Fenil and Bollywood

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Love Aaj Kal2

Very rarely do you come across a film which fulfills all your expectations and in fact, provides more than expected. This year, however, we were mostly bombarded with some pathetic flicks. But behold as Love Aaj Kal has arrived! The film sees love and relationships in a new light but what works big time is its terrific execution and smart storytelling. Love Aaj Kal is surely one of the most refreshing romantic flicks to come out of Bollywood!

The story of the movie: Jai (Saif Ali Khan) and Meera (Deepika Padukone) is a modern-day couple based in London. They are always together but are clueless whether they can be categorized as ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’! Meera gets an opportunity to move to Delhi which she doesn’t want to miss while Jai is soon going to be at San Francisco. Jai and Meera conclude that their long-distance relationship won’t work and thus, decide to break-up (happily). At this point, Jai comes across veteran Veer Singh (Rishi Kapoor) who is shocked to see how Jai treats relationships and break them so easily. He is of the view that the present generation can’t understand love. Love is that trap in which he got entangled 4 decades back when he was the dashing and cool Delhiite Veer (played by Saif again) and when he came across Harleen Kaur (Giselle Monteiro). Jai laughs at Veer as to how he had travelled thousand kilometers from Delhi to Calcutta just to catch a glimpse of Harleen.

Jai-MeeraVeer-Harleen-both these ‘love stories’ were poles apart and of different generations. But love is the same as it was 4 decades back. Jai soon realizes that he’s having the same feeling and experience that Veer must have gone through when he fell in love with Harleen!

Love Aaj Kal3

The opening scenes give a strong indication that Love Aaj Kal is a different and unique film. During the opening credits, the glimpse of the scenes to follow is shown but yet, you won’t be able to guess what’s going to happen in the film! The execution and editing really works wonders in this film!

The first half of this film is very interesting and surprising. The way the couple break-up was indeed hilarious! Jai and Meera keeping in touch with all modern-day means of communication (sms, call, internet, Mobile Internet) makes you smile. And the eternal Jai-Harleen cute love story also flashes a smile on one’s face, albeit for a different reason!

Telling two stories that run parallel in a film is not easy but Imtiaz executes them with élan and even intersects them wonderfully, a la Rang De Basanti style! Also, the film, especially in the 2nd half reminds one of Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na.

The film gets slow and drags at few places in the 2nd half. But the final 30 minutes compensates for the cons. The film manages to show a true picture of today’s confused individuals who fail to think rationally before taking big decisions and denounce and detest love.

When it comes to performances, each one is brilliant in their place. Saif Ali Khan shines wonderfully and manages to come up with one of the outstanding performances of his career. He had two diverse roles in the film and he performed both of them perfectly. It was a treat to see Saif as Jai getting confused, irritated, sad, shocked-all at once in a couple of sequences. At the same time, he looked like a convincing Sikh and was extremely likeable as Veer Singh too. It’s great to see Saif in another modern and fresh love story (after Salaam|Namaste) and this time, he scores as the producer too. He’s definitely on a roll!

Deepika Padukone was simply outstanding and gives a charming performance. Her brilliant job will surely put an end to all speculation regarding why Kareena was not casted in her place. Deepika was perfect for her role and she and Saif look excellent together. Love Aaj Kal would surely be another feather in her cap. Great going, Deepika!

Rishi Kapoor also manages to impress as much as Saif and Deepika. Everyone will surely love him in the still-young-at-heart role. After Luck By Chance, this is surely another brilliant performance from this actor. The one who enacted the role of Harleen is actually a Brazlian, Giselle Monteiro. Yet, she is likeable as the Punjabi kudi of the 60s. Only someone like Imtiaz Ali can extract such fine desi performance from a firangi! Rahul Khanna is as usual charming. It’ll be great if he gets the role of protagonist too! Neetu Kapoor comes in unexpectedly! Raj Zutshi and others were okay.

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One can argue that songs weren’t necessary in the film. Quite true, since many songs crop up unexpectedly and the film could have been a romantic songless flick! However, although songs at several places weren’t necessary, it doesn’t bore or put a brake on the narrative. And the songs itself are so good that one doesn’t mind! Pritam scores a sixer with this album and is surely one of his best compositions. Also, songs are also very well picturised, esp ‘Mein Kya Hoon’. It was just outstanding and also impactful. ‘Ajj Din Chadeya’, the best song of the film in my view, also brings a smile on one’s face, even though only the initial part of the song is played in the film. Rest of the songs, ‘Twist’, ‘Dooriyaan’, ‘Chor Bazaari’ and ‘Thoda Thoda Pyaar’ are brilliant too!

Irshad Kamil’s lyrics also deserve a special mention. The way he has used some unusual words in songs is extraordinary. For instance, in Chor Bazaari, the word ‘ghatna’, which is never before heard in any song before, is used here!

