By MovieTalkies.com, 30 July 2009
The most anticipated movie of the year 'Love Aaj Kal' is an entertainer which might appeal to classes but not the masses. Burdened with sky high expectations, Imtiaz Ali could not recreate the magic of 'Jab We Met' but the film is a breezy entertainer. 'Love Aaj Kal' as the name suggests is a story of two couples, Veer [Saif Ali Khan] and Harleen [Giselle Monterio] set in Delhi and Kolkata in the year 1965 and Jai [Saif Ali Khan] and Meera [Deepika Padukone] set in the present day in London, San Francisco and Delhi. And as the name suggests,the movie revolves around the idea that be it 1965 or 2009, the aspects of love do not change though the manner of loving someone might. Saif and Deepika are a modern day couple and things happen quite quick and casual between them, be it their first kiss or their break up where they throw a huge party to celebrate. Being the modern career oriented couple does not mean you just hit the party scene or hang around with friends, get drunk and go hanky panky without actually having feelings for each other. The 'Aaj' couple seem more direct and get kicks over their experimental kinks with their two year old relationship. The lingo used by them and the casual comfort between them reminds you of 'Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na'. Enter the 'Kal' couple, truly,madly,and deeply in love and committed to each other without talking even once. Another extreme case but realistic as we are talking about 1965. Stories woven into one another unfolds the mystery slowly for us, though at one point Imtiaz does not get into the Veer Harleen track for so long that it makes you wonder what happened next in their love story.
Our giggly happy go lucky 'Aaj' couple have bouts of uncertainty about their love for each other and their capability rather incapability to move on with their lives and find love somewhere else until it is too late, literally, the day of Meera's marriage to Vikram [Rahul Khanna].Even after the realization of the undying emotions for each other 'Jai and Meera' avoid creating scenes at the wedding, only to call off the marriage the very next day. Now this is definitely not acceptable to an Indian audience, it does make sense that you cannot hold on to a loveless marriage, but has Imtiaz forgotten the fate of 'Humko Deewana Kar Gaye'? Then the movie gets into the 'Hum Tum' and 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna' mode, the lovers separating to get settled in different parts of the world with absolutely no communication between each other and one day lighting strikes and so does cupid to unite the 'ones made for each other'.
Saif is at his confused best in the movie, his role almost looks like an extension of his 'Hum Tum' role or Aamir Khan's character from 'Dil Chahta Hai', the modern, practical, commitment phobic guy, looks like Saif's personal life image is kind of etched into the movie too. He does justice to the role of 'Jai' with great designer clothes, a carefree attitude and tongue in cheek humour. Deepika looks gorgeous and her wardrobe rocks, though the chemistry between Saif and Deepika is weak. Rishi Kapoor is awesome in his Sardar look and gives a power packed performance while Giselle who plays Harleen looks like a younger and cuter version of Tabu and has just two dialogues to her credit. But all applause to Saif in the Sardar role of young Veer Singh, his dialogue delivery and body language is extremely accurate. One wonders why Rahul Khanna even exists in the movie ? A talent wasted, must say. The locations are scenic and beautiful, be it the UK, or San Francisco or Delhi, or the fort where the 'Kal' couple meet a la 'Veer Zaara' or the various historical places where Deepika works. Nothing can go wrong with the locations and the depiction of urban life as well as life in the sixties.
Imtiaz seems to keep his obsession with running behind moving trains intact, maybe he considers it a lucky charm after 'Jab We Met', but unfortunately in 'Love Aaj Kal' it reminds you about 'Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge'. In fact another scene where Veer Singh gets into a quick conversation with Harleen's mother is a direct cut and paste from 'Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge'. The music of the movie is very good and the songs apt to the situation. But too many film formulas rolled into one makes 'Love Aaj Kal' a Cultural Cocktail instead of a Cult. Worth seeing once as it comes like a good breakthrough after the Box Office disasters this year.