Sunday, August 2, 2009

Love Aaj Kal - review

Ok. The movie is watchable. And that is as far as i will go. Going beyond that would be painful for me and i would protest if asked to do so.

The movie is watchable on account of three reasons - Deepika's glowing beauty, cute intersperses of the mysterious newcomer aka Harleen and last but not the least, Saif Ali Khan. Saif is present all over the place. And when i say this i mean to say that he is actually all over the place to the extent that there are some scenes where the other person is reduced to a mute spectator even when the director would have felt, much secretly, that there was indeed some scope for the other actor to utter, if not say, a few lines.

This is the third movie from Imtiaz and quite expectedly the expectations from this movie were high, and not just because of the star cast, but also because of the fact that his earlier movies like Jab we met and Socha na tha were such hits. But this movie disappoints you. You find some great scenes in the movie but you are still left searching for something far basic that makes a movie good. And here, that basic thing is the story. I couldn't find a story in this movie. The characters kept floating in and out of the scenes and a sub plot, roots of which lie in the character played by Rishi Kapoor, is used as a prop, and, quite interestingly, it is this prop that turns out to be the best part of the movie.

The movie might remind you of HumTum. The character of Saif is a continuation of what he played in HumTum, and also to complete the effect there is the presence of Rishi Kapoor, but this time not as a father though. There is also almost a borrowed scene of Saif playing video games much the same way as in HumTum. And i guess this repetition helped Saif to slip into his character with such ease that you can't imagine anybody else playing this role other than him. No questions then that his performance gets full points. Talking of performance, Rishi Kapoor deserves respect in the industry and somebody should really start giving him meatier roles. Really a supporting role but woefully brief, Rishi Kapoor's character had the potential to add weight to the script. Deepika, other than smiling and staring, didn't have much to do even if she had wanted because as i said earlier Saif was all over the place - in the script i mean. And as if to compensate this, scenes involving Deepika are quite considerately shot to allow her face occupy more than half of the screen each time she appears. Well, at least, there is something for her fans! Rahul Khanna makes a mysterious appearance in the film and before you realize anything makes a mysterious disappearance. Same can be said about 'Harleen Kaur' - the other love in the movie, but she is afforded the grace of three dialogues and also a song.

Lacking a tight and gripping script, the movie desperately tries to fill in the void by some breath taking shots of the Golden Gate, San Fransisco, the city skylines in UK and US, and songs that take you back to the 'naagin' era. A lot of time is wasted by dilly-dallying to establish a point and this makes the experience a test of patience. There is also seen a deliberate attempt of wooing the younger audience by introducing certain elements like the concept of a 'breakup' party, and frequent uses of phrases like 'khulla saand'.

Love Aaj Kal is at best a picturesque commentary of love then and now and is thus just a watchable movie. In spite of some peppy music the movie isn't a one that will trouble the memory for long.