thought it was "the right backdrop to highlight her life and character".[14] Anand described "Blush", the car driven by Chopra's character, as the third character of the film as it is extensively featured in the film.[15] After going through several car options, he chose a red vintage Cadillac and was later purchased especially for the film as Anand thought the car should depict all the attributes that Kiara had.[15] The art director modified the car to suit Kiara's character and the interiors were redone with a lot of detailing.[15]

The ice skating scenes was filmed at Wollman Rink in Central Park, requiring the rink to close to the public for three consecutive days.[6] Some scenes with the leads were also shot at Cafe Lalo, the same restaurant where When Harry Met Sally was shot.[6] The film was also shot at the Rockfeller Center.[11] The producers had earlier scouted for a public bridge in India that they could request four days of access to, but due to the 2008 Mumbai attacks, obtaining permission from the local government was difficult.[6] The search ended in Kuala Lumpur, for a scene Kiara and Akash attempting suicide.[6] The opening suicide attempt sequence was filmed at the Golden Gate Bridge.[16] Several scenes were shot in the Nevada, Las Vegas.[14] Additional filming was done in Malaysia and Thailand.[6][17]

Ahmed Khan choreographed the songs.[10] In June 2010, it was announced that a new song will be shot for the film.[18] The filming ended in July 2010 after filming for club track was completed.[19] Later, a promotional video for the remix ballad version of "Tujhe Bula Diya" was shot in Film City in September 2010.[20]

Soundtrack[edit]

Anjaana Anjaani
Soundtrack album by Vishal–Shekhar
Released 20 August 2010
Genre Feature-film soundtrack
Length 42:00
Label T-Series
Producer Sajid Nadiadwala
Vishal–Shekhar chronology
I Hate Luv Storys
(2010)I Hate Luv Storys2010
Anjaana Anjaani
(2010)
Break Ke Baad
(2010)Break Ke Baad2010

The soundtrack was composed by the duo Vishal–Shekhar and it consists of nine compositions: seven original and a remix and an unplugged version of two original songs.[21] The lyrics are written by Neelesh Misra, Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravjiani, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Anvita Dutt Guptan, Kumaar, Kausar Munir and Irshad Kamil.[22] The vocals were performed by Nikhil D'Souza, Monali Thakur, Lucky Ali, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shekhar Ravjiani, Caralisa Monteiro, Mohit Chauhan, Shruti Pathak, Vishal Dadlani, Shilpa Rao and Abhijit Vaghani.[22] The album was released on 20 August 2010 by T-Series.[21]

The soundtrack received critical acclaim from critics, who considered it to be Vishal-Shekhar's best soundtrack at that time, praising the fresh compositions. Joginder Tuteja gave a rating of 4 out of 5, calling it "fantastic", and wrote "This one has a classy touch all through with a mix of club tracks and soulful songs that rock the show in a big way [...] this is their best work till date." [22] Hindustan Times gave another positive review, calling it a "complete Bollywood album".[23] Giving a rating of 8.5 out of 10, Planet Bollywood thought that "the musical duo have genuinely struck gold", and wrote "The soundtrack has the right blend of fun, youthfulness, romance, and melancholy. Terrific sound design, superb arrangement and remarkable mixing of the songs in the soundtrack give an international feel."[21] BBC also praised the album noting that the music duo have produced a gem.[24]

Track listing[25]
No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
1. "Anjaana Anjaani Ki Kahani" Neelesh Misra Nikhil D'Souza, Monali Thakur 4:45
2. "Hairat" Vishal Dadlani Lucky Ali 4:07
3. "Aas Paas Khuda" Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravjiani Rahat Fateh Ali Khan 5:19
4. "Tumse Hi Tumse" Amitabh Bhattacharya, Anvita Dutt Guptan Shekhar Ravjiani, Caralisa Monteiro 4:21
5. "Tujhe Bhula Diya" Kumaar, Vishal Dadlani Mohit Chauhan, Shekhar Ravjiani, Shruti Pathak 4:39
6. "I Feel Good" Vishal Dadlani Vishal Dadlani, Shilpa Rao 5:17
7. "Anjaana Anjaani" Kausar Munir, Irshad Kamil Vishal Dadlani, Shilpa Rao 5:54
8. "Tujhe Bhula Diya (Remix - The Dance To Forget Mix)" Kumaar, Vishal Dadlani Mohit Chauhan, Shekhar Ravjiani, Shruti Pathak, Abhijit Vaghani 4:29
9. "Aas Paas Khuda (Unplugged)" Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravjiani Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shruti Pathak 3:24

Release[edit]

Due to Kapoor and Chopra, who were starring together for the first time, Anjaana Anjaani was one of the most anticipated films of the year.[26] The exclusive stills from the film were released to the media on 4 October 2010.[27] A one minute teaser trailer was released on 6 August 2010 by Chopra, who tweeted on her account.[28][29] The teaser received positive feedback from critics and audiences, many calling it promising. The Indian Express wrote that "In a single minute, it has pretty much managed to convey the fun mood of this Sajid Nadiadwala production which appears to come with a good mix of a new storyline, fresh new pairing, catchy music, high production values and a distinct touch of director Siddharth Anand."[28][29] Following the teaser release, the first trailer was released on 9 August 2010 and its first was released around the same time.[30]

