Aaja Nachle (Hindi:आजा नचले English: Come, Let's Dance) is a 2007 Hindi dance film produced by Aditya Chopra and directed by Anil Mehta. It was released in India and the United States on 30 November 2007. The film stars Madhuri Dixit in her first film in five years after Devdas (2002), alongside Konkona Sen Sharma, Jugal Hansraj, Akshaye Khanna, and Kunal Kapoor in pivotal roles. The film opened to mixed reviews and was declared a flop by Box Office India.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Anil Mehta|
|Produced by||Aditya Chopra|
|Screenplay by||Jaideep Sahni|
|Story by||Aditya Chopra|
Konkona Sen Sharma
|Cinematography||K. U. Mohanan|
|Edited by||Ritesh Soni|
|Distributed by||Yash Raj Films|
|Budget||₹25 crore (US$3.5 million)|
|Box office||₹14.3 crore (US$2.0 million)|
Dia (Madhuri Dixit) is a choreographer who lives in New York with her daughter Radha. One day she receives word that her old dance teacher, Makrand, is dying. She returns to her hometown Shamli with Radha, to find that he has already died and left her the responsibility of saving the deserted dance theatre, Ajanta, which is to be demolished to make way for a shopping center.
Shamli has changed a great deal since Dia left. Her parents left the town in shame a decade ago, after she eloped with an American photographer, and their house is now owned by the strict Mr. Chojar and his wife. Her childhood friend Najma (Divya Dutta) is married to Farooque (Irrfan Khan), a successful businessman. Both of them greet Dia coldly. The only ally she has left is her old friend Doctor Saab (Raghubir Yadav). To save Ajanta, Dia goes to petition the local MP Raja Uday Singh (Akshaye Khanna). He issues her a challenge; if she can put on a successful performance using only people from Shamli, he will cancel the demolition.
That night Dia dances in Ajanta and afterward calls on the people to help her put up a performance of the famous Laila-Majnu play. Jeering at her, they leave the theatre one by one, but Raja remains behind, reminding her of the challenge. Refusing to accept defeat, Dia goes out into the street the next day to scout for talent. When she returns to the theatre she finds that a group of thugs is burning the set, after being ordered by a local election candidate, Chaudhary Om Singh. Instead of being angry, she is intrigued by the ring-leader, Imran (Kunal Kapoor), and makes a deal with Chaudhary - she will help him win the next election, if he will support Ajanta and if Imran plays Majnu. He agrees and Imran is forced to take on the role. After finding out about the casting of Imran, many girls flock to the theatre for the part of Laila. Among them is Anokhi (Konkona Sen), a tomboy who is in love with Imran. She begs Dia, who is reluctant because of her rough appearance and lack of talent but agrees in the end, thinking that her love for Imran will make her the ideal Laila. Other parts in the play go to Mr. Chojar, who wants to prove to his wife that he is not boring, Chaudhary who plays Laila's father and Dia's former fiancé Mohan, who is able to overcome his bitterness towards her.
With one month to put the show together, Dia struggles to get Imran and Anokhi to work together. With Dia's support, Anokhi changes her attitude and appearance to get Imran to take her seriously and soon their relationship deepens. A few days before the show, Farooque pays Chaudhary to abandon Ajanta and makes Najma spread hurtful stories about Dia. Chaudhary tries to get Imran to give up his part, but Imran is aware of Chaudhary's political intentions and refuses, leading him to be attacked by Chaudhary's men while Anokhi tries to protect him. With the whole town against her, Dia loses hope until Najma arrives to apologise and asks to be in the show.
On the night of the show, Dia is amazed to find that the entire town has come to Ajanta. The troupe put on a performance that amazes and excites the audience, including Chaudhary who is moved to tears. Farooque is stunned to see his wife playing the part of Laila's mother and Mrs. Chojar is shocked and thrilled when her husband appears singing and dancing on stage. In the end, the audience cheers loudly as the cast return to the stage for an encore. The night is a success and Ajanta is saved.
After Dia says her farewells to Shamli, she and Radha leave to find her parents in another part of India. Imran and Anokhi go on to teach dance classes at Ajanta with Doctor Saab's help and dance becomes an inherent part of Shamli once again. Raja is seen watching Dia dance and it is implied that they develop a romance.
