Sunday, August 2, 2009

Love Aaj Kal - A commentary on the changing mores

"Main Vo Hoon
Jo Chahoon Vo Paoon"

"Haaan hota hoon mein jis raste pe
Aaye khushi wohin"

Ever since the first trailers started to come, I wanted to see Love Aaj Kal. The songs had an energy and the visuals going to and fro between the past and the present, an appeal. I was not disappointed when I saw it yesterday.

As societal mores change, so do the preferences of the young. In a world which places a premium on pace, where is the time to hold on? Where is the reservoir of patience to maintain relationships as they pass through turbulent waves, get tossed and turned due to the pulls and pressures of a demanding career? The "practical" way out does seem to be "move on". That is why Love Aaj Kal starts with a breakup party. Meera (Deepika Padukone) and Jai (Saif Ali Khan) decide to breakup since Meera is going to pursue her dream in faraway Delhi.

As the movie progresses, they realize that they have shared too much with each other to forget, to take comfort in another relationship, that their time together led them to understand each other in ways that increasingly seem more natural in hindsight. I have told the story pretty much here.

Deepika apart from looking as gorgeous as ever, scores in the acting arena too. She has essayed her role with marked elan and grace. Playing a character that requires an uncanny sense of humor is not very easy and she comes out scoring pretty high. Saif Ali Khan, we know did extremely well in Hum Tum and this movie demanded something of that humor. He looks very natural and we can recognize in him a certain kind of male who at face value wants to take life as it happens, has lofty dreams, but scratch the surface and one finds that he has a heart too. (Bollywood style!) Rishi Kapoor as the reminiscing old gentleman makes one smile.

The movie's biggest plus is its music, lyrics and dialogue. All the three resonate well with the modern youth. The dialogues are fast, short and confused. The music is peppy, has some flair and sits well with the storyline. Lyrics - some quoted in the beginning - don't touch a discordant note though they aren't too deep. In funny lines, we see the characters singing for joy and yearning for distances to be bridged. Neeraj Sridhar appears to have taken up playback singing for movies full time after Billu Barber. We now know where Mohit Chauhan is a complete natural and he delivers again in "Yeh Dooriyan". All the songs are well shot and the lead pair has worked hard on their dance moves.

The first half is thoroughly breezy while there is some emotional melodrama in the second to make the package complete. I would recommend to go for this one and enjoy the fare on offer! Imtiaz Ali knows how to deliver hits that the young can identify with. I thank him for that!

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