Love Aaj Kal is arguably the most awaited film of the year, director Imtiaz Ali of Jab We Met fame returns with Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone as his lead stars. Can he recreate the magic and surpass expectations?
The film is set in 2009 and 1965.. While Veer Singh in 1965 travels thousands of kilometres to catch a glimpse of his love, and yet not speak a word. Jai and Meera based in London in the 21st century, break-up, since they believe long-distance relationships don’t work.
We don’t usually post movie reviews from other Bollywood sites, but since we couldn’t make it to the premiere of the much-hyped film and as two credible sites have already published their official reviews, we decided to put it up. Check it out..
First the Bollywood Hungama review by Taran Adarsh. He goes with 4 on 5 stars, calling it a film for the “young and romantic at heart”. Review below
LOVE AAJ KAL is not an easy film to write and execute. Sure, it’s a love story, but it’s not one of those mundane love stories that talks of love and heartache. Here, the two stories, set in different eras, run parallel, but have a similar end.
To be brutally honest, it takes time to grasp the plot, since the past and present run concurrently. If you aren’t attentive, chances are you’d lose the plot. Also, if you aren’t aware by now that Saif Ali Khan enacts dual roles in the film — playing his part as also the part of young Rishi Kapoor — the goings on would confuse you no end, when the transition occurs.
LOVE AAJ KAL is a director’s (Imtiaz Ali) show entirely. The relationships here are complex because the couple in love lives in complete denial. It is to Imtiaz Ali’s credit that he has penned an offbeat story, developed a complex but comprehensive screenplay and extracted sensitive performances from the principal cast. At the same time, the writing isn’t the type that would appeal to all sections of movie-going audience. Besides, the execution of the subject and also the pacing in the first hour are deterrents. Final word? LOVE AAJ KAL makes you fall in love with love all over again. Makes you value your loved ones all the more. This film is special!
Love Aaj – London, San Francisco, Delhi – 2009.
Jai [Saif] and Meera [Deepika] is a modern-day couple in London. They are very happy together, but do not believe in tying each other down. So when life pulls them in different directions, they decide to call off their relationship, since long-distance relationships, in their opinion, don’t work.
Love Kal – Delhi, Calcutta – 1965.
Veer Singh [Rishi Kapoor] is struck by a thunderbolt when he sees Harleen for the first time. He travels a thousand kilometers by train to stand under her balcony, only to have a glimpse of her face. And yet not speak a word with her.
LOVE AAJ KAL travels multiple continents and different eras. The subject matter is novel, never attempted before, but the material, the characters [Saif and Deepika especially] as also its execution is targeted at the youth in big cities mainly. As they say in filmi lingo, this one’s a hardcore multiplex movie.
Another area where Imtiaz Ali experiments is by depicting Saif as the young Rishi Kapoor. It’s a novel concept, no two opinions on that, but the question is, will it cut ice universally? Will people tend to get confused when the sequences turn sepia? The film captivates in bits and spurts in the initial portions. Partly because the writing is so different. But the writing breaks new grounds in the second hour. It’s in this hour that the film grips you completely, when the fragmented pieces are put together and a mesmeric picture emerges.
The second hour is the soul of the film. Right from the time Deepika decides to marry, till the last reunion, the film touches an emotional high. The sequence of events that lead to the culmination is incredible. Saif’s interaction with Deepika at the marriage, or the gradual change in Saif’s behaviour in the U.S. in the course of a song, or the realisation that marriage was a big mistake… moments like these take LOVE AAJ KAL to dizzy heights. Imtiaz Ali is a genius. The film bears the stamp of an accomplished storyteller. This is a forward-thinking film that handles the new-age relationships with complete understanding. The songs compliment the goings-on beautifully. This is amongst Pritam’s accomplished works. ‘Twist’ [already a rage], ‘Aahun Aahun’ [foot-taping], ‘Chor Bazaari’ [melodious] and ‘Dooriyaan’ [melancholic], each song is a gem.
Both Saif and Deepika Padukone come up with their career-best performances in LOVE AAJ KAL. Saif carries the most difficult parts with remarkable ease. Sure, we’ve seen him as the cool, urban guy in several films, but this one’s the most demanding role and only a seasoned actor could’ve delivered it with such precision.
