Atrangi Re writer Himanshu Sharma opened up about the criticism against the movie. It’s been pointed out that it has been insensitive in its handling of mental health issues. In an interview with a leading news portal, Himanshu said, “It (mental health) is not the only thing that we thought of. There are many other things like love – a debate between perfection and imperfection, the totality of love, what is love. The kind of conflict that happens with what we expect in our partners vis-a-vis what real people are. We expect them to be the finest of the people, with the topmost quality, but real people are flawed. So there were multiple things that the film was trying to say.”
He added, “In the end, it’s a film and not a documentary. It is not a 500-word essay on mental illness, it is a film, it needs to entertain you. When we write a film, it has to manoeuvre its way to many of the issues that I spoke about, and at times certain things take a backseat, and other times it takes a forefront. Yes, the mental health issue is there but to me as a writer and for Aanand (L Rai) as a director, it was more of a sugar coating to say larger things. See the film for what it is and not for what you wanted. A large number of people saw that, they knew what the film was talking about and that is why we have got so much love.”
In the movie, the protagonist Rinku Sooryavanshi, played by Sara Ali Khan, is unable to accept the honour killing of her parents, which she witnessed as a child and this leads to mental trauma. She starts witnessing hallucinations, including that of her imaginative boyfriend Sajjad Ali Khan, played by Akshay Kumar.
Directed by Anand L Rai, Atrangi Re stars Sara Ali Khan, Dhanush and Akshay Kumar in lead roles. It was released on December 24, 2021, on Disney+Hotstar.