Love Aaj Kal movie review
Review without spoilers
It is not always that a title of a movie is so apt for a film, particularly a bollywood flick. Love aaj kal (Love these days) is one such film. It is about the meaning of love in these modern times. The love story, or rather stories, is about the contrast between the love between the modern couple Jai (Saif Ali Khan) and Meera Pandit (Deepika Padukone), and between a young Veer Singh (also played by Saif) and Harleen Kaur (Giselle Moteiro), a couple from the past. The writer-director Imtiaz Ali has employed a series of flashbacks to incorporate the tale from the past. An older Veer Singh (Rishi Kapoor) strikes up a friendship with Jai and tells him about his past life.
Ordinarily, repeated flashbacks in a film can be very irritating, but in this film they are managed skilfully, to create the maximum tension. I think all of us in India can relate to the couple from the past, even those of us who have been born and bred in cities. We have heard tales from our grandparents and our parents about how life was like then. It is like this in rural India still, where girls and boys dare not talk to each other due to fear of society. They have no choice but to admire admire each other from a distance and wait for that one glance from their beloved to confirm their love. And ofcourse intentions, in the days of yore, were almost always honourable. Rather sweet and touching.
In the movie the love scenes from the past are more interesting than the love scenes from modern times. Saif Ali Khan’s fine acting as Veer Singh goes a long way in making it so. And Giselle as Harleen comes across as far more authentic than Deepika as Meera. Giselle has hardly any dialogues but she makes an impact with just her expressions. Where Deepika is concerned, Imtiaz Ali keeps harping on her smile, as if he knows that besides her beauty and her smile, there isn’t much else.
The film is all Saif’s. Whether he is playing Jai, the young ambitious architect in London, or Veer, the poor young sardar in Delhi, he does it with aplomb. However there isn’t much chemistry between him and Deepika and perhaps that, and the fact that Deepika is an inexperienced actor makes the character of Meera unconvincing. One is never quite sure why Saif and she love each other, despite their over the top show of friendship. Sure, the dialogues are interesting and lively, although not as good as those in Jab We Met. I could not help but remember a favourite movie of mine, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Here the friendship between Kajol and Shah Rukh comes across very strongly and a part of the credit goes to the chemistry between the two actors. However there seems to be a flaw in the script (of Love Aaj Kal) as there isn’t much depth to the relationship between Jai and Meera.
The music by Pritam Chakraborty is quite alright, but for the most part I felt the songs intruded.
The theme of the movie is far more interesting than the actual story (there isn’t really any story as such.) The movie raises questions like What is love? How does one know whether this is really love? Does love come like a thunderbolt or does it grow and develop over the years? What is one’s priority in life? One’s career or one’s love? And most important….does love really come only once in one’s life? The film tries to answer all these questions and this would be of some interest to young couples who are forever asking these questions of themselves.
However, it is important to remember that this film is a light romantic movie with some humour thrown in (first half). I saw the film in Pune and the cinema hall was packed with youngsters who seemed to be enjoying every minute of the film. I enjoyed the movie too and a part of the reason is that I like Saif. If one has to sum it up, this is light romantic entertainment which tugs at the heartstrings.
(Photograph from sify.com)
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