Movie review: Love Aaj Kal

Love Aaj Kal

Love Aaj Kal is Film#3 for writer-director Imtiaz Ali. He has already impressed me with his dew-fresh dialogues in Socha Na Tha, and his excellently executed Jab We Met. But when film studios start backing you up with larger budget scales and more foreign locales instead of the streets of Ratlaam, things can get a bit haywire. That’s the problem for Love Aaj Kal. It seems like a Project gone not awfully wrong, but one which just about manages to stay afloat due to a very wrong management and yes, very wrong selection of resources – ie Deepika. When you upscale the scope of the project, I believe, you should upscale the requirements from the resources – [ in this case, I think *anyone* but Deepika could’ve served this well, how bout Sonam Kapoor..humri Bittu *wink* *wink*]. Enough of the parallel comparison with Project Management, let’s get down with the review. Shall we?

Love Aaj Kal is an ordinary idea which tries too hard to be intelligent. At the core of it, sits a story which is utterly predictable. But nevertheless, its charming in its own way. It tells the tale of love in todays world where relationships take a back seat and careers take over our lives. Of breakups being celebrated in a party, and of long-distance calls. Does Long Distance relationships work? The main protagonist Jai [Saif] doesn’t think so, and so does Meera [Deepika]. And so they decide on breaking up amicably. But an old guy called Veer Singh [ Rishi Kapoor] interrupts, reminding him that Love is not about giving up, and it happens only once. He narrates him a tale of his own love story – love as it was in the yesteryears, in true sepia tone, and which spans across Delhi to Calcutta, travelling in a general compartment on Indian Railways. And I might be a bit cynical to say it, but here’s my problem. Why doesn’t dude Jai just try to stop Mr.Veer Singh from coming on to him? Just say it- back off!! And Veer Singh pushes quite a lot.

Love Aaj Kal The interesting depiction of the young Veer Singh as Saif itself is quite intelligent, as both Saif and Rishi imagine of the young Veer Singh to look like Mr Khan. Another major problem; Saif’s Punjabi accent is awful. He kinda reminds me more of Langda Tyagi than a Sardar. But surprisingly though, the yesteryears romance is the highlight of the movie. Surprising because, you expect in an Imtiaz Ali movie, the dialogues would be the ones which keep the movie rolling. But with the least of dialogues, and making the silence do the talking, the chemistry between Veer and Harleen shines through effortlessly. Harleen [ some Brazilian model called Giselle Monteiro] is as shy as a touch-me-not and Veer’s undying love for him is beautifully depicted in a wonderfully written scene, when Veer travels all the way from Delhi to Calcutta, just to stare at the window, waiting for Harleen to appear. He brings her favourite mithai, and she hides behind her Dupatta, Veer’s favorite liquor tea. The setting is picturesque – Uttam Kumar posters in the backdrop, and unpainted Pujo Murtis, and of course, green shutter windows. Can it be more Calcutta? Set-design – Bravo!

Love Aaj Kal Wallpaper

But as much as the yesteryear’s love story dazzled, the today’s love story fizzed away like an open can of Coke. Lemme just say it, don’t care if it sounds harsh. Deepika cannot act to save her life. She just can’t, period! More to add to this one is an utterly predictable plot of boy separating from girl to go into another relationship, drifting away to find his materialistic goals just to finally realise his true love for her. Ugh! Slap me. HARDER. And all this realisation takes place in an extremely stupid fashion. A brawl at the dark alley in San Fransisco makes Jai realise that he loves Meera. Hmmm. Feels like remembering that only God can help, when Ajit Agarkar and Anil Kumble are on the pitch, in an India vs. Pakistan match with 6 balls remaining and 10 runs to win the match. In the same way, Jai remembers Meera,..oh, it must be you!! Makes me cringe.

