It is outright annoying when you see the woman in a couple being ridiculously unreasonable. Sure, not all cinema has to be realistic, but such uni-directional exaggeration in character just seems like lazy writing. The kind isn’t common in Imtiaz Ali films, at least not this specific kind.
This kind, we are more used to in films with Kartik Aaryan. So are we seeing a Kartikation of Imtiaz films? Shudder Especially considering Ali films are hits and misses already. Cannot even say, I am hoping for this to be a hit because the hopes are bogged down with the repetitive theme. As if Ali thinks he doesn’t have any new stories in him.
Love Aaj Kal releases on 14 February 2020.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Balancing work and life, balancing love and life—yeah, all difficult things to do. Turns out it is even more challenging to make into a film. Especially when the woman in the relationship wants to have a career. So alien is the concept that the makers' awkwardness at writing the ambition and executing it is in-the-face in every scene. How else can one explain a smart, aspirational young woman not being able to figure out that love and work are not mutually exclusive? She doesn't even try!
Their oscillation between surrender and selfishness seem convenient rather than a natural coming-of-age of their characters.
But this is a big ask with all the other problems glaring through the film, especially those that Imtiaz Ali is usually otherwise good at. For instance, the build-up of the love between both couples—the one in the present and the one running parallel from two decades ago—is tepid. Even the supposed freshness of the beginning of a relationship is uninspired, creepy, and makes you belch because it is so cheesy. You don't quite know why these people are in love with each other.
Yet again, we have the man being ever-so-sweet, remarkably patient, always wanting the right thing. Except that he is stuck at this woman who doesn't know her mind, is easily influenced by everyone around her—from her boyfriend to her mother to the guy who owns the cafe she frequents! And of course, the thing that strikes while watching the trailer (some of those scenes are repeated twice in the film, don't ask why) the women are unreasonable, playing games, indirect and say one thing while meaning the other. I am convinced characters played by Kartik Aryan invite such women. Yes, in some sense Imtiaz has been Kartik-ised.
This doesn't mean he is acceptable as a sincere, mature boy who means only well, nor does he fit well as the playboy in the '20 years ago' version. On the whole too, the film feels miscast. Randeep Hooda while cute in the beginning is quite annoying as the brooding, repenting, yet all-knowing uncle. Sara Ali Khan comes across as too reassured to carry the "I don't know what I am doing" bit for immature Zoe. Her unsureness seems earnest, which is disorienting.
Even if I accepted that this is the story of a woman who is finding her way around, I couldn't recount one woman in my life who shunted from one end of the career-family spectrum to another without so much as a pause in between. Sorry, I forgot—I was to accept that she is that sort of a character in this fairy tale.
In this fairy tale, the women all wear their sexual desires on their sleeves, which was about the only refreshing thing in the film. But that joy doesn't last too long. Soon enough, we have a woman who doesn't understand the meaning of consent and feels entitled to sex because she is willing.
It is things like these that made me feel I am not being told a story. The makers seemed to be wanting to make a general point. Something about love being worth the risk it takes. Whatever. I tried to ignore the over-glamourisation of long-lasting love and the undermining of the importance of careers. Yet, the story felt like it was all over the place.
Even the supposed freshness of the beginning of a relationship is uninspired, creepy, and makes you belch because it is so cheesy.
For instance, the sudden changes in personalities don't quite flow. Their oscillation between surrender and selfishness seem convenient rather than a natural coming-of-age of their characters. Same goes for the move from career to love and a sudden slash back to a career for Zoe. Then you have random things like an otherwise calm and composed guy suddenly getting into a fistfight. The fights seem to be more convenient to show parallels between the two stories than naturally flowing in the individual stories. I have always complained about romantic films, not having enough conversations. Here, while I was happy for the attempts, the actual conversations are annoying and borderline incoherent.
