It is weird that Aashiqui 2 doesn't engage you a 100%. It has decent performances, characters who know and show their feelings, a believable love story, yet it's not completely there.
Love... sigh... Haven't we all done something purely crazy because we believed that is what love is? And hasn't it been ages since we've seen moments of genuine selfless love on screen. It has been longer than that since I saw characters, in Hindi films especially, introspecting and knowing what the other person feels without being told. Aashiqui 2 is the film that has brought these things alive on screen. Yet, it doesn't fill the gap for a love story that sucks you in completely with its romance.
Once the characters Rahul Jaykar or RJ (Aditya Roy Kapoor) and Aarohi (Shraddha Kapoor) were established, it kept nagging me that I couldn't feel with the characters. Fine, the broad stroke of the story is predictable. But, every once in a while, there is a dialogue or a moment of introspection that makes you regard the character in new light. Here are lovers who take their time to fall in love and express it.
Sure, there's the slow pace that can be blamed for making you wait for what happens next. But hey, if you are waiting for what happens next, the film is working just fine. After all here are two lovers, both singers of star status, one sticking on to the other when the going gets bad. Isn't that what we want our loved one to do for us? Isn't that what we'd do for our beloved?
And there came the realisation! I know Aarohi and RJ are in love with each other. But, I know it because of what the characters do for each other or say to each other. It's not because I am with them in this journey of theirs. That emotional connect is missing.
Interestingly enough, the actors cannot be entirely put to fault for this. Shraddha Kapoor's innocent face does half the work for her. I wouldn't take away from what she contributes as an actor here, but she has a charming screen presence. She brings through Aarohi's simple-mindedness and commitment with poise.
Aditya Roy Kapur does his good-at-heart RJ genuinely. Despite your cynicism, you believe how selfless he is. On the darker side, you also don't question why he has set himself on a path of self-destruction. The bits, and these are big bits, where he falters are those where he tries to convince us he's drunk. And that's a huge let down. Shouldn't 'acting drunk' be the primary qualification for an actor to be able to claim himself as one?
Very rarely, do I feel like adding a separate comment about the director. I believe that everything that happens in the film is the director's doing. So, how I feel about every department of film-making is indirectly a comment on his work. Some of the tiny choices made here though, added to my experience. The casual way in which funny lines pass through without drawing extra attention to themselves, the control over drama when we are ready for melodrama - to name a few. Yep, these should be the norm by now. But, till it doesn't, it deserves extra mention if not points.
The other departments too add to the ambience too. While the crisp camera-work lends a fresh feel to the film, the music kept me going with the flow of the film. I'm not sure if I would enjoy just listening to the songs. But, they worked really well within the context of the film. The film itself has a lovely flow (except for the abrupt last 10 minutes) despite being 15-20 minutes longer than I would have liked it.
I must say I was surprised that I liked the film as much as I did. When I saw Aashiqui as a teenager, I remember thinking why do all love stories end up with either "happily ever after" or "both die". Aashiqui 2, with a few light moments in the beginning, a little drama and loads of non-eewww romance, holds your attention and keeps it there. It just doesn't reach out to your heart, wholeheartedly.
- meetu, a part of the audience
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