- Madhuri Dixit as Dia Srivastav
- Konkona Sen Sharma as Anokhi as Laila
- Akshaye Khanna as MP Raja Uday Singh (special appearance)
- Jugal Hansraj as Sanjay Mehra as Laila's brother
- Kunal Kapoor as Imran Pathan as Majnu
- Divya Dutta as Najma, Dia's best friend as Laila's mother
- Felix D'Alviella as Steve
- Dalai as Radha, Dia's daughter 
- Raghubir Yadav as Doctor Saab
- Vinay Pathak as Mr. Chojar
- Akhilendra Mishra as Chaudhary Om Singh
- Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Dhan Kuber
- Darshan Jariwala as Makarand
- Sushmita Mukherjee as Mrs. Chojar
- Uttara Baokar as Mrs. Srivastav
- Yashpal Sharma as Inspector Sahib as Laila's father
- Ranvir Shorey as Mohan
- Vinod Nagpal as Dia's Father
- Irrfan Khan as Farooque, Najma's husband (Special Appearance)
|Studio album by|
18 October 2007 (India)
Yash Raj Music
The film's soundtrack was released on 15 October 2007, composed by Salim–Sulaiman, with lyrics by Jaideep Sahni and Piyush Mishra. A few songs from the final sequence of the movie have not been included on the soundtrack including "Yeh Ishq". The title track of the film which got a lot of popularity was written by Piyush Mishra.
|Track #||Song||Singer(s)||Lyricist||Duration||Picturised on|
|1||"Aaja Nachle"||Sunidhi Chauhan||Piyush Mishra||5:04||Madhuri Dixit|
|2||"Ishq Hua"||Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal||Jaideep Sahni||4:24||Madhuri Dixit, Kunal Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Ranvir Shorey|
|3||"Show Me Your Jalwa"||Kailash Kher, Richa Sharma, Salim Merchant||Jaideep Sahni||4:13||Madhuri Dixit and other cast members|
|4||"O Re Piya"||Rahat Fateh Ali Khan||Jaideep Sahni||6:20||Madhuri Dixit, Divya Dutta and other dance classmates with Steve taking pictures|
|5||"Soniye Mil Ja"||Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Madhuri Dixit||Piyush Mishra||3:37||Madhuri Dixit, Vinay Pathak|
|6||"Is Pal"||Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal||Piyush Mishra||3:59||Kunal Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma|
|7||"Koi Patthar Se Na Maare"||Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan||Piyush Mishra||4:04||Madhuri Dixit, Kunal Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma|
|8||"Dance With Me"||Sonia Saigal||Jaideep Sahni||3:39||Madhuri Dixit|
|9||"Aaja Nachle" (Reprise)||Sunidhi Chauhan, Marianne D'Cruz||Piyush Mishra||3:28||All the cast members|
Aaja Nachle opened to a poor response due to controversy. The domestic performance of the film was below average mostly everywhere. Overseas the response was lukewarm as well. It managed to collect Rs 207.5 million and was declared a flop by Box Office India.
The film was received with mixed reception from both critics and audiences. The lead performances received mixed reviews. Khalid Mohammed from the Hindustan Times wrote, "Madhuri Dixit has a cool time. Konkona is overacting while Kunal Kapoor is flustered", while Rajeev Masand from CNN-IBN noted, "Madhuri is the one and only star of the film. Konkona Sen Sharma is nothing short of fantastic. Her greatest strength is that she isn't afraid of making a fool of herself and she doesn't worry about being laughed at. As a result, her performance in Aaja Nachle is fearless and uninhibited."
Awards and nominationsEdit
- Filmfare Awards
- Nominated - Best Actress - Madhuri Dixit
- Nominated - Best Female Playback Singer - Sunidhi Chauhan for "Aaja Nachle"
- IIFA Awards
- Won - Best Choreography - Vaibhavi Merchant for "Aaja Nachle"
- Nominated - Best Female Playback Singer – Sunidhi Chauhan for "Aaja Nachle"
- Stardust Awards
- Nominated - Star of the Year – Female - Madhuri Dixit
The movie was banned in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab on the first three days of its release over alleged casteist remarks. It majorly affected its box office performance. Dia, the character played by Madhuri Dixit, lip-syncs the lines in the "Aaja Nachle" song rendered by Sunidhi Chauhan, Mohalle mein kaisi maara-mar hai; bole mochi bhi khud ko sunaar hai (translated "There is chaos in the neighborhood, even the Mochi (Cobbler) calls himself a Sunaar (Goldsmith)". Dalit groups said the line implied that Mochis (the Jatav caste – a caste of cobblers) were inferior to Sunaars (goldsmiths).Punjab and Haryana followed suit, banning the film the next day.
However the ban was later lifted in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, after a written apology from the producers and the removal of the disputed lyrics (bole mochi bhi khud ko sunaar hai) in the title song. The lyrics were replaced by other words mere dar pe deewano ki bahaar hai(translated "there is a parade of lovers at my doorstep"). However, a ban was imposed in the city of Patna on 2 December 2007. The issue was also raised in the Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) by RPI member Ramdas Athawale who sought a ban by the government for hurting Dalit sentiments, but Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said that it was the responsibility of state governments to take any such action.
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