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Love Aaj Kal
Directed by: Imtiaz Ali
Producer by: Saif Ali Khan, Dinesh Vijan
Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Neetu Singh, Rishi Kapoor, Rahul Khanna, Vir Das, Raj Zutshi
Music Dir: Pritam Chakraborty

After a very long time, Bollywood has presented an amazingly love movie in 'Love Aaj Kal'. Incidentally, this is the lone Hindi movie releasing this Friday, July 31. Hence, it must do very well. The credit for all this goes to the director Imitiaz Ali, who has this time come out with a movie better than his last 'Jab We met'.

Though different in many respects, it's in the same category of love and romance. While 'Jab We Met' starred Shahid Kapur and Kareena Kapoor in the lead roles, 'Love Aaj Kal' has Saif Ali Khan opposite Deepika Padukone. This time, the on screen couple has huge age difference.

Though Saif in his home production wanted his lovebird Kareena Kapoor to be cast opposite him, yet he had to accept the director's choice of Deepika. Fussy Saif agreed for Deepika only after the persuasion of none other than Kareena. After all, Kareena has complete confidence in the wisdom of Imtiaz who had directed her in 'Jab we Met' opposite Shahid.

Yes, 'Love Aaj Kal' is based on love but on serious love as never before. Besides, it depicts the reality faced by today's lovebirds. So, the movie is likely to succeed more amongst middle class youngsters and in multiplexes than among commoners and in one-screen halls.

The movie is distinct in respect of today's love that's in no hurry to transform it into marriage before it's either misunderstood or lasts. This is another matter that the parents and the families fail to understand this emotional dilettantism and keep badgering the modern lovebirds with love-of-a-lifetime clichés.

In this movie, Jai played by Saif and Meera played by Deepika take the love to new dimensions. Maybe this is the reason behind titling the movie as 'Love Aaj Kal'.

According to the story, Saif and Deepika make a modern-day happily living couple but only before they decide to call off their relationship following their movements in different directions. In their opinion long-distance relationships don't work! The director distinguishes love of today (Aaj) from that of yesterday (Kal).

His character of Veer Singh played by Rishi Kapoor falls in love with Harleen at first sight. He travels from Delhi to Kolkata by train to stand under her balcony to get a glimpse of her face! Isn't this the love of yesterday (Kal) as against today's (Aaj)? Neither Veer understands how Jai can treat matters of the heart without passion nor does Jai how Veer could be so stupid about Harleen in his youth. However, love is love though the process of relationship might be different in different eras.

As is usual these days, this movie also faces controversies and conflicts even before its release. But, Saif being the producer and also the lead player as a Sikh with a turban and beard (though trimmed) immediately resolves them by making amends and offering his apology for visiting a gurdwara for making love and also for trimming his beard. These are against the tenets of Sikhism.

While Jai dreams of building bridges like the Golden Gate and cannot see romance coming in the way of his career, restoration artist, Meera too feels long distance relationships are a drag when she has to exit London to repaint frescoes in Delhi! However, the romance in between has a break and undergoes several turns, before the 21st century Jai realises he is no different from the old-fashioned Veer of the 20th century.

Both Jai and Meera live as friends, pursuing their careers and different love interests. But ironically, they walk into each other at odd timings. Interesting are Saif's take on like I'm okay, you're okay; we're okay in the wake of the scenes indicating something else.

The movie has more plus points than the minus ones. Its USPs are its novel cast, amazing music, great promotion and on top of all a seasoned director like Imtiaz Ali. Acting-wise, the lead players-Saif and Deepika - depict their characters very faithfully.

Saif renders so many shades to his character, including playing the dual role, to make it look just real. Deepika stuns the audience by her beauty and acting skill. Both have performed their best. Rishi Kapoor is undoubtedly admirable. Harleen looks pretty in her role. Rahul Khanna fares well even in such a small but significant role.

Neetu Kapoor performs excellently well towards the end. Shooting of locations in Delhi, Punjab and the US and UK is equally fascinating. Another feather in its cap is Pritam's foot tapping music providing the right ambience. It's foot-tapping Aahun Aahun, sweet Chor Bazaari or melancholic Dooriyaan are already a rage.

N Natarajan Subramaniam's cinematography is superb. The movie isn't without flaws though. The major flaw is the lack of clarity of the story in the first part though the director rectifies it in the second half. We wish the director had devoted more attention to the first half too.

One wonders if 'Love Aaj Kal' doesn't make you fall in love with love all over again!


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