Since the past couple of years, Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt's Vishesh Films has only invested in sequels: JANNAT 2, MURDER 3, RAAZ 3… but it's after a really long gap, of 23 years to be precise, that the premier production house and Bhushan Kumar [of T-Series] revisit one of their triumphant stories — AASHIQUI. A film that revolutionized the music industry then…
First things first! AASHIQUI 2 is *not* a sequel. Nor is it a recreation of the successful film. Nor does it set in motion from where the first part concluded. So why opt for a title like AASHIQUI 2? Follow-up of winning titles are easy to market for the reason that a victorious franchise bestows the film-maker that thrust, a certain brand value with a popular title, besides guaranteeing a potent start at the box-office even if it stars relative newcomers [like in this case]. Talking of AASHIQUI 2, this one's positioned in the current times and the only resemblance it has with the earlier part is that it's a true-blue romantic saga.
After having watched AASHIQUI 2, I wish to clarify a pertinent point: AASHIQUI 2 is *not* the present-day avatar of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's cult classic ABHIMAAN . That film was all about jealousy and ego clashes between a married couple, who are playback singers, while AASHIQUI 2 is entirely different. AASHIQUI 2 brings back memories of A STAR IS BORN, which was made thrice in Hollywood — in 1937, 1954 and 1976. The Hollywood film/s is regarded as one of the most riveting heartbreak dramas to hit the silver screen. However, it's important that AASHIQUI 2 lives up to the mammoth expectations, since AASHIQUI had worked for two significant factors — splendid music and strong emotional quotient.
AASHIQUI 2 traces the journey of a young couple and the turbulence in their lives… Rahul [Aditya Roy Kapur], a singing sensation, falls in love with the voice of Aarohi [Shraddha Kapoor], who aspires to be a singer and sings at lowly joints. Rahul takes it upon himself to make Aarohi a singing star, builds her confidence and even arranges for her audition with the music baron [Mahesh Thakur]. Gradually, Rahul and Aarohi fall in love…
Aarohi's career continues to sky-rocket, while Rahul's career spirals downwards. Aarohi decides to give up her career to be with Rahul, to help him come out of his disruptive predicament…
Like I stated at the very outset, AASHIQUI 2 bears no resemblance to its namesake. This one prides itself with a contemporary plot, has far more complex and intricate drama and offers abundant scope to its lead actors to display histrionics. At the same time, Mohit shoulders a colossal responsibility because the soundtrack was a game changer… it is, in fact, dew fresh to this date. Although it would be unfair to compare Mohit with either Hrishi-da [who directed ABHIMAAN] or Mahesh Bhatt [who helmed AASHIQUI], I must add that Mohit's take on romance and heartbreak is compelling in entirety. Actually, AASHIQUI 2 is more of vintage stuff. It demonstrates, in abundance, the romance we witnessed in the 1970s and 1980s, which is misplaced in Hindi movies in the present day.
Another strong point of AASHIQUI 2 is its musical score [more on that later!], besides the emotional quotient. Although the talented director has attempted thrillers in the past, he seems like an expert at handling the fragile emotions as well as the dramatic sequences with profound ease. The romance is lively, but it is the drama that catches your eye. Clearly, Mohit takes giant strides with this one. Besides Mohit, writer Shagufta Rafique deserves brownie points for focusing on the core plot, enhancing the film with some remarkable moments. The dialogue, also penned by her, are noteworthy.
AASHIQUI 2 is embellished with a lilting score that stays with you. The soundtrack is credited to multiple composers, the output is melodic and at least four songs deserve multiple hearings — 'Tum Hi Ho' [singer: Arijit Singh], 'Bhula Dena' [singer: Mustafa Zahid], 'Sunn Raha Hai' [singer: Ankit Tiwari] and 'Piya Aaye Na' [singers: Tulsi Kumar and KK]. Vishnu Rao's cinematography is top notch.
AASHIQUI 2 seems like a renaissance for its two actors, who have appeared in Hindi films earlier. Aditya Roy Kapur's depiction of the intense character is outstanding. One can feel the agony and desolation his character is going through. The fact that it makes the spectator's heart flutter and bleed clearly demonstrates his potency as an artiste of caliber and competence. Shraddha also gets to sink her teeth into this challenging character and the attractive youngster is simply amazing, more so towards the demanding moments in the second hour. Furthermore, the chemistry between Aditya and Shraddha is incredible, which also proves yet again that the right casting can work wonders.
Shaad Randhawa is first-rate in an important role. In fact, the actor, who appears on the big screen after a hiatus, carries some tough moments with astonishing ease. Mahesh Thakur is effective as the music company baron, while Salil Acharya is adequate.
On the whole, AASHIQUI 2 brings romance back on the Hindi screen — intense, pure, selfless and heart wrenching. A stirring account with brilliant moments, bravura performances, strong emotional quotient and addictive music, this one's an absolute must watch for the romantics.