N Natarajan Subramaniam’s cinematography was flawless. It’s great to see the lensman didn’t show the popular landmarks of the city in which film is shot. For instance, in scenes of London, not even a single scene or frame show Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square or any other popular London landmark. Similarly, Red Fort and India Gate are missing in the Delhi sequences! It is little things like these that make Love Aaj Kal special!

Salim-Sulaiman’s background score, as expected, was top-notch. Aarti Bajaj’s editing was sharp, slick and brilliant. Watch the film and you’ll get my point! Production design was marvelous and eye-catching, especially in the sepia coloured 60’s scenes!

Finally, Imtiaz Ali, the writer and director, comes out with flying colours! His debut film, Socha Na Tha flopped but it was noticed and appreciated by moviegoers. His second offering, Jab We Met, succeeded across the country. And now with his third flick, he has surely been hailed as the one of the finest directors of our country. The way he treated both the diverse stories and found out striking similarities is worth appreciating and extra ordinary! Also, it’s fabulous to see Imtiaz comparing Calcutta and San Francisco. Both the cities have a tram network and if SF has the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Calcutta have the rustic Howrah Bridge! Hats off Imtiaz for your wonderful effort!

Some of the best scenes of the film:

  1. All songs (well shot and picturised)
  2. Jai and Meera’s break-up
  3. Jai and Veer Singh’s conversations (damn interesting!)
  4. Jai and Meera at the airport
  5. All scenes of Veer-Harleen’s love story
  6. Drunk Jai escorting drunk Meera to her home
  7. The New Year’s eve at Delhi
  8. The marriage
  9. The last 30 mins, including the SF scenes!

On the whole, Love Aaj Kal is a very interesting take on the modern relationships and surely emerges as one of the best films of the year. Performances, songs, cinematography rocks but it is Imtiaz Ali’s touch which works wonders! Highly recommended!

My rating-**** ½ out of 5!

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By Taran Adarsh, July 30, 2009 – 21:02 IST

Come to think of it, if the film carries the ‘burden’ of humungous expectations, it’s imperative that it goes beyond those expectations. The reaction after watching the film has to be similar to a child who has laid his hands on his fav toy. The joyous smile would say it all. The question is, does LOVE AAJ KAL live up to the hype and hoopla surrounding it? Or does it go beyond that?

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.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

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 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.

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LOVE AAJ KAL is a director’s 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 Ali Khan] and Meera [Deepika Padukone] 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
Veer does not understand how Jai can treat matters of the heart without passion. Jai does not understand how Veer Singh could have been so naive and silly about Harleen in his youth. But as both stories unfold, we realize that the process of relationship might be different in different eras, but the experience of being in love remains the same.

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. N. Natarajan Subramaniam’s cinematography is fantastic. Editing [Aarti Bajaj] is wonderful.

Both Saif and Deepika 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. Released extensively [approx. 1800 screens worldwide], LOVE AAJ KAL will have one of the biggest first weeks in India and also in the international markets. In India, the business will be superb across multiplexes, while single screens might not behave as energetically. But the business at multiplexes will ensure a fantastic recovery of the investment. Internationally, it has the potential to emerge one of the biggest grossers in recent times.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

He taught a few lines from Love Aaj Kal to the film’s still photographer, who wanted to woo a girl. Guess what? It worked!
By Ashwini Deshmukh (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 11, 2009)

Saif Ali Khan

Saif Ali Khan has a new profession these days. No, he hasn’t given up acting but is also playing love guru on the sets of Imtiaz Ali’s, Love Aaj Kal. Recently, Saif gave the film’s still photographer some important love tips when he wanted to woo a girl.

A source said, “While shooting in New Delhi, the still photographer got some much-needed love tips from Saif. The photographer was in love with a girl and wanted to ask her out. However, he didn’t know how to take things forward and express his feelings to her. That’s when Saif helped him out.”

“Saif, who plays Jai in the film, taught him a few flashy lines from a particular scene, which he was enacting that day with Deepika Padukone, who plays Meera. In the scene, Jai tells Meera, ‘Yeh waise wali feeling hai’. To which Meera asks, ‘Kaise wali?’ Jai replies, ‘Waise wali. Meerawali’,” said the source.

And before anybody knew it, Saif taught these lines to the lovesick still photographer.

“When the photographer and his girl were in an auto rickshaw, he used the same lines only replacing Meera’s name in the dialogue with the girl’s. It worked wonders. The girl was quite amused and agreed to go on a date with the photographer. Their relationship has deepened and they are a couple even today,” added the source.

Dinesh Vijan, co-producer of Illuminati Productions, said, “Yes, I do know the unit member who used this line from the film to woo his ladylove. Since I believe it worked, I don’t want to ruin it for him by naming him. Why spoil the fun?”


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