Love Aaj Kal

We all have our love stories & we all want them to be heard in some way or the other. From my experience of things love stories are generally happy or even if not then dramatic & thus they get made again & again by our film makers with different packaging each time.

So its time for Love Aaj Kal which seems to be Imtiaz Ali’s breezy look at contemporary love. The title itself has this impending need to say that its aaj ka zamaana & yeah we see love differently & it’s cool.

Well, Imtiaz has good actors portraying this aaj ka love story which is candy floss love ek practical angle mein. I specially liked the aaj ka lingo woven very well & applied as the spoken language of the quintessential youth. Set first half in London & later in the backdrop our very own dilli adds to the required magic touch to a love story.

So as they all begin this one does a quick rush of images then & now, saif ali khan (Jai Vardhan Singh) saunters in the elevator & a quick stop for the lady who gets in too. Cut to scene two, a hot looking Deepika Padukone (Meera Pandit) is sitting alone at the bar & Jai (saif) saunters in again with friends who want him to go approach the lone lady.

The conversation is refreshing & so much the youth or people who know the youth relate to. Jai at his coolest idiotic best says main pile nahi karna chahta magar & meera with her quick retort ‘so kyun kar rahe ho. I think this is a new addition to the mundane & growing old list of pick up lines for our dudes & gals. This hero heroine encounter unfolds rather uncharacteristically in the parking lot with a nudge here & one there, then the realization of how a silent parking lot, two young people in the car & the excitement of the first kiss is as much fun for the viewer as much for the on screen couple. The fact that Jai (saif) is giggling away hoping no one saw it is simply cute.

So this cute contemporary story moves on & Jai and meera can’t decide whether they are a couple or friends who seem to be having a lot of fun together. This comfort zone shouldn’t be unsettled with expectations and hang ups of a normal boy & girl seeing each other. So they chug along happily over black coffee & the fact that yuck how can you have black coffee.

Meera has to move to back to delhi to pursue her restoration interests, this new career goals that both the protagonists have is another reason to believe this is a cool tale of cool people. The typical facebook junta of instant retorts & smart one liners.

So now what happens to the status of this relationship like Jai would put it? Well they both believe & rightly so long distance connection doesn’t work here… to hell with the chat rooms, new statuses each day, sms or calls. So modern day relationships don’t work with modern day technology either. Yeh hue na kal ki baat! I especially like the wacky break up party which brings forth how soppy we get about relationships & lose sight of the time gone by which was fun afterall. In case of jai & meera the eternally lost couple this was a fitting break up.

Saunters in another saif cycling behind a petite harleen kaur (Giselle Monteiro), a hard core sikh. Enter a sikh restaurant owner Veer Singh (rishi kapoor). Imitiaz ali’s cinematic liberty of placing saif as the young rishi kapoor is unique. I guess that’s how the aaj & kal connect happens when you see the film progress.

So Veer singh has not doubt that love stories of today are frivolous, there’s no heart involved, the world has become too materialistic & the youth too practical. So the dilli ka tadka comes in with a lot of his views & opinions whilst he narrates his love story to a not so interested Jai to later a companion jai. My assumption is the black tea black coffee bond worked & did the cementing of this kal aur aaj ki dosti.

The novelty of the story is that how seamlessly this story of kal blends into the aaj & finally one concludes that love stories are all the same.

Meera in Delhi works on her frescos & jai dreams of joining the san Francisco’s golden gate foundation. Its uncanny how we in the contemporary world & specially this couple wants to restore & build things which the world will applaud but within them selves they lack the knowledge or the pulse that will help them restore & build this strong tie that lingers through the movie in their long distance conversations, in meera’s consultation of men to jai & jai’s achievement of finally moving on.

I only wish Imtiaz ali would have trodden on the path of long distance relationship & somewhere made his characters less confused & muddled in the head. Its one thing to say long distance doesn’t work & another of not realizing that it did & it just hadn’t dawned upon them. That’s the problem with being pseudo & all sorted is that we literally miss the actual touch & feel of people as if they were commodities.

So somewhere even if its fun with the trendy chor bazaari & we twist n twist n twist but fail to comprehend love, the couple seems flippant & specially meera lacks emotional common sense. She’s all agreeable & abiding to the norm of giving the guy his space, in turn seeming spaced out & scattered.

Imtiaz ali very skillfully skims the surface of addressing relationships, independence, career vs. personal front etc as this would then make the storyline prosaic. So to keep pace with the fun & frivolity the story moves well with the two of them stealing moments from their present life to enjoy dilli, sing songs & plan a new year’s eve together but with their respective partners in tow.

In contrast to this confused & honestly to me not in love couple the Veer & harleen love story even though rustic has the warmth of unconditional love far greater & deeper. So when Veer Singh all along the movie harps on true love evading the youth he only means that we are too cool or unattached to realize that a sense of belonging is not lack of space.

Anyway as the movie progresses & meera is faced with a proposal from her boss. She goes ahead with it, marries him, has jai attend the wedding too & then eureka on her honeymoon realizes this is not it. I mean you cannot be so clueless of your own feelings even if you were of the other person’s. This part of the script seems irreverent & made me think, gone too far with the humour bit mr director.

No use crying over it meera as our dude saif has finally landed his dream of golden gate & moved on once again, uff!

Jai is having a great time in his new job, great city swanky suits. Then why have the mugging scene in san Francisco where the thugs seem to want meera’s picture which he is tugging close to his heart. Beaten to pulp he realizes yeah man this is what is missing in my life! See its poetic justice i think, as this loose in the head couple needed either to be shaken up or beaten blue to realize there is something. So this is where basically the story or script falls short.

Deepika looks good & very much the contemporary girl of today. She is good in relating the emotions but falls flat in evoking any. Saif looks comfortable as footloose jai the ala cool dude, Dil Chahta hain idiotic syndrome but is far more convincing as a love struck Veer. Giselle couldn’t have been a better choice for the petite Punjabi kudi harleen.

Rishi kapoor sets the pace in evoking a reaction & he still has his charm on even with all that weight & looking like Neetu Singh’s father in the movie.

Love aaj kal left me confused too. As in I wanted to enjoy the movie & it rather should have been all frivolous or all sense. This mixture leaves me slightly disappointed, also Deepika & saif don’t match up even an iota to the chemistry kareena & shahid had & nor does the story to jab we met.

Nevertheless it’s a fun movie & don’t bother understanding it beyond the senseless wacky lines/dialogues uttered.


Ved August 4, 2009 at 2:38 AM  

Very nice and detailed review. Not my type of movie so will wait till it comes on one of the TV channels which I presume will be sooner than later.

Roshmi Sinha August 5, 2009 at 3:49 AM  

Nice review... quite a detailed one at that!

Ummm... I'm not sure whether I'll go to a theatre to watch this. Seems like an above average movie... which will no doubt become a hit... given the dearth of 'quality' movies at the moment.

Electronicx Whizkid August 5, 2009 at 6:40 AM  

dont even bother watching it and wasting money...
Seeing a couple of recent hindi releases it is Dard aaj kal

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