Love Aaj Kal

People are wondering if microblogging (read twittering) is threatening the use of blogs. I certainly seem to be a case in point 😦 Even when I am twittering, I am unable to find time for blogging. Its sad! Microblogging has its merit in conciseness, but some things are enjoyed best when you are not worried about character limits. Anyway!

More than one person (read ‘two’ – both living outside India) told me recently that they like to follow my blogs to decide on which bollywood movies to watch! Not bad for a sketchy and non-professional reviewer like me 😛 And this year has not be very good in terms of recommendable movies to watch. So, here is my short take on Love Aaj Kal.

To begin with, Love Aaj Kal’s director is Imtiaz Ali. The same person who directed “Jab We Met”. Long time readers of this blog would be able to recall my fascination with “Jab We Met“. And I was waiting for this movie only because it was by Imtiaz Ali. Compare to Jab We Met

  • +ve of Love Aaj Kal: Much meatier story idea
  • -ve of Love Aaj Kal: Not that directorial and acting magic that made “Jab We Met” so addictive despite a predictable, flat story.

So, unlike Gulaal or 99, I won’t strongly say “Go watch it”. But not much harm in watching for some entertainment.

Now, generic pluses and minuses (can have spoilers)

  • Story wise, the juxtaposition of yesterday’s and today’s stories are good. Differences are accepted, and the point is made that some universal things have not changed. So, the stories are parallel, but not the same. That’s the good part. Narration of the story, however, seems forced. Rishi Kapoor’s character would have done better if he had watched and waited for the story to be repeated rather than being instrumental in the repetition. That was a cliched approach (the ‘expert’ mentoring the ‘novice’) and probably the main cause of the narration appearing forced.
  • Missed opportunities on acting front: Saif Ali Khan, in his double role (not the judwa bhai kind, not ‘Kaho Na Pyaar Hai’ kind either, and definitely not ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ kind), had an opportunity to give a memorable, though not lifetime, performance. As if to compensate for the silent hero of “Jab We Met”, he even had all the lines, while the heroines looked on. But he does not really hit you with his acting! Too much of production burden, was it?
    The relatively silent character of Deepika Padukone had the opportunity of expressing silence as well as occasional outbursts to give a wonderful performance. In the beginning I thought her expressionlessness was deliberate – a part of acting. But slowly it just started looking like an inadequate performance. The other female lead, Giselle Monteiro, did much better.
  • Dialogs were not natural: I think dialogs played a major part in making “Jab We Met” what it became. They flew naturally. One thing seemed to flow from the other. They never sounded like someone is reading from a book, which is what the dialogs in “Love Aaj Kal” often sound like.
  • Couple of good sequences
    • The picturization of one song that shows Saif Ali Khan’s journey from the time he joins his dream job, the excitement of every moment to when it all starts becoming routine and not-so-exciting to when he lands up in outright depression! Wonderfully done. With or without the love story, that’s a part that is so easy to identify with and which can be generalized for so many of our dreams. You dream and you work hard to achieve it. Once you are there, then what? So many other people are there too. And soon its all routine and life has lost the purpose!
    • Music listeners would have known it, but I hadn’t noticed from the promos that the background music in “The Twist” was the बीन (been – the Hindi word) sound of yesteryears (Nageena!). The “yesterday” and “today” juxtaposition comes out really well when Saif Ali Khan starts playing music in his car, the been sound starts (and you wonder what the hell!) and it turns into “The twist” song! Don’t know if that’s what the intention was, but it does feel like a nice musical tribute to the title and concept!

If you have read all this anyway, you can make your decision!

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About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe ( with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: Twitter: @jayajha Facebook:

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