Deepika looks ethereal. Most importantly, in LOVE AAJ KAL, she acts very, very well. Matching up to Saif is no mean achievement and she does it in several scenes. This should be the turning point in her career. Rishi Kapoor is top notch. The actress enacting the role of Harleen is pretty. Rahul Khanna does well in a small, but significant role. Watching Neetu Kapoor in the end sequence is truly astonishing. She’s so graceful.
On the whole, LOVE AAJ KAL is for the young and romantic at heart. Sure, it’s not perfect, but the terrific performances, melodious music and stirring emotional moments [last 35 odd minutes] more than compensate for the hiccups. At the box-office, the film should start with a bang for four factors — its novel cast, super music, great promotion and yes, Imtiaz Ali, a name that commands respect amongst moviegoers.Rating:
The second review is from Network 18, very positive again.
There are three reasons why you must catch Love Aaj Kal ASAP – dialogues, performances and music. Imtiaz Ali’s tale of love, then and now is a light hearted and refreshing watch.
Burnout, commitment phobia, long distance relationships – issues the minus 30-generation can easily identify with, are subtly touched upon thought the movie. Here’s a film that actually talks the talk.
Like Socha Na Tha and Jab We Met, Imtiaz Ali’s third film also rests on a wafer-thin plot. The director uses smart one-liners and life-like situations to take the story forward. Love Aaj Kal is about Jai (Saif Ali Khan) an urban, alpha male who can’t understand the meaning of love. His girl friend Meera (Deepika Padukone) also believes in choosing career over romance. After a mutual breakup, Jai meets the grand old Veer (Rishi Kapoor). He narrates his own love story to give Jai a peak into old-fashioned romance. The conflicting approaches to love form the base of Love Aaj Kal.
The narrative runs in multiple timelines – which can get confusing sometimes. Imtiaz Ali uses a clever, non-linear edit pattern to draw parallels between his two stories. Saif Ali Khan is in home turf as Jai. Playing a role similar to Kal Ho Na Ho and Hum Tum, Saif is charming as ever with his wise cracks and mannerisms. However it’s in the emotional sequences towards the end, where you realise how much he has matured over the years. Casting him as young Rishi Kapoor, is bit of a cinematic liberty. But it works in the context of the film – even though Khan’s Punjabi is not very authentic. You can often sense the metrosexual Saif wanting to break out of the turban.
Deepika Padukone is the real surprise. Looking her best ever, Deepika delivers a surprisingly effortless performance. A scene where she checks herself out in the mirror before heading for a date is a gem of a moment. And yes! For the first time we discover that the girl knows how to cry. Rishi Kapoor is spontaneous as the romantic Sardar. Watch out for his surprise in the climax.
Imtiaz’s dialogues are once again straight out of everyday conversations. The scenes between Rishi and Saif are bound to remind you of the advice your dad gives you about settling down in life. As a technician Imtiaz shows shades of Yash Raj romances. Pritam’s stupendous score adds tremendous value to the film, making the proceedings even livelier.
Any minuses? Yes! The second half could have been 20 minutes shorter. Also, while the easy pace of the film works for the theme, it often tends to get slow. This film wastes little time in the boy meets girl part and is quick to get to the point. But the point could have been made in under two hours.
On the face of it a lot of sequences appear shallow. Unlike Jab We Met where the comic portions and dramatic ones were distinctly spelt out, here the emotions are pretty understated. There’s a lot of depth in the seeming light hearted portions. It’s a multiplex film in the truest sense of the word.
Love Aaj Kal is not perfect. But in one of Bollywood’s dullest years, this one comes as a refreshing ray of hope. It’s bound to bring a smile on your face. Here’s a film with both head and heart.
Verdict: It’s the coolest film of the yearRating:
One more review, Nikhat Kazmi from Times of India. Again 4 stars.. This film is getting great reviews!
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.Rating:
So there you go with 2 positive reviews, great hype and hopefully strong word of mouth, Love Aaj Kal could be the biggest hit of the year so far.