Love Aaj Kal Movie Review: Sara Ali Khan and Kartik Aaryan’s film is a soggy saga of love
Love Aaj Kal Movie Review: Imtiaz Ali’s attempt to juxtapose two different decades of love and relationship falls from the high tower when compared with the eponymous predecessor
Movie Name: Love Aaj Kal
Love Aaj Kal Director: Imtiaz Ali
Love Aaj Kal Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Sara Ali Khan
Love Aaj Kal Stars: 2/5
Blame the audience, but when you name two films on a similar concept, same title, and from the same director, lines of comparisons will be drawn. To be fair to the director, ideally, it shouldn’t be compared. But this is the first rule we have all violated. Love Aaj Kal (2020) is about two couples and how their love stories shape-up in the advent of complications and seductions of career or lust.
The story is of two couples -- Randeep Hooda (younger character played by Kartik Aaryan) and debutant Arushi Sharma, and Gen Z on-screen couple - Kartik Aaryan and Sara Ali Khan. Veer (Katik) meets an intrepid, career-oriented, albeit commitment-phobic Zoe (Sara) in a bar in New Delhi, and they head out home for a quickie. However, Veer refuses to sleep with Zoe stating they are rushing into things. Confused by the thought, Zoe walks away.
Hereon, Veer starts following her like a shadow but promises Zoe that he will walk away the day she says he is troubling her (tum mujhe tang karne lage ho). The dialogue perhaps has multiple interpretations and highlights the complexities of Zoe’s quandary to choose between love or career. But in the hazy and complicated layers, the audience is left confused as to why Zoe feels it’s an either-or choice? It unintentionally gives the impression that women cannot balance their career and love. Despite earnest attempts by her friend, mentor and wingman, Raj (Randeep Hooda) who runs a co-working space cum café, Zoe feels love is an unwanted complication in her career growth.
Parallelly, the makers weave in the story of Raghu (Kartik Aaryan) and Leena (Arushi Sharma) of Udaipur. Following his school-time love, Raghu comes to Delhi to be with his love, Leena. However, on finding Delhi offers ‘better-looking’ (maker’s justification) prospects, he starts cheating on her. What is common between the two stories is the core of this film. This is the first time Kartik is playing a double-role. He dons the role of Veer and Raghu. Kartik ensures the innocence is retained and adds charm to Raghu's love story.
As Veer, he takes times to establish his character, and sometimes the screenplay makes it more difficult to relate to why he is creepily closer to be a stalker. As an actor, however, Kartik has pushed the envelope for himself. This film might disappoint at the box-office (or perhaps it won’t). Still, it has successfully managed to bring him away from the monologue and alleged misogynistic characters of his previous films.
A complicated character of Zoe is falsely interpreted by Sara Ali Khan as a Zoe the loud! Imtiaz has used shout-matches as a metaphor of complexities in his film Rockstar and Tamasha. But in both, Ranbir Kapoor understood the gravitas of why the character must shout or break into a suppressed clamour call for rescue. Sara fails to understand this. She looks gorgeous, but her presence makes it uncomfortable for viewers. Consequently, certain serious scenes become unintentionally funny. Her character is confused, and that's absolutely fine with Imtiaz Ali films. Still, her transformation from vulnerability to boldness and from being fiery to vulnerable is a nosedive which doesn't help the audience to connect with her.
Randeep Hooda is a blessing, and his voice and style make the conversations on-screen bearable. Although the jury is still trying to figure out why his character had to look perpetually like a junkie. Aarushi Sharma who makes her debut in Love Aaj Kal as Leena is subtle and fits the bill. Sartik chemistry was something everyone was excited about but let's be honest here there is no chemistry. One character which shouts and is loud and the other which is timid and lucid. Probably the intention was to establish opposite attracts.
Imtiaz Ali films have been a visual treat always. However, with Love Aaj Kal the dragged storyline and lack of proper editing are too distracting. Music also isn’t memorable. Imtiaz Ali films have great music, and that's what we are missing here. Haan Main Galat is a groovy, lively number and Mehrama is a soulful melody, but you don't take them home as much as you did for the last edition of this film.
Love Aaj Kal compares how relationships have become complicated between the 1990s and the 2020s. Yet the makers neither preach that 1990s was about sublime, unconditional love; nor that cheating is a complication of 2020s relations. Despite this thought, watching the film turns into the ‘biscuit moment’. Precisely, as you plan to enjoy your biscuit dunking it in a hot cuppa, it becomes soggy and falls back in the cup. Now you can neither enjoy the tea, nor the biscuit, and you are left wondering for how tasty you expected it to be.
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