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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Movie Review: Love Aaj Kal (2009)

Love Aaj Kal: Definitely not to be missed

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, debutantes Giselle Monteiro and Florence Brudenell Bruce, Rishi Kapoor and Rahul Khanna (Sp.App)

Director: Imtiaz Ali

Studying in London, Jai (Saif) and Meera (Deepika) are in a relationship for two years but when career beckons, they mutually break off their relationship. 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 Fransico’s Golden Gate Co. The couple though broken off decides to keep in touch via net and phone calls and continue to remain friends. Restaurant owner Veer Singh (Rishi Kapoor) is a silent observer to their break up process since it happens in his restaurant. Unable to bear the far too casual approach related to affairs of heart of the couple, he tries to convince a reluctant Jai that he is making a mistake. Sensing that Jai is not taking him seriously, Veer then starts narrating him his own love story with Harleen Kaur (Giselle Monteiro) which took place far back in 1965 in Delhi. From then on begins the unfolding of these two love stories running parallel together which incidentally end up with a similar culmination after many twists and turns which also are similar despite the different period zones.

After making the much loved Jab We Met, Imtiaz Ali succeeds in giving us an extremely different love story that we have never witnessed before on Indian screen. He scores high on his writing and his treatment of the film. In the initial 10 minutes he successfully establishes Saif and Deepika’s relationship and their character quirks. He surprises you then by putting a melancholic song (Ye Dooriyan) as opening credits role showing montages of various important twists of the plot that lie ahead. In fact his screenplay is indeed full of surprises ahead, especially in the second half. As you begin to anticipate a particular thing happening ahead in the plot, almost 9 times out of 10 he proves you wrong. Making the film extremely relatable to everyone who has ever been in love and broken off with his/her partner, Imtiaz takes it notches higher by his dialogues that sound simple but convey a lot. Plenty of scenes stay with you as you come out. Imtiaz has repeated his technical team trio of JWM – Aarti Bajaj (Editing), Teddy Maurya (Art Direction) and Cinematographer (N. Nataraj Subramaniam) and each of them have excelled in their respective departments. Music of the film by Pritam is already ruling the charts and thankfully none of the songs act as speed breakers. The picturisation of Main Kya Hoon in San Francisco showing various changes in Saif is simply fantastic.

Without any doubt, these are career best performances of both Saif and Deepika and it should not be a surprise if they both end up winning most of awards for this year. Saif has always been at ease playing the cool no strings attached dude but in here he also succeeds in playing the brooding romantic Sardar Veer Singh very well and is extremely impressive in the post interval emotional sequences. Deepika wins hearts not just by looking extremely attractive throughout but also with the effortless ease she portrays her complex character. Rishi Kapoor is extremely loveable as the mature Veer Singh and lends tremendous dignity to his character. Debutante Giselle Monteiro manages to speak volumes just through her expressions. Rahul Khanna in a special appearance is good and suits the character perfectly well. Raj Zutshi playing Harleen’s father reminds of Pawan Malhotra’s character of Kareena’s uncle in Jab We Met. Florence Brudenell Bruce playing Saif’s Swiss girlfriend doesn’t have much to do but manages to do a good job.

Love Aaj Kal is a film definitely not to be missed. It offers us something fresh and and is a unique experiment in story telling and direction that works big time. It is one film that Saif, Deepika and Imtiaz shall always be proud of whenever they look back at their career.