As for the tracks, I think most of them have been used as an ornament and quite distractingly so. I never liked the Twist track, and I don’t still. Chorbazari is quite catchy I must say, and so is Aahu Aahu. But the best track of the album is Aaj Din Chadheya. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s vocals are to die for. Unlike Jab We Met, where the tracks appear more like a part of the narrative, the tracks here appear as jutting out of the storyline and hits you on the face. Such a shame. Last but not the least, Imtiaz Ali’s forte has always been his dialogue. It breathes life into even the dullest of characters. But here it seems a bit overdone. The Hinglish is a bit hammed up, and feels like too much effort has been made to add words like ‘ Pile-On’ and ‘Angle’ and stuff. Yes, the dialogues are a bit ticklish at some situations, I do agree, but nothing more than that. May be I am still not over the fact which I mentioned earlier. Did I say it loud enough? Deepika cannot act. Even Saif looks a bit shitty standing next to her. I did not like his confused, chattering portrayal, at all. I’d prefer his Mr.confused Sameer in Dil Chahta Hai anyday. What saves us all from this sinking ship is Rishi Kapoor’s honest enactment of Veer Singh, and of course the cameo which left a smile on my face. Should I just say it? Screw it. Neetu Singh makes a cameo in the climax. There you go. I said it. Watch it for the cameo, Rishi Kapoor and yes, the Calcutta scene. You can totally wait for the DVD, shouldn’t be long.

Rating: 3 out of 10 – For Harleen [ past and present ], Veer Singh Sr. and Aaj Din Chadhheya

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9 thoughts on “Movie review: Love Aaj Kal

  1. Thank God! Atleast someone agrees with me! 😉 Fools like Taran Adarsh and Nikhat Kazmi are giving it 4 stars. I feel sad, frustrated, angry and what not..how can such a run-of-the-mill film get so much appreciation? and the better films get ignored all the time. Oh God, save me! What’s wrong with the Indian audience? Even a film like Kambakkht Ishq is declared a HIT. I might go insane.

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  2. Hahaha, poor Sujoy, kahan phas gaya. I agree with dialogues problem. I was ready to type in dialogues as Tweets [as I did in Luck] cause after lovely SNT and JWM, Imtiaz did set a standard for himself. sigh…..

    Nice observation abt Calcutta. That was perfect artwork.

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  3. Aww! I lurved it! Altho I admit, not as good as JWM. And I totally agree abt Deepika’s acting. She was rly rly bad! But I loved Saif 😀 Your Ajit Agarkar/Kumble example made me giggle out loud. Remember that old World Cup wali final match jismein Hrishikesh Kanitkar ne chauka mara tha? Similar scene it was. I remember hiding behind the sofa cushions coz the tension was so THICK!!! Phew!

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  4. You stole my words!! I was so shcoked at the response of audience and even News Papers. they are applauding movie like any thing but I found it really useless movie with full of crap. Music seems to be the only breather to me in the whole show. Movie is trying to be super cool, smart but it sucked completly at it. Saif is old, he is trying to bring his cool confused look of DCH and he perfectly failed. I agree with you on this. I’m so happy seeing your feedback abt Miss Padukone. She simple CAN”T ACT. Only one expression she knows is Smile and she does it everywhere. come on you got a dimpled smile it doesnt mean you show it everywhere. and She CAN’T SPEAK ENGLISH. You can see it when she is speaking all those words( Fantastic, Superb) on Saif’s success just after her wedding and wedding break up. (I thought Prakash padukone would have put her in some high class convent school but I believe now: no). I am sure if They had taken Kareena Kapoor in place of Deepika, the character of Meera would have got more justice.

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    Sujoy Reply:

    @Bhargav:
    Forget about Taran Adarsh. I do consider Nikhat Kazmi as a good critic, but this ones a complete misjudgement as a 4 star movie. It was indeed quite ‘run-of-the-mill’. And hey, did they really consider Kambakkht Ishq as a hit. Lord Almighty.

