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Love Aaj Kal (Romance)

Started by gopu, Aug 04, 2009, 12:44 AM

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When you make a riotous romance like Jab We Met, you really can't blame the audience for expecting the moon and the sky with your next film.

Film: Love Aaj Kal (Romance)
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Rahul Khanna, Rishi Kapoor
Direction: Imtiaz Ali
Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
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Chalo, let's get drunk with one more heady potion of Pyar, Imtiaz ishtyle, you tell yourself before sauntering in for his latest, Love Aaj Kal.

And no, you aren't disappointed at all. Because, this time, the effervescence and adrenalin rush of impetuous love, resonant in the romance of Geet and Aditya in Jab We Met, has been replaced by a more serious and realistic take on modern love. The film literally holds up a mirror to the commitment phobia of the young, successful professionals who keep changing their status from `committed' to `single' on the sundry social networking sites. Much to the chagrin of their dads and mums who fail to understand this emotional dilettantism and keep badgering them with love-of-a-lifetime cliches.

The secret of director Imtiaz Ali's film making lies basically in three primordial areas. Instead of relying heavily on a three-hour long script, he chooses to concentrate on his dialogues: crisp, concise and completely in sync with aaj ka lingo. All of Saif's babblings about love sans marriage and Deepika's discourses on career and cumbersome commitment are straight out of real-life ramblings in pubs, discotheques and coffee shops.

Secondly, it's the characterisations that literally set the screen on fire, with their highly individualistic streak coupled with their sad vulnerability. Here again, Saif Ali Khan's Jai and Deepika's Meera aren't your run-of-the-mill Romeos. While cool dude Jai dreams of building bridges like the Golden Gate and cannot see romance coming in the way of his career, restoration artist, Meera too feels long distance relationships are a drag when she decides to move from London to repaint frescoes in Delhi. Refreshingly, this romance actually begins with a break and then goes through umpteen twists and turns, before the new age Jai realises he ain't much different from the old-fashioned Veer (Rishi Kapoor) who lived out the Heer-Ranjha story in the less cluttered 1960s. Both Jai and Meera try to live out their lives independently, simply as friends, pursuing their careers and different love interests. But ironically, they keep bumping into each other at odd junctures of their life, babbling incoherently (and funnily) to avoid the senty soulmate signals. And Saif's absolutely delightful with his gibberish take on I'm okay, you're okay, we're okay, while the scene's actually yelling out something else.

Thirdly, like Jab We Met, this film too scores in the lush atmospherics that anchor the drama so exotically. London, San Franciso are fine, but it's actually Delhi that once again sweeps you off your feet as it stands by as a sweet and vibrant witness to the wooing and shooing, both in the 1965 romance and the 2009 something-like-love story. Playing a major role in creating the right ambience is Pritam's foot tapping music score too which boasts of a number of chartbusters.

On the flip side, the first half does ramble a bit and takes time to build up into a riveting second half. But the alluring performances by the lead pair do cover up for the langorous bits. Deepika is definitive and strong as Meera, the modern girl who has an individuality of her own. But it is Saif who renders so many shades to his character to make it seem so very real: confident, confused, careerist, homebody, fancy-free, foolishly in love.

Final query. How do Meera and Jai resolve their long-distance-relationships-don't-work dilemma? We'd like to believe the bridge-builder moves in with the restoration artist in saddi Dilli! Go watch it for it's GenNow feel and it's ekdum modern appeal.