The ApunKaChoice movie review of London, Paris, New York. A love story that unfolds against the backdrop of three magnificent cities better be more than just an eye-candy. London, Paris, New York thankfully, apart from being a visual confection, has a few moments that drip with unalloyed romance between the leading characters, played creditably by Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari, as this intercontinental love story spools out against the backdrop of the three eponymous cities. And it’s these moments that make the movie stand above the somewhat shoddy writing and amateurish direction by the debutante director Anu Menon.
The film seems inspired from director Richard Linklater’s incredibly romantic film Before Sunrise and its sequel Before Sunset in which two characters meet in Vienna and spend a night together talking and walking the streets and fall in love (but they don’t express it to each other) and go their separate ways in the morning with the promise to meet later. In the sequel, they meet nine years later in Paris. Anu Menon seems to have slid in a third city in between, and, comparisons aside, the love story in LPNY does come together well at a few places.
Nikhil (Ali Zafar) is a rich lad from Mumbai and is in London to study filmmaking. Lalitha (Aditi Rao Hydari) is from suburban Mumbai and just passing through London on her way to New York to study political science. A missed flight and an accidental meeting puts Lalitha and Nikhil together for a day in London. They spend it talking about everything from romance, sex, to politics, but then comes the time to separate. Nikhil promises to meet Lalitha in New York soon. And with a kiss they part. Two years fly by. Nikhil hunts her down in Paris. This time Lalitha has changed from a pigtailed girl to a classy, stylish damsel. This meeting in Paris too ends on an abrupt note. Two more years fly by. The two meet again in New York. But by then, Lalitha is set to marry another guy. What happens next?
Any good love story, no matter however fairy tale-ish has to be credulous nonetheless. It’s when you relate to the characters and the situations they are in that you feel the same pang that lovers in the thick of emotional tornado go through. On that front, London, Paris, New York falters a bit because where on earth do you bump into a girl at an airport and then get to spend an entire day with her. That said and discounted, the film could still have done better with a tighter script and better worded dialogues. Anu Menon builds up some moments beautifully, but flushes it down with dialogues that reek of puerility. The humour is strictly passable; it’s of the kind that the adolescents go Aaww! at with affected admiration, but a slightly mature viewer can’t but cringe away from.
But kudos to Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari, who make these corny lines their own and deliver a performance to save the film from turning into a yawn-fest. Ali Zafar brings a nuance of flirtatious, cocky, yet charming guy into his character, while Aditi Rao is a personification of a confident, no-nonsense girl with high aims and a soft heart. Put together, the two click like two pieces of a puzzle.
The music (by Ali Zafar) is easy on the ears and the songs don’t really impede the flow of the narrative. The climax is predictable and gives a nice chance to Zafar to show his mettle as an actor.
All in all, London, Paris, New York is not the best rom-com you’ve seen lately, but it isn’t that bad either. It’s cute, it’s childish, it’s mushy. Something worth a watch if you haven’t got expectations as high as the Eiffel Tower.