It's Ghazab Ranbir All the Way!
By MovieTalkies.com, 07 November 2009
With 'Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani', director Raj Kumar Santoshi has bounced back. It is not a flawless film by any chance, but this is the film, which to some extent, brings back memories of that classic 'Andaaz Apna Apna'. In fact, Santoshi reveals that same lightness of touch, that feel for nonsensical dialogues and that wonderful flair for comedy. After creating the right kind of set up, he then sets Ranbir Kapoor free and allows the actor to take over, which he does with a brilliance, quite unmatched in recent times.
'Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani' is as much Santoshi's film as it is Ranbir's. The actor gets into the goofy character called Prem Chopra perfectly and is spectacular in the movie, specially, his charm and the manner in which he manages to turn even a simple scene to something so out of this world, is simply amazing. This is an out and out Ranbir affair and he floors one with his talent. Of course, he finally gets a role which allows him to soar uninhibitedly and he digs into it with relish. Ranbir is only able to take over the movie because of the wonderfully, nonsensical dialogues that he is given and the terrific support that he receives from his director and his co actors. The film has a quaint old world charm to it which coupled with the comic element, makes it a very touching and enjoyable movie.
The story is about a simpleton Prem, (Ranbir), who lives with his parents in a small hill station and is the president of the Happy Club, which consists of other equally, unemployed guys of his age. A chance encounter with Jenny (Katrina Kaif) and Prem ends up losing his heart to her, but lacks the courage to tell her about his feelings till it's too late. He discovers that she is in love with Rahul (Upen Patel) and he now makes it the mission of his life to unite the couple.
Santoshi handles the first half of the film very well indeed, but towards the latter half of the second half, the film seems to have been stretched too long and just about starts to get tiresome. The whole kidnapping angle, which forms the film's climax is a little too drawn out and one would have expected a more creative ending from Santoshi. The transformation in Rahul's character is quite unwarranted. But despite these areas, as a whole, Santoshi manages to keep the laughs going and mood breezy, thus exercising superb control on his actors and the screenplay, which is replete with witty one liners.
Total justice has been done to the wonderful music that has been composed by Pritam and Santoshi has picturised each song with a lot of love and care, bringing out its essence and flavour. In fact, the entire film has been shot wonderfully.
Ranbir holds this film together like a master actor. He is brilliant, especially in his encounters with his parents, played superbly by Darshan Jariwala and Smita Jaykar. The witty one liners exchanged between them are delightful. It helps that both Jaykar and Jariwala are seasoned actors and display superb comic timing. As for Ranbir, he plays the goofy simpleton, Prem, flawlessly, and most importantly, in his own fashion, with no hangover from any of the illustrious RKs in his family. Both he and Katrina Kaif look good together as a romantic pair too. Katrina tries hard to act in this movie, and succeeds to a degree, but her accent is a little grating at times. Upen Patel is deadpan and has little to show as an actor. In fact, barring him, the rest of the cast all seem to get into the mood of the film and their characters and deliver very consistent performances.
Enough cannot be said for the witty dialogues and sharp one liners that the film is full of. The streak of madness displayed in some of the scenes is quite priceless. In fact, the film's opening sequence about Prem and his gang in the shopping mall is a cracker and sets the mood for things to follow. It's because of this flying start by Santoshi, that one expected the second half to be just as crazy. It is to an extent, but does get a little diluted with Upen's entry and the entire kidnapping sequence.
This film proves once again, that a good screenplay and well written dialogues are definitely half the work done. Santoshi takes care of this very well indeed and what one gets is a very well made, crazy comedy.