This makes the movie slow. It rambles and meanders until it ultimately reaches the predictable end.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, indiaglitz : ...The dialogues of the film surpass most other elements of the film. The music by Pritam is a good mix ranging from soft romantic ones to disco numbers and takes the narrative forward but can't be called everlasting. The cinematography enhances the landscape of London, Delhi, San Francisco, and Calcutta (not Kolkata) in the film.... full review
Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Love Aaj Kal is yet another wild ride taken by Imtiaz Ali in the quest to give a new meaning to the old love. Watch it along with your broken heart.... full review
So-So, Bollywood Hungama : ...Amit Roy's cinematography is quite great in some sequences. But in some close up shots, it is not upto the mark. Suman Roy Mahapatra's production design is quite stylish, especially in present day portions. Aki Narula's costumes are quite appealing, especially the ones worn by Sara and by Kartik in present day track. Aarti Bajaj's editing is sans complaints.... full review
So-So, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Sara Ali Khan, who was such a natural in her first two outings, is guilty of going over-the-top at some places. Now, whether that was her brief or whether she chose to interpret her character that way -- we will never know. There is no singularity to her act. Just like Kartik’s, there is a lot of commitment, lot of hard work gone into it but she isn’t riding that horse properly enough. Newbie Aarushi Sharma has a nice screen presence and has shown both pluck and promise in her brief role.... full review
So-So, by Madhuri V, Filmi Beat : ...'Haan Main Galat' which appears during the rolling of end credits, makes for a groovy number. Arijit Singh's vocals in 'Shayad' is soothing to ears. 'Rahogi Meri' has been beautifully picturized and leave a mark. 'Mehrama' also makes for a good listen.... full review
So-So, by Sonal Gera, India TV : ...'Love Aaj Kal' is a flawed notion about the quandary between love and ambition in the more-flawed lives of the younger generation. What makes it worth watching, however, is Imtiaz Ali's unique storytelling, involving conflicting emotions and self-realisation, which makes you cry -- even if you feel stupid for shedding tears for no strong reason.... full review
So-So, by R.M. Vijayakar, India West : ...Kartik is in form as Raghu, but is best in the second half as Veer, the intense rejected lover. His expressions in the climax are amazing. Sara Ali Khan shows spunk and carries the character. However, the half-baked values of Zoe handicap her from a lethal performance that could have been there. The supporting cast has nothing much to do.... full review
So-So, by Vinamra Mathur, MiD DAY : ...Before talking about his new film Love Aaj Kal, starring Kartik Aaryan and Sara Ali Khan, here's a sincere question -- is there any other filmmaker who's fascinated by love stories as much as Imtiaz Ali, especially in the era of the Millennial? He has a penchant of narrating stories about aimless protagonists who discover and even rediscover their identities once they have fallen in love.... full review
So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...This film has an obsessive-yet-obedient hero and a heroine who’s constantly overreacting and intermittently overacting. And while copious amounts of alcohol are downed by some in in this film, the unsuspecting audience will be the one to emerge with a throbbing hangover.... full review
So-So, by Vinayak Chakravorty, Outlook India : ...This is a beautifully shot film (cinematography by Amit Roy), although Aarti Bajaj''s editing could have been tighter all through. The film moves at a lazy pace, only to arrive at an ending you would have guessed by interval.... full review
So-So, by Joginder Tuteja, Planet Bollywood : ...In the recent past, Kartik has already done well enough to deliver back to back successes in the form of Pati Patni aur Woh, Luka Chuppi, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2. While one waits to see how Love Aaj Kal is grabbed by its target audience (urban youth), rest assured he would be bringing in different shades to his performance all over again in his upcoming releases Dostana 2 and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. If the manner in which he nailed his complex parts in Love Aaj Kal is any indication, he should rock the show all over again.... full review