    @bollywooddeewana
    I agree Meera’s character wasn’t well written. And yes, about the sudden realisation, as the song progresses when saif is first excited to have just got the GG project, and then transforms into this lonely sulker; I mean, is it his loneliness the reason why he starts realising that he needs some [ to put it politely] ‘company’. And that brawl scene was funny in the sense that Bengali guy finds him. 🙂 You can never escape Bengalis or Gujjus anywhere in the world. I was coming back from work in the bus [ from Bromley], and this Gujju guy sat 2 seats away from me, playing Falguni Pathak tracks, one after another. Imagine, I had to bear all of that through the traffic jam.

    @Darshit
    The Calcutta scene sums it up for me.

    @pitu.
    U r a sucker for romance and cheese 🙂
    Hrishikesh Kanitkar’s chauka wasn’t a world cup match I suppose.It was the Independence Cup finals in Dhaka, can’t remember the year. But I had a bet with my Didi, which I won 🙂 Poor Saqlain Mushtaq. I know exactly how it felt that time. The tension was as u said, THICK!!

    @Ankir
    Thanks mate for echoing me feelings. I can’t get enough of Aahu Aahu, and Ajj din Chaddheya is just brilliant. Forget about the Newspapers man. They often tend to be paid previews backed by studios. Saif has indeed grown old, considering DCH was in 2001. Phew! Can’t comment much about Deepika’s English though. I could not gather my attention to grow once I saw her extremely pale and artificial acting. And as I said, Sonam Kapoor would have been such a good fit for this movie. 🙂
    Thanks for the visit, and hope to see you here again.

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  5. We saw the movie on “Friendship Day”. When we got out of the theatre, our thoughts were that we can surely give this movie 3 out of 5.

    What I liked:
    * Deepika was charming, if very gauche in a lot of high-drama scenes like when she tells Rahul that she cannot keep on living like this. Or when she tries to be a confident, sexy, hip girl. She is not effortless right now. A long way to go really.
    * I loved most of the songs like “Ye Duriyan”, “Aahun Aahun”, “Chor Bazari”, “Aj din chadhiya”. Very hummable.
    * Loved Deepika in “Chor Bazari”. It was thoroughly entertaining.
    * Couple of scenes – the famous chai-wala scene and the one where Saif and Deepika have broken up and tell each other on what they liked and did not like about each other, and a couple of more
    * Neetu Singh’s cameo.

    What I did not like
    * Saif is no Shahrukh or Aamir or Akshay.
    * Saif looks old and weird. Not at all handsome. His side-kicks and all the extras look much better. What happened to Botox? Doesn’t seem to be working!
    * Juxtaposition of Love Aaj and Love Kal was a little distracting but bearable
    * The song “Twist”, what were they thinking!!!
    * The ending was a drag
    * Most horrible thing was Deepika telling Rahul (after 2 days of marriage) that she cannot go on living like this.
    * Atleast my generation is not this heartless, that they would not feel a thing about breaking up. People are not so superficial.

    LAST WORD: Definitely you can enjoy this once with a bunch of friends

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    Sujoy Reply:

    @Reema: Certainly agree with you on Saif’s age showing onscreen. It is completely shameful for these people who’s entire business and bread n butter depends on their onscreen looks etc etc. He shud realise tht he can no more play Sameer from DCH.

    I dont like the Twist track. But I cant get enough of Ajj Din Chadheya and Aahu Aahu.

    The Chai Wala Scene is famous already? LOL
    And yeah, it doesn’t matter if you are from 1965 or 2009, one cannot be sooooo selfish to turn down ur marriage after 2 days..unless you are Britney Spears or you are totally on crack 😉

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  6. Well said 🙂 And also about ‘love’. According to this movie, people in this day don’t appreciate love. But to come to think of it, just refer the pic, what did Veer really know about Harleen or what did he really look in her….looks? Outer beauty? What ‘love’ are you talking about!

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