Monday, August 3, 2009

Love Aaj Kal --- Movie Review

Imtiaz ali is one director who has only experimented with Love Stories and has always added that "Crazy" element in the stories with a flair . Whether it was Socha Na Tha ; where it was Viren (Abhay Deol) who acts crazy n confused or Jab We Met where it was Geet's turn to act a bit crazy in life and enjoy it her way . This element of craziness has been retained in Love Aaj Kal too but I guess this time it has gone on to another level . This time its Jai who is not only crazy n confused but also a bit stupid. If it was Geet in Jab We Met who was playing with her life , here , its both Jai and Meera who play with their life . Lets talk about that later .

What was most talked about the film was this Past-Present combination in the film and how it was "suppose to bridge the gap between the generations" . Though I liked the non-linear narrative because I have a thing for it but what I didn't like is the claim that the trailer made of bridging the gap . It doesn't do any such job . The only thing it tries to show is that Love is eternal and would always remain the same and only the ways of expression have changed which I guess is pretty much known to us . And I guess there's no way to bridge the past and the present so why even claim to do so .

There were also reports that it is inspired from a Taiwanese film "Three Times" which is not exactly true . Though the idea does seem to be the same but the content is completely different and also the narrative style is different . That one is more serious and has more emphasis on "Conversations" between the two lead characters . There the actors remained same in all the eras ; here they are different .That one is a classic and this one is certainly not. In short , there's nothing common apart from the basic idea which is also a bit different .

Coming back to the "crazy" element , I think in this one , it was far more stretched and would not be appreciated by Mango People (Aam Aadmi) . I personally liked it but I guess most won't . Though it looks good to an extent but what went wrong was that some of the most emotional scenes also went flat because of it . The other reason of that being that the movie seems to be in a RUSH of saying what it wants to say . It goes about in a very rapid way and there is no cooling off period where there is time for emotions to develop . Thus the emotional connect between the characters and the audience is minimal which I guess should be maximum for a love story . The whole wedding sequence of Deepika and the one after that seemed so strange and I must say that though I was not but majority of the people in the cinema hall were laughing at such an emotional scene . The interval of the film was also not in the right place and felt almost sudden .

Just talking a bit about story , it has Veer(Saif) who is a modern day guy and believes in Dating and Sleeping around but doesn't believe in Love . He dates Meera(Deepika) who is also a modern girl who dates and prefers to break off on a positive note rather than crying about it . They both date each other and after a series of break-ups , link-ups and marriages they realise that they are very much in love with each other and can't actually ever get over with . Helping Saif to realise this is Rishi Kapoor who narrates his love story to him which is from a different time but still is pretty much the same .

The performances are all of equal levels and match with each other . Deepika has acted as good as saif :) which is a complement for her considering saif is in the business since so many years . Though the film focuses comlpetely on Saif (the Producer) , Deepika still has enough for herself and she does a fair bit of job . Saif is saif ; I don't expect much from him and he doesn't even deliver more than what I expect . Rishi Kapoor is evergreen and he is great in the film . He looks good along with saif . The new girl in the film has nothing much but she was not that bad .

Coming to the technical side , I did like the non-linear narrative which was good for most of the part but at times a bit abrupt . The cinematography and the art direction was top notch and they managed to show the Delhi and Kolkata from old days quite well .Full marks go to Nataraj Subramanian for cinematography and Ravikant Bhakre for art direction. A few small things here and there did seem a bit cliche but overall it was great . The screenplay wasn't that good and it was like that they had so many things to show and had very less time . The only person I was disappointed was the director , Imtiaz Ali . His past films had raised expectations but this one certainly didn't meet those . All his past films had a good story and even Ahista-Ahista which he didn't direct is one of my favourite love stories . All of his stories have had strong characters which connected well with the audience . Here it lacks that emotional connect is what hurt the film most and I guess it was his responsibility to establish it . Some of the sequences in this one were similar to what they were in his past films like for example Saif saying about the break-up party that it sounds weird and crazy so we should do it which was quite similar to Geet's crazy acts in Jab We Met . Some elements like these prove that he has still not got over Jab We Met and also that his heart was still there and not on this story .

The music was obviously not as good as it was in Jab We Met and it was also not properly used by Imtiaz . The only song that I liked was "Chor Bazaari" which also didn't go down that well . I liked the way Imtiaz used "Main Kya Hun" . One more thing that I loved in the film was that both the lead characters were not shown to have those stereotypical careers and both had something different as their career option . Art impacts life so much and especially cinema . We need to get over the doctors,engineers and businessman . I am sure after watching Deepika doing fresco in this film there will be so many girls and even boys who would at least try to know what fresco exactly is .

Overall , the film is not that bad and can be watched once . If you like things the crazy way then there is a possibility that you might like the film , just like I did , but only to a certain extent . Love Aaj Kal disappoints considering the past work of Imtiaz which has been great . The concept is still different from usual and one can certainly look forward to that .

Movie Rating :
Three out of Five ; a good concept but an average film .

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