Love Aaj Kal – the poke generation’s yapfest!

Posted: August 2, 2009 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, film review, News, reviews, Thoughts
Tags: , , , , , ,

love-aaj-kal new posterBollywood’s new age Love-guru is back! And with a heavy adjective like that, its difficult to live up to the expectation. Yashraj romance is so passe. After Socha Na Tha and Jab We Met, Imtiaz Ali is cool, hep and happening.

Read all the reviews. Thought will catch on sunday morning. Tickets will be cheap and easy to get. How many people wake up and reach the theatre by 11 am. I was wrong. Fame Adlabs – 11:30 am show. Houseful. I thought I will wait, will manage a ticket from someone. It has never happened with me, that i have returned home without watching a film. No luck. I moved to Cinemax Versova. Believe it or not, Cinemax has 24 shows daily! One show every half hour. Cinemax – 12 noon show – Houseful. Again I decided to wait. No luck. 12:30 – Is also houseful. Only red lounge availabe. Huh! Whats the point of waking up and coming early if I am going to watch it in red lounge, which is too expensive. Finally bought the ticket for 13:00 pm show and moved to my fav place (Landmark) to kill time. Now if this is any indication of the box office report, Love Aaj Kal is heading for big numbers. And a real one, unlike Kambakkht Ishq’s pumped up numbers. Next week there is only Agyaat, so Love Aaj Kal will have two weeks time till Kaminey releases.  

Does Imtiaz Ali delivers ? And if so, what ? Well, he tries atleast. Some ten great scenes, smart dialogues but too much of deja vu! Give me one more punjabi family that wants to sing nagada nagada..nagada baja, and I will take out my gun and blow someone’s head! Seriously! Imtiaz’s characters still prefer to run away and get married. They are still confused about their choices. Here, they are just a step ahead, more confused, and realise it all after marriage. They still talk in the same tone. 

Comparing notes of three films, Imtiaz and his love mantra has changed a lot with time, as it happens with us when we grow up and see the same world in a different way at different age. First one (Socha Na Tha) was naive, tender, natural. Second (Jab We Met) was smart, mature, understanding. This one (Love Aaj Kal) is clever, trying to be too smart and calculative.

And when you have two tracks in a love story, the craftsmanship is easy to spot, which makes it look unnatural. Have always felt that. The criss-crossing makes it look all intentional, to mix and match this scene here with that scene there.  The intention is still honest but then the baggage becomes too heavy.

 After a friend’s recco, recently saw a film titled 5 X 2 (Five times two). Five chapters of a couple’s romantic story which starts with their divorce and moves in reverse. So, a story with a sad end has a happy cinematic ending. The first time when the boy meets the girl. Love Aaj Kal too starts with a break up, and you know, its a hindi film, so the couple will get together for sure. How ? Thats the question.

They break up. They find new boyfreind/girlfriend. They pretend to be cool about it but realise soon that its the wrong choice baby! Much like Abbas Tyrewala’s Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. And as a friend asked me, so what new can you do in a romcom ? New ? Well, add a old track then. And thats where Rishi Kapoor fits in with his Harleen Kaur. The villain in the story is distance. Yesterday, they went all out to cover that distance. Today, we have too many choices close to us, why bother to go for the long distance ! Thats the central theme of Love Aaj Kal.

Saif Ali Khan is not new to being the cool n confused lover, having done similar acts in Dil Chahta Hai, Hum Tum and other films. Deepika Padukone is unbelievably inconsistent. In some scenes, she cracks the code perfectly and in some, she is horrible. Harleen Kaur (Giselle Monteiro) must be the subtle-est character in the history of hindi cinema. Blame it on Brazil! But it works.

They poke. But they dont make out. They talk and go yap yap. But they dont do anything. You only hear the “khula saand“, the “kuch bhi” talks. The intention must have been to score U/A certificate, so that it becomes family viewing. Was surprised to see so many kids in the theatre. What kind of parents take their kids to the theatre to watch Love Aaj Kal ? Its not for kiddies, by any logic and reason. Its a mature story and God only knows, what the kids will make out of it. Am scared for the next generation. Poking friends on Facebook and in Love Aaj Kal is not the same.

I loved Socha Na Tha. I liked Jab We Met. Superbly written. And Love Aaj Kal is, well, nice. Honest but too crafty! Its all about having black tea/coffee together!

Comments
  1. well written! enjoyed reading!!

  2. Nish says:

    nice review…somehow, I could not enjoy the film. But then I am romantic, and this movie was anything but that…

    See my review here:

    http://nishitak.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/love-aaj-kal-a-movie-review/

  3. Manu Warrier says:

    well written, haven’t seen it yet… looking forward now

  4. Shobha De says:

    I am not in the best of moods… I have just come home after enduring two hours of unadulterated tedium in the form of ‘Love Aaj Kal.’ Right now, I’m in no mood to feel sorry for Saif… I’m feeling sorrier for myself. I haven’t been this bored for a long, long time. Much as I like Saif, there is something called too much of a good thing . Saif is in every damn frame! His monologues are embarrassing, and I got the distinct feeling if he could have played Deepika’s role as well, he probably would have! He plays the jawan Rishi Kapoor ( the best moments in the film), and he pretty much plays himself for 120 minutes. There is no story as such, no fun stuff either. The item numbers are stale and borrowed. Plus, there is a truly ghastly New Year’s eve sequence which redefines ‘tacky’. What else??? Rishi Kapoor is the sole saving grace in an otherwise pointless movie. The anonymous young girl who plays the young Neetu Singh is refreshingly natural, likeable and way better than Deepika, whose make up is most unfortunate! Howcome the film has received a four star rating?? What’s there to like??? If it’s a hit, Saif will have the last laugh, of course. But come on, Imtiaz Ali – much more was expected from you after the sizzle, crackle and zing of ‘Jab We Met.’

