Love Aaj Kal
02 Hours 22 Minutes
Star Cast: Kartik Aaryan and Sara Ali Khan
Directors: Imtiaz Ali
Producer: Imtiaz Ali
In Theaters: 14 February
What’s Imtiaz Ali Smoking, Aaj Kal?
After cinematic messes like Tamasha and Jab Harry Met Sejal, you once again lament the disappearance of the Jab We Met writer-director. What on earth has happened to the sparkling Imtiaz Ali whose earlier edition of Love Aaj Kal in 2009 was such a refreshing pathbreaker?
The whole premise of men and women who are commitment phobic has become tiresome with overuse over the last decade.
It’s therefore that much more excruciating to watch Raghu and Zoe go through the familiar routine of not holding on to the one they love, swinging between two different time periods. Zoe, a young woman unable to find a work-life balance, is also someone we’ve seen umpteen times.
While the two time periods worked well in the first Love Aaj Kal, it’s a chaotic emotional mayhem this time around. There’s the love story from the past of Raghu and Leena in small town Udaipur which goes kaput when they land in Delhi and the guy turns philanderer after seeing all the “options” available to him.
In the same big city today are Zoe and Veer. When they land in bed in the blink of an eye, he pulls out quite literally because he wants a serious commitment. She calls him a few choice names but keeps taking a lift on his bike because the cabbies never seem to turn up. The next time Zoe and Veer are in bed again, she backs off with a face full of tears. Don’t ask me why. In fact, don’t ask me any questions at all because there are no reasonable answers for Zoe’s emotional complications.
To make it messier, the love story of the past is not about the same couple though the same actor plays Raghu and Veer but two different actresses play Leena and Zoe. Confused? That’s only the beginning.
Imtiaz Ali also has Zoe spouting long and frequent lines of philosophy, none of which are crisp or offer a new thought.
Compounding the problems is the lead pair of actors. Kartik Aaryan who plays Raghu and Veer is off-kilter. Kartik seems to think that looking mentally challenged can pass off for innocence and sincerity. Sara Ali Khan is a huge disappointment with her dialogue delivery in scenes like the ‘Tum mujhe tang karne lage ho’ sending the audience into unintentional titters. Arushi Sharma as Leena is vapid without glamour.
The only actor who stands out is Randeep Hooda as Raghu the restaurant owner who narrates his love story to Zoe.
With the past and the present tracks distracting each other, and none of it riveting, I do wonder if Imtiaz Ali lost his script writing skills somewhere on the Highway, his last good film.
Verdict: For an unwatchable love story, Love Aaj Kal gets a 2* rating.