I watched Aja Nachle on December 5. It's a good movie.
Good story. Good direction. Clean. A steady flow. Good screenplay. Terrific lyrics.
Rakhna samjhal ke yeh pather
Kal ko woh din bhi ayega
Jab pather honge yeh makan
Inki bhi hogi ek zuban
Reading further may be a spoiler. Carry on at your own risk.
I was initially afraid that that it would turn out to be one of those movies depicting a wannabe dancer, her ambitions smothered by the ruthless society, finally finding her way to name and fame. I really get repelled by that idea now.
Instead, it showed mellower thoughts. An established dancer's wish to fulfil her late master's wish. Her struggle to achieve something emerging from love and respect, not from ambition. The leading character isn't shown as a typical ultra-feminine male-basher. She's a courageous and graceful lady who behaves like a lady, and beats the shit out of the bad guys in her own way. She is a mother of a kid, and isn't shown to be younger than 40 + something Madhuri would look. She nevertheless looks quite beautiful. Her acting is good, and dancing is definitely better.
Some beautiful things are shown happening. For instance, a guy who's declared ultra-boring by his wife decides to make himself over. Though, this topic may look comic and cliched to most, I guess, it's more grave than most of us wish to realise, particularly in middle-class families. For a change, the topic was given the kind of treatment such a serious topic deserves -- a serious one.
The background of the movie is a small North-Indian town named Shamli. It deals with small-town issues which concerns a large majority of the Indian population.
The climactic half-hour ballet shown in towards the end of the movie was eminently artistic -- terrific choreography, beautiful expressions, story-telling, cinematography and art-direction, and music. It was grand and pompous. And yet, something was quite realistic about it.
With many such out-of-the-way nice things about it, I think, it mayn't have shocked even the makers of the film when the film bombed. Indian public has little tolerance for things which deviate from their narrow perception of entertainment. In our cracked society, the metropolitan gentry doesn't identify with the outlook of the small-town populace. And the small-town populace are too displeased with their reality to want to see any of it on screen, even if it's done with finesse and affection.
Notwithstanding box-office response, notwithstanding reviews, I would advise my friends to go and have a look at the movie. It's a nice movie, and quite entertaining, with not a dull moment anywhere.