So-So, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...Love Aaj Kal is a harmless, watchable film -- sad, because it could have been truly special. It has its moments in the first half, while the second half is an over-melodramatic drag. Or have I missed the point, and is Imtiaz making an incisive comment on the nature of Bollywood masala, saying be it today or yesterday, our romances stay as cheesy as they are breezy?... full review
So-So, by Ronak Kotecha, Times of India : ...The film’s soundtrack is rich in melody that adds value to the storytelling. The short runtime is another plus with an intriguing first-half, but a predictable second-half.... full review
Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...In all, such an impactless film was really not expected from Imtiaz after the debacle of his last biggie. Honestly couldnt find the reason why this quick remake was made in the first place and what the director wished to convey through his so unreal characters? Anyhow, LOVE AAJ KAL is still a much better film than JAB HARRY MET SEJAL in comparison, having a few notable moments pointing towards the natural dilemma felt by every young boy and girl.... full review
Thumbs down, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...I wish the rest of this unanchored sequel to the 2009 romcom was equally powerful. Most of the film is sadly, weak and under-written. Or worse, weak and hammy.... full review
Thumbs down, by Russel D'silva, Bollywood Life : ...Love Aaj Kal is destined to end Kartik Aaryan's golden run while also handing Sara Ali Khan her first outright failure, beside continuing Imitiaz Ali's poor form. Basically, Kartik and Sara are sandwiched between a bearable first half and terrible second half. And yes, I am already predicting the film's fate because that's how bad it ends up being, particularly the second half. I'm going with 1.5 out of 5 stars.... full review
Thumbs down, by SUPARNA SHARMA, Deccan Chronicle : ...Love Aaj Kal has an annoying, irritating, glacial pace, and at some point after interval, I tried to fix my glare at the head of the man sitting in front, to check the speed at which hair grows.... full review
Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vertticad, FirstPost : ...Love Aaj Kal is pretentious, verbose and thoroughly insufferable. Among its many contrivances is the use of Hooda's voice playing in the background as the end credits roll, whispering sentences that are perhaps meant to be wise and impressive. I managed to catch the very last line as the very last word disappeared from the screen. "Romantic hai na kahaani?" I think I heard him ask. (The story is romantic, is it not?) The answer - if you have any doubts after reading this review so far - is an absolute, vehement, resounding no. That truth hurts though, because once upon a time jab Imtiaz Ali and Kareena Kapoor met, they did create screen magic.... full review
Thumbs down, by Shubha Shetty Saha, Free Press Journal : ...In this film, Randeep Hooda’s character keeps offering a detox drink to help Zoe get over their hangovers. Wish he had offered one to Imtiaz Ali too. He sure needs a detox for the overdose of mush in his system.... full review
Thumbs down, by Vishal Verma, Glamsham.com : ...What an irony. On valentine's day, am criticizing a love story by Imtiaz Ali. Who once upon a time told stories that where from my life?. SOCHA NA THA, JAB WE MET, LOVE AAJ KAL, ROCKSTAR. Today, Imtiaz is stuck in its own never ending loop am still wondering what was this so called modern gyan of love - LOVE AAJ KAL all about. A suffering in the name of love?. I kept waiting for the plot to kick in and knock my heart and warm my soul. It never happened. In fact the movie had the body but lacked the soul. Socha Na Tha ki valentine day par the renowned silver screen love guru aisa Tamasha dikahayega ki dil hi toot jayega…... full review
Thumbs down, by Monika Rawal Kukreja, Hindustan Times : ...Love Aaj Kal is a film that’s for the millennials only because it’s a modern day love story but even then, it needed a way better treatment. Watch it maybe if you get free couple tickets and have no better V-Day plans with your significant other.... full review
Thumbs down, by Ankur Pathak, Huffington Post : ...Love Aaj Kal should serve as a reality check for Ali. Maybe he could adapt, collaborate or simply collect new experiences to mine for the movies. One can forgive him for telling the same story again but not for telling the same story badly.... full review
Thumbs down, by Nairita Mukherjee, india today : ...If you walked into Love Aaj Kal as an Imtiaz Ali fan, despite the debacle that Jab Harry Met Sejal was, you will walk out broken, even more disappointed