wogma rating: Watch when on TV/online (?)
A rom-com that is half-baked comedy and a quarter-baked romance. Does that make it a well-baked film? Unfortunately that's not how the math works. It stays an under-cooked pot that makes you laugh here and there and doesn't get you engaged in its emotionRead more
The on-screen activity had the entire theater in splits! People around me couldn't stop laughing their guts out. So funny did they find the jokes and situations that the gags kept them happy through the unnecessary emotional scenes too. No-no, the audience was chuckling with the characters, not at them. I - well I didn't see the humor through most of the film. Somehow - hit-the-crotch, eunuchs-exist-that's-so-funny, Draupadi-like-undrape-Sari, people-falling-off-stairs, slapping-each-other, modified-cake-fights - don't even make me smile, smirk maybe, but nowhere near the grin-region. However, when I laughed at the other jokes, I laughed real hard.
I don't understand what's so weird or whacky about Prem (Ranbir Kapoor) or about his style of love. Nor do I understand what's so unusual about his story. Not a crime so far, even if you claim those things in the title. The onus of originality is not on you when the entire industry is "referencing." But get there in a way that is wholesome and entertaining.
The sure way of doing that is with some howlarious dialogue, especially when you don't have much in terms of character arcs or story development going on. That they manage in fits and spurts. There is another way to enjoy the do, just pre-decide, you are going to enjoy, and you might too.
The lead pair is another thing that might keep you going. Ranbir Kapoor plays the perfect Prem (Barjatya reference for the uninitiated). Charming and saccharine sweet. He has shades of Sunil, who tries to evoke Prem's darker side. Yes, he's aaawww-cho-chwweet. Diabetics might want to stay away. There's this one sequence in which he does a Jim Cary a lá The Mask and is pretty hilarious too. Now, why he's doing that, don’t ask! And oh yeah, remember slapstick? Yes, Ranbir is loud in this one!
Boys, Katrina Kaif is as lovely, to look at, as ever - even though she's in Sunday-Morning-Mass dresses through the film. Meaning - not much in terms of sensuous skin-show. She doesn't let that affect her performance though. Same ol' accent, same straight face, a similar ol' attempt at shedding glycerin tears.
On the brighter side, there's no first half-second half syndrome here. It is in one continuum - few emotional scenes, a few good laughs, loads of slapstick, and mucho silliness. Oh yeah… and 2-3 songs. The problem is in each of these, you find Santoshi trying to imitate some movie or director. And why not, right? Especially when you can pay tribute to Cinema Paradiso and Maine Pyaar Kiya all in one go! And if not anyone else, there's always an annoying self-reference to bank on. Reminding us of what could have been.
It's Tom and Jerry style humor, alright. But, it doesn't have a quarter of the recall value. And the saddest part is that it's a desperate effort for a repeat performance by Rajkumar Santoshi. And that part is pretty obvious. If only being yourself wasn't that difficult. A wannabe Andaz Apna Apna. And not very successful at that.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...here’s so much puckishness in the air, even Katrina seems to have inhaled some of the fairy-dust – the marble-model actually springs to life, coming across as some sort of spry comedienne (or at least a game-enough imitation).... full review
Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, IBOS : ...Even while mouthing corny maudlin sappy dialogues about serving moong-dal ke pakaude to his beloved or plucking stars from the sky for her, Ranbir makes the trite seem just right. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...There's insanity afoot in this film, and this boy makes most of it an absolute treat, glossing over script inconsistency and weaker comedic moments via sheer screen charm alone. Wow.... full review
Thumbs up, by Janhvi Patel, StarBoxOffice : ...Ranbir Kapoor is the star of the film. The guy is effortless; he can do anything, be it romance, comedy or action and make it look convincing.... full review
Thumbs up, by K K Rai, STARDUST : ...Katrina proves with this film that she has moved from her earlier days of being a glam doll and is ready to take on more challenging roles, if given... full review
So-So, by Amodini, Amodini's Movie Reviews : ...Luminous Katrina, and the youngish Ranbir, ooze beauty and charm in every frame. Even though they have no help from the script, they manage to salvage the film to make it an average entertainer... full review
So-So, by The Thirdman, Upper Stall : ...The lead pair looks extremely good together and there's no denying they share quite a likeable chemistry and this certainly helps lift the film a notch or two.... full review
Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Nowhere nearly as smart as the director's cult comedy Andaz Apna Apna which relied on a sharp script to deliver its consistently madcap tone, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani is erratic in its humour, going from genuinely comic to frustratingly foolish in a matter of minutes. ... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Boy, Prem (Ranbir Kapoor) meets Girl, Jenny (Katrina Kaif). One falls in love with the other, the other hasn't a clue. How will the other know? Who will tell? Will anyone tell? What other crisis looms?