Tag Archives: Movie Review

Love Aaj Kal: The Uncomfortable Romance

Love Aaj Kal dives straight into the ambiguous, uncomfortable and unspoken parts of love. You will either jump in and love it, or straight up hate it. As a fan, I can safely declare Imtiaz Ali is back in the zany space. The movie stays true to its premise of tackling uncomfortable parts of love until it reaches its pointy end. 

The 2+2 se zyaada type of love, along with career, money, lust, cheating, boredom, fears, commitment, balance, freedom. This time Imtiaz explores the ambiguities of love before love, tackling the romance in tiny bits and pieces as only he can so beautifully, not shying away from leaving an incomplete, unresolved feeling of what love could or couldn’t be. Why we do what we do, why we act the way we act, why we hurt and disrespect the people we care about. The best part is it doesn’t attempt to explain any of these actions nor does it fairy tale love. In fact, it shows almost every character as flawed and full of contradictions, to the point where it appears all over the place, until it reaches the acceptance that life will never be a straight line, therefore neither can love.

Right in the first scene, all four characters from both eras make an entrance, 2020 pair Zoe-Veer (Sara Ali Khan, Karthik Aryan) and 1990 pair Leena-Raghu (Arushi Sharma, Karthik Aryan). Zoe and Veer are free to be with each other but struggle to connect. Leena and Raghu are on as are many social barriers in the way of their romance. As the stories progress, you see confusion, insecurities, infidelity, career, gender, the usual things one would see in an Imtiaz Ali creation, but with a more insular approach than seen in his earlier movies. It’s a splash of emotions and vignettes on screen until the final credits roll.

As for the elephant in the room, it’s a yes and a no. The story is similar in premise to Love Aaj Kal 2009 and it is the career and love dilemma all over again. But it is handled differently. You still have the older character in Randeep Hooda, all grown up and ready to dish his love wisdom. The woman struggles this time in 2020, she wants to toss it all away for love and is challenged at every point by herself, her mother, her past. What could have been better were some of the contrived sequences, the lifts on a bike, the cafe sets, and some of the usual ways in which Imtiaz tends to explore the female characters, with kid gloves. 

It’s definitely not going to be a popular movie choice. The characters unravel but do not get a chance to be put together again. Their actions, reactions, the story leaves an incomplete feeling. Actors Sara, Arushi and Karthik come across as theatre dolls, and not the stars you want them to be. The camera hovers around as their life plays out. All with good reason. It’s not Tamasha level intense. It doesn’t have the playfulness of Love Aaj Kal 2009. Both movies took the whole journey, of course. But on the whole, it works like a charm. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else. Love Aaj Kal 2020 is about all that happens within before love takes over. 

3.5 out of 5

Hamida Parkar is a freelance journalist and founder-editor of cinemaspotter.com. She writes on cinema, culture, women, and social equity.


Love Aaj Kal. Writer & Director: Imtiaz Ali. Players: Sara Ali Khan, Karthik Aryan, Arushi Sharma, Randeep Hooda. Music: Pritam,  Ishaan Chhabra. Theatrical release: Maddock Films, Window Seat Films, Reliance Entertainment.

 

Kabir Singh too Misogynistic? Instead, Watch…

Tired of misogynistic portrayals in Bollywood?  Kabir Singh gets a thumbs down. Dream Girl has some problems. War wins.

Kabir Singh: Consent is a tricky, fuzzy area as it is. Kabir Singh sh*ts all over it by showing a hyper masculine male character against a super submissive female character. Basically serving rape and domestic violence to Indian men on a platter.

Shahid (Kapoor) sweetie, you do have a cute ass, now climb into it and stay there.

Sandeep Reddy Vanga, what you tell Indian men is “order” your girlfriend around, while treating other women with disrespect including your own mother. I guess, the amount of times you used the mother gaali shows your own (narrow) expertise you have when it comes to women. Go fu*k yourself, is all I will say. I am guessing that is the worse thing you can do, pretty much like your retrograde character.

12th highest grosser. Wow. Just. Wow.

It’s just a movie. Yah.

A movie in India. Where rape and domestic violence is rampant and Bollywood is the biggest influencer of how men and women treat each other.

Well done, a**holes.

***

Dream Girls: Right off the cuff, let me say that Ayushmann Khurana sizzles in “dil ka telephone” like never before. It won’t be surprising if he starts the trend of husbands cross-dressing to their wives’ fantasies, and swaying hips to seduce them.

Dream Girls connects to the heart in many parts, and drops the line big time in some. Khurana plays Karamveer Singh, aka Pooja, with a golden voice, who poses as a girl on a silky ‘hot’line, drawing men to her ringing voice.

Among the negatives were jokes with sexist tones, mocking of an older male looking for companionship, susheel sundar, khana banayegi kind of dialogue in parts, and preachy tones towards the end. One single mattress rape innuendo mouthed by Khurana is not cool and irresponsible. Its many parallel tracks are confusing. As a result, it loses focus and tempo in parts. The superb supporting cast, Annu Kapoor, Vijay Raaz, Nidhi Bisht, Abhishek Banerji, saves the day. Sadly, Nushrat Bharucha‘s contribution is limited to feeding Ayushmann soup and redeeming his character Pooja in the end.

Khurana proves yet again he can pull in the crowd and entertain them with the snap of his fingers. He is flawless.

3.5 it is.

***

 

War: Moby’s Extreme Ways (Bourne film series) background hangover apart, which was distracting as I hoped Matt Damon would show up, War is a slick and sassy masala action entertainer. You have Hrithik Roshan instead, wrinkled, pepper-haired, and deliciously wicked as Kabir, a role he devours with relish. Tiger Shroff is no less, scrubbed, sincere and pumped, the kiddo has the good looks of his Dad and acting skills of his own. Hrithik indulges Tiger and keeps his shirt on, letting the young actor shed his.

The action is spectacular. Who would go wrong with Goldilocks Roshan and Hulky Tiger? Hrithik hangs from the sky, breathtaking, suspending our jaws in disbelief. Tiger conquers the ground with his moves and strikes. Watching them in tandem kicking, dancing and firing guns is a lesson in balance and coordination. Tiger matches Hrithik eye to eye, stunt by stunt, muscle on muscle. They are a match made in heaven. Pity this marriage won’t last.

When a Hindi movie delivers on entertainment and superstars, the question about story and authenticity is automatically moot. Siddharth Anand directs this box office bonanza, sharing his story and screenplay credits with Aditya Chopra and Shridhar Raghavan. Abbas Tyrewala pens the snazzy dialogue.

War is a theatre watch, miss at your own peril specially if you are a Hrithik or Tiger fan. You don’t want be restraining this twin package on your tiny TV screens. It would be criminal.

As for J2S2, it delivers, and how. The colors, the bustle and movement bedazzle as Hrithik and Tiger explode on screen. Thy breath is taken and tossed around and you only hope to crawl out and make it alive.

3.5 on 5.

Hamida Parkar is a freelance journalist and founder-editor of cinemaspotter.com. She writes on cinema, culture, women and social equity.

This article was edited by Culture and Media Editor Geetika Pathania Jain.

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