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Love Aaj Kal - Movie Review

It’s the best romantic film to have come out of Bollywood in years
By Naresh Kumar Deoshi
Fri, Jul 31, 2009 15:58:29 GMT
 

Love Aaj Kal - Movie Review
Imtiaz Ali has crafted the film superbly by not just juxtapositioning the love stories of Jai and Veer but also following a non-linear route to tell each story. The dots are connected in an aesthetically beautiful way to give ‘Love Aaj Kal’ the structure of a complex origami that makes complete sense when all its segments come together to unravel a pretty design. And a fat share of credit for this should go to the editor, Aarti Bajaj, who does an incredibly good job.

To top it, Saif Ali Khan gives the best performance of his career. Unlike the painful performances we saw in Tashan and Race, here’s a Saif who is subtle, polished and spot on in his dual portrayal of Jai and Veer. There’s a scene where Saif is nonchalantly telling Rishi Kapoor that Deepika, from whom he has split, will move on in life, have new friends and new relationships. It’s quite a sight to see how his expression and tone changes from being dismissive to painfully sad by the end of the same long dialogue. It’s the stuff only seasoned actors can pull off.

Deepika Padukone is an image of grace in a role that requires her to talk more through the eyes than words. She doesn’t ham, nor is there any apparent effort on her part to underplay her character. Rishi Kapoor is good, but a special mention ought to be made of the girl who plays Harleen. She’s a pretty, delicate damsel who gets just two-three dialogues in the film but still leaves her image in your mind. Rahul Khanna, playing the new man in Deepika’s life, has a very small part which he plays convincingly.

Imtiaz Ali, whose forte is love stories, surpasses his previous two films Socha Na Tha and Jab We Met to touch a new high in ‘Love Aaj Kal’. The movie not just has an interesting structure and form, but a throbbing soul that reaches out to a viewer and sucks him/her in. Yes, there are a few sequences in the second half when the film slows down, particularly when Saif begins to date the blonde bombshell (Florence Brudenell-Bruce). But these hitches are too minor when compared to the impressive picture put together by Imtiaz.

Sprinkled throughout with light humour and songs that are hummable (thanks to Pritam), ‘Love Aaj Kal’ is a heady love potion strongly recommended to both the believers and non-believers of the ‘Heer-Ranjha’, ‘Romeo-Juliet’ kind of ‘janam janam ka saath’ stories.

Go watch it. You won’t be disappointed. Rather, you’d be left wanting to fall in love, if you are already not in it, that is.

Rating: ***1/2
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