The film was initially slated to release on 24 September 2010, but it was postponed by one week just four days before the release due to coinciding with the controversial Ayodhya dispute verdict, which many anticipated to cause dispute and chaos in the country.[31][32] Trade experts were against postponing the film and questioned Nadiadwala's decision as government had already taken precautionary measures, with Commonwealth Games around the corner. They also felt that postponing will send out mixed signals and will only confuse the viewers as the promotional campaign was aimed for 25 September.[32] Additionally, the film had to lost out on enjoying the single release as changing date would mean clashing with the science fiction spectacle Enthiran, which might affect the box-office performance of the film. Still, the film was postponed to 1 October 2010.[32] Later, the land verdict was itself postponed to three days before the new release date of the film.[33][34] Industry insiders started speculating about the film getting postponed yet again by another week, causing rumours to spread in the media. However, Sajid Nadiadwla confirmed that the news was false and the film was releasing on 1 October 2010.[33]

Made on a production budget of 380 million, the film immediately recovered 430 million, slightly more than its entire budget before its release.[2] The recovered money included 220 million from satellite rights, 80 million from music rights and 130 million from distribution sales in territories other than Mumbai and Delhi, where the film was directly distributed by Eros.[2] Bollywood Hungama noted that "the revenue generated from these territories, besides Home Video, will add to the profits of the film."[2] The film opened to good collections and collected 80 million on its opening day.[35] In the opening weekend, Anjaana Anjaani made over 257 million at the domestic box office and a further US$1.7 million from overseas, for a worldwide opening weekend of over 382 million.[3][35] During its theatrical run, the film grossed over 544 million in India and over US$3.1 million from the overseas market, for a total of 685 million.[3] The film was a box office success.[3]

Distributed by Eros International, Anjaana Anjaani was released on DVD in 16 November 2010 in all regions on a single NTSC-format disc.[36] The film's Video CD was released at the same time.[37] A two-disc DVD edition was also released later, which included a poster autographed by Kapoor and Chopra. [38]

Critical reception[edit]

Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the film a rating of 4 out of 5, calling it "a must-see for its interpretation of modern-day romance... Anjaana Anjaani is an unpretentious romantic saga that revels in the exuberance of newly found love." He also broadly praised the acting, styling and cinematography, writing "The film bears a magnificent look all through and the panoramic and exotic locales of America only make every frame stand out."[39] Daily News and Analysis gave a rating of 3.5 out of 5, saying that it stood apart from "other done-to-death rom-coms in Hindi cinema in the sheer exclusivity of its screenplay and the way the subject is developed... Here, at last, is a romantic comedy from Bollywood that actually does what rom-coms are supposed to do. Anjaana Anjaani tugs at your heartstrings while at the same time tickling your funny bone."[40] It also praised Chopra's performance as "engagingly brilliant."[40]

A picture of Ranbir Kapoor looking away from the camera
A picture of Priyanka Chopra looking towards from the camera
Several critics praised Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra's performance

The Times of India gave the film a score of 3 out of 5, praising the lead pair and their chemistry as "vibrant, spontaneous, and a finely nuanced performance." However, it criticized the script and narrative for being trite, saying that "all it promises is some fun moments, a peppy music score by Vishal-Shekhar, [and] alluring performances by Ranbir and Priyanka."[41] Subhash K. Jha gave another positive review, writing that the film "sets off a tender saucy engaging trip. It somewhere loses its way. But still gets to its targeted destination because of the lead players who appear to know all the signposts and U-turns." He particularly cited Chopra's performance as redemptive of the film's flaws, noting that she provided a strong match to Kapoor's talent.[42] Sarita Tanwar of Mid Day gave a rating of 3 out of 5, noting that although the film might not be "a complicated love story, it's still heartfelt and even heartbreaking at times... A film of this kind is largely dependent on the screenplay and the chemistry between the lead pair. That's what makes [it] unique in its own way and rather different from what you've seen in the year so far."[43]

Sonia Chopra from Sify also scored the movie 3 out of 5, noting that the characters were "written with an over-the-top quirky edge which adds to the fun." She also praised the performance by the lead pair, writing that "Ranbir Kapoor is suitably restrained and, at times, in keeping with his reticent character, often overshadowed by Priyanka's exuberance. Priyanka Chopra maintains her cool, effortless acting style and her comic timing is quite a revelation. Together, the pair is eminently watchable, balancing each other's dispositions nicely."[44] Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express gave the film 2.5 out of 5, complimenting the lead performances, who "play well together" but are forced to "boost a limp story."[45] India Today also scored it 2.5 out of 5, calling it "a pastiche of a pastiche... The comedy is restricted to usual [...] jokes that find their way into most Bollywood comedies."[46]

Writing for NDTV, Anupama Chopra gave the film 2 out of 5, criticizing the slow screenplay and artificial characters who "are supposed to be unemployed, lonely, and desperately sad, but they always look like they've stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine. Which could have been overlooked if there was any depth in their angst, but these two seem like spoilt kids playing suicide-suicide."[47] Rajeev Masand of CNN-News18 panned the film, calling it "deathly boring [and] a challenge to sit through for two reasons in particular – the film has no script to speak of, and the characters are hard to sympathize with. It lacks in terms of interesting plot and consistent characterization."[48]

Accolades[edit]

Award Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref.
Filmfare Awards Best Music Director Vishal-Shekhar Nominated [49]
Lions Gold Awards Favourite Popular Film Actor – Female Priyanka Chopra Won [50]
Producers Guild Film Awards Best Choreography Ahmed Khan Nominated [51]
Screen Awards Best Actress (Popular Choice) Priyanka Chopra Nominated [52]
Zee Cine Awards Best Music Director Vishal-Shekhar Nominated [53]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]