  5. Sonal says:

    ^ha ha who is copy pasting shobha de’s post? lol I read hers on Friday. She can be so bitchy my gosh. I thought it was an OK film too, but its good to see directors trying out different things. So its doing great business wise? Said to be better than Ghajini? How? :S Or is Taran Adarsh bs-ing again? I don’t see masses liking this movie. Multiplex will love it for sure. Or will it fizzle out like KI after a great start?

  6. Ksmommy says:

    I had super high expectations after all the 3 & above ratings that this movie had got. Now I know, ratings hold NO good/truth.
    Went for the 10pm show and walked out feeling miserable aft loosing a few hrs of good old sleep. Imitaz is too confused as a Director.
    The story/script is pretty good and new and suits to a certain, more modern psyche. But poor direction, editing, sequences/lines forcibly put to (forcibly)introduce songs, loose dialogues(and delivery for most)- SAKs(Saifs) annoying and repetitive – ‘mein ye kya kar raha hun – kya sooch raha hu’ lines(direct picks from DCH), scenes/plots – again directly picked from DDLJ(SAK-H Kaur-mother scene) etc, acting inabilities of both the protagonist; Imitaz couldn’t bundle-up-the-package properly nor deliver it. I was never a fan of SAKs acting; he is too flaky for me. Deepika? She has potential but she is also new to the craft. The only effective cast who stands out is Mr.Rishi Kapoor! He deserves accolades and awards for his work in the past and present. He is so involved and passionate about what he does and that always shows! We need more actors like him. Rahul Khanna does justice to his role. Giselle Monteiro – sorry, that dame has very BIG hands – I mean really BIG – and they looked very unnatural during a song sequence. Other than her coy and delicate Punjaban features- she hardly has any part to play. BTW, whats the fascination with non-Indian actors? A certain Mrs.Bajapai could have been a better fit. Songs? ‘Chor bazari’ is melodious. I don’t want to comment on the rest.
    Guess, I will let go off Imtiaz this time with the hope that he gets enough clarity for his next project.

  7. Aamir says:

    Hi guys… I think u r being to harsh on Imi…and i think Times at last after many years gave a good rating to a good movie… LAK was nothing less than a breath of fresh air…i think it should find its name right up there with the best contemporary Indian romantic movies…
    yes there were some cliches here and there but then u never minded them , because it was so suave, and well packaged…
    Please read my review,..which i admit is too full of adulation for the movie,because of the awe for LAK .. http://mysticglances.blogspot.com/

  8. […] I wrote a post on Love Aaj Kal. But the kind of extreme reactions the film is generating, I could not resist the […]

  9. Karan Johar says:

    Come on, lets stop beating around the bush – fact is Imtiaz Ali sold out. Not that I ever thought he ever had a great non-commercial agenda (dunno why the ‘indie’ crowd was going gaga about him!!) but his last two films had characters and stories which had integrity; they burst forth with a freshness and ease of evocation that didn’t push their commercial manipulation into our faces, (which to be honest, my last few films have done).

    LAK is over-burdened with agendas, and is almost didactic at times and has really very little to offer in the way of insight or observation about love, life or the times that we live in. Heck, I didn’t even get any real insight into the way Meera thinks!

    Look, films above a certain budget have to try to satisfy the many different audiences whose approval make it a success – like the youth audience as well as the family one, the NRI audience as well as the home-grown one.. (I should know, I created a few of those markets!!) but when even I start to get the feeling that a film is essentially just being formulated to have parts which will work for disparate audiences then the whole starts to suffer. And frankly, LAK seemed just like that – a bunch of sequences stitched together around a loose central idea which was neither deep or clever.

    The result is something that I suspect works in its entirety for very few but ofcourse has made dollops of money all over the place – proving again that the formulation indeed does work! (yipee, for me!!) But what he has created is closer to a YashRaj/ Dharma film than anything else. Funnily enough, it managed to get half-decent reviews exactly because it isn’t a Yashraj or Dharma film and most people presumed the best about Imtiaz’s intentions based on his SNT & JWM street cred. Had it been my film it would have been hammered everywhere!!!

    Let’s face the fact that Imtiaz has walked over to the dark side (our side i.e.). He is now a maker of filmic products like the many other business men of Bollywood (Bitches, I’m not alone – yo!) . Let us not confuse present reality with earned reputation. the job of artists is to remain alive and vital – and Imtiaz is responsible for dereliction of duty!

    If I may say so, I think KANK was braver and more relevant. How come I never get any credit?!

  10. Nishita says:

    I must say KANK was a superior film compared to LAK. I think it is a more modern and accurate representation of love these days (if you ignore the dazzle, it is still a well-made movie). Although it moved slowly, I liked the character build-up. I thought this was one of SRK’s finest performances, and Preity was spot-on too.

    Rani and Abhishek were a bit meh though. But then, I always think so 🙂

    Btw, wow! Karan Johar has commented on your blog ! I mean KARAN JOHAR!!!

  11. shantanu says:

    Karan does have a point here. I agree with Nishita that Rani & Abhishek were a bit meh (what to do.. they are like that only!! – but saif & deepika in LAK were maha meh in comparison 🙂 but KANK otherwise was quite a different take on relationships.

    The critics blasted it, I think on Kjo’s reputation for churning out soapy over melodramatic candy-floss.. had someone else made it (say Imtiaz!), they might have applauded the fact that it broke new ground.

    Critics definitely need to look beyond the obvious and be ready to push themselves.

    Btw, Karan – I’m looking forward to MNIK, everything I’ve heard about it so far makes it seem like your most out-there film. I applaud the fact that you are taking chances while Yash Raj is happy to rot in its sickly filmy slush! Best of Luck!!

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