When you have a huge successful film, that remains fresh in the heart of the audiences to date, you definitely have huge expectations running wild on your shoulders. Jab We Met emerged as a classic that audience still cherish and thus with Love Aaj Kal, expectations from Imtiaz Ali turn up sky high. It seems that Imtiaz started scripting the movie at a coffee table probably, as the movie has so much round the Black tea & Black coffee. Imtiaz, doesn’t go for a typical romantic comedy, instead opts for a rather serious romantic love story, which you might feel you have seen a lot of times, but actually you don’t. Its not the one where lovers meet, enjoy, problems occur, they drift apart and finally in the end all becomes well. It is one of those where the mentality of today’s generation regarding love is narrated and how they try to be practical about it .
Jai (Saif) & Meera (Deepika) are the couple that meet up in London and continue to be in a relationship for over two years. But both have their different ambitions, for which career beckons which actually would set them in two different nations and thus they both mutually decide to break-off their relationship. So happy are they, that they even throw a “break up” party being “practical”. Meera prepares to go to India to pursue her career in old historical places restorations whereas Jai waits in London with a hope of getting his dream job in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Co. The couple though broken off decides to keep in touch via net and phone calls and continue to remain friends.
Veer Singh(Rishi Kapoor) is a witness of the break up and hence, in his motive to make Jai aware of Love, he narrates his own love story with Harleen Kaur (Giselle Monteiro) to give a peek to the old time romance. This is from where the love story of both the eras starts unfolding. Jai is initially amused and laughs at the funny incidents that Veer Singh involves himself into (going all way from Delhi to Calcutta to see the girl, waiting for the girl outside her house all day, just to get a glimpse). The love story of two different times run parallel from here on and as the story moves, we realize Jai goes through the same phase and both love stories finally end up in an almost similar culmination.
The first 10 minutes of the movie are deliberately confusing as it moves so fast and soon after Yeh Dooriyan playing in, which gives glimpses of the scenes that lie ahead in the movie. But as the movie proceeds, all of it becomes very much clear. During the second half comes a time when the script looses a bit of grip, but that is soon covered up with the proceedings thereafter.
Imtiaz Ali is a director, who has all in it to give a perfect romantic story. After the much straight headed Socha Na Tha and Jab We Met, he takes quite a sensitive turn on love with Love Aaj Kal, which requires you to keep attention throughout and hey, he handles it exceptionally well as well. Not just direction, his sense of dialogues is incredible as well. The dialogues just like Jab We Met, are quite simple and nothing like a collection of flowery words or one liners, and that is what helps the most in connecting a common man to the characters. While as a storyteller, Love Aaj Kal is a perfect testimony to his previous works.
Each and every song is properly used, at correct situations with really brilliant picturisations. None of them is just thrushted into the movie. While people might find ‘Twist’ as a forced one, I personally don’t as I feel, it was about how he tries to be “practical” enough as he dances his way way and moreover gets his Swiss girlfriend. BTW, Saif was horribly stiff in ‘Twist’ While Dooriyan stands out as the best track from the album, but the best picturized song, without any doubts has to be ‘Main Kya Hoon’. Simply Exceptional!! .
Background score by Salim-Suleiman is quite good, especially the way they have used the signature tune of Dooriyan throughout the movie.
Cinematography is excellent. A special mention for the bridges. Wooo...they were sooo beautiful. The locales of old time Delhi & Calcutta are such brilliant visuals. Hard to describe them! Screenplay is quite novel, that requires your attention, as the story runs parallel along with certain flashbacks, but manages to be a lovable one too! Music by Pritam has already hit the charts quite high, and they are exceptional complimented by the appropriate vocals and really beautiful lyrics, penned by Irshad Kamil.
Coming to performances,
Saif Ali Khan, delivers his career best performance here. Though you have seen him in the hip-hop young, cool dude avatar a lot of times, he impresses you completely in the Turban Avatar as well. Saif dominates most of the screen presence and rightfully so. He gets everything, be it facial expressions, emotions, dialogue delivery etc, right at the place and goes on to deliver a really splendid performance.
Deepika Padukone, looks very good and gives her best one here as well in her brief career. She does lack a gripping dialogue delivery at places but otherwise she is very good. She very much suits the good-yet-naughty and playful character required.
Rishi Kapoor, was truly a class. He is just too good. He is lovable and top notch.
Giselle Monteiro: Though a debutante, that too with a short role, she enacts her part with conviction and is definitely pretty. She suits the old-fashioned simple girl to the T.
Rahul Khanna does well in his small significant role.
Special mention of Neetu Kapoor, she looked so elegant .
My fav scenes:
• Veer & Harleen interaction through eye contacts in Calcutta
• Deepika fake smiles looking at the mirror
• Saif’s interaction with Deepika at marriage
• Saif’s phone conversation with Rishi Kapoor after being beaten up by street thieves
• ‘Main Kya Hoon’ song sequence
• The climax (especially Deepika bursting into tears & Dooriyan plays in Background)
• The only scene featuring Neetu Kapoor.
Final Words: Imtiaz ‘Tu Hamesha zabardast film bana deta hai jaanemann’ .
Love Aaj Kal definitely is no match to Jab We Met, but has its romanticism in its own style being rather serious. A must watch for all romantic lovers, and those who anyhow don’t expect a Jab We Met in a making. Watch it for the main hero i.e. Imtiaz Ali especially and of course for some fab performances by Saif Ali Khan & Rishi Kapoor along with a above decent to good one put up by Deepika & Giselle. Though for a short period, it felt so amorous, to see Rishi Kapoor & Neetu Kapoor in the same frame. They were lovely together .
There are some movies, which just settle down in your heart, thus covering up for all the bits that one doesn’t prefer in the movie. For me, Love Aaj Kal is one of them. .
Movie Ratings: 5/5