Sunday, August 09, 2009

Love Aaj Kal

How you wish if Deepika Padukone could act! She’s easy on the eyes, what the hell, she is beautiful. Even in the presence of the so-called ‘mystery girl’, Harleen Kaur, who is ethereal and absolutely mysterious, Deepika holds her own in Imtiaz Ali’s much-expected rom-com after hugely popular ‘Jab We Met,’ ‘Love Aaj Kal.’ Only if she could act.
She is smart. She has warmth and honesty in her voice. She has fantastic screen presence. She does not speak English with an accent like most young heroines do. All these are good qualities, but only if she could act. In most of the film’s running time, you do not notice her lack of acting, thanks to Saif Ali Khan’s goofy presence (a sort of screen persona that Saif has perfected since ‘Dil Chahta Hai’), the production design and the marvellous outfits she wears (I loved the dress she wore in the ‘Dilli’ song.) But, when it’s time to do some drama, she falls short. Very glaring is the climatic scene, when the pair had to repeat their first conversation, "about the angles..." she is hanging by a scaffold, her voice cracks and god, she does not know how to act. Imagine someone else in her place, say Kajol, and imagine the magic. (For that matter, imagine the entire film with Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, it would have been a super-duper hit!!)
I enjoyed Love Aaj Kal. It’s smart, it’s breezy, there isn’t much rona-dhona, equally, less melodrama... the film can be considered a finest example of Bollywood romantic comedy, which is a rare breed so far as Bollywood is concerned, who likes to serve everything in a single dish, from action to comedy, melodrama to love triangles.
Triangles are very much part of LAK as well. But the film succeeds in shedding the extra flab of the surrounding to concentrate on the lead pair, especially in the ‘Jai and Meera’ story. Friends, family, other lovers are all relegated to the backdrop. They just have no roles to play in Jai and Meera’s lives (In the bargain, poor Rahul Khanna gets a raw deal and he does not even get the girl!!). At one point, Saif’s Jai even asks, what my parents have to do with my love affairs?
The premise is simple. It compare the love life of ‘wham, bam, thank you mam’ today’s generation with the love life of the ‘ankhon hi ankhon mein’ generation to prove the good ol’ theory, love conquers all.
There is nothing new in the story. But the presentation is unique, by Bollywood standards at least.
It’s good ol’ fun!!!

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