It was the traffic, and the news that there was an accident on the highway that made me turn back to Inorbit Mall and catch up a movie till the traffic diluted.
Ever been tempted to remove the thin plastic wafer on a new mobile phone? The one that covers the screen and such things? It’s almost not there, but of course you know that it is there and there is always a dilemma in your head whether you should remove that thin and transparent plastic film from the screen or not.
That’s Saif Ali Khan in Love Aaj Kal. He is there in the movie, all through, just, it’s very easy to peel him off and he isn’t there. And boy, is he losing touch (rewind to Dil Chahta Hai (2001)) and hair, for that matter. His delivery is losing the smoothness that he once had. Scene: afternoon discussion at he Chowk with Rishi Kapoor. There are instances when he is brilliant – most of the funny scenes – but the moment he tries and emotes, I wish I was in traffic.
Deepika Padukone is good looking. No doubt about it. We all know it. She knows it. The best asset being her smile. She knows it. So, even when she is in bang centre of a heartbreak, she is smiling. When she is drunk, she is smiling. When she is teasing, she is smiling. When she is brushing dust off old fort walls, she is smiling. When she isn’t smiling, she is clumsy. When she isn’t clumsy, I wish I was in traffic.
Rishi Kapoor is his consistent self; his laugh keeps bouncing between the inner walls of his cheek. No one else in the movie is worth a mention.
And then, there is the mystery of Harleen. Doesn’t appear in credits. But what a wonderful blast of fresh air! Giselle Monteiro, a 19-year-old Brazilian model, plays the 60’s village beauty perfectly. There isn’t much for her to do in the film except look beautiful, which she does with exceptional ease, or look frightened, which isn’t too difficult for her either (she probably was imagining working in a Hindi Movie for the first time).
And the highlight of Harleen is when she grows old and becomes Neetu Singh. What can I say? (Update: even if certain filmy types think otherwise) All my wishes of rather being stuck in traffic vanished without a trace.
The concept of the film is lacklustre and trite: discovering love. The movie is often over saturated, and you wish you had a desaturating control in your eyes. Yes, everything Indian is colourful, but we don’t use a ‘photo shop’. The constant saturation/desaturation shift between the 60’s and 2000’s is equally troublesome. On a personal note, I was happy to be taken back to images of London; places I knew and frequented.
All in all a very average film, and bearable only because it was better than being in traffic. Slightly, slightly better.