|Must mention that director Rajkumar Santoshi adds in a lot of Chaplin flavour to the lead character, but his attempt to evoke sympathy for the self-sacrificing hero isn’t as subtle. The gags in ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’ keep unspooling endlessly unless interrupted by the melodrama highlighting Prem’s heart ache. In a wink the movie switches gears from comedy to drama, confusing a viewer which one to take seriously. For instance, Ranbir and Kat’s characters stammer when they get emotional. The idea, intended to pull heart strings, doesn’t work. What works is a number of hilarious sequences like the kidnapping at the start of the film, or Prem’s gimmicks at the ballroom dance.
If there’s a best dancer award, it should indeed be reserved for Ranbir Kapoor. The young gun surely carries a shade of his granddad Raj Kapoor who in turn was hugely inspired by Charlie Chaplin. The funny leg-break dance Ranbir does in the ballroom sequence is easily one of the high points in the film. Another highpoint is the climax (pun unintended). Agreed that it’s a little overblown and we have seen the menagerie of similar madcap characters going haywire in a chaotic climax, Santoshi presents it in a way that you get a few laughs out of it.
Ranbir Kapoor is stellar as the bumbling Prem, while Katrina is rusty at places. Must say she’s come a long way and can now emote a few scenes quite well. Upen Patel is all beefed up in a small role as Kat’s rich loverboy. Both Zakir Hussain, as the extorting don, and Govind Namdeo, as Upen’s politician father, are over the top. Darshan Zariwala is superb once again.
Like sensex, APKGK keeps going up and down. It’s not a patch on Santoshi’s Andaz Apna Apna but does pack in a good number of gags to keep you smiling.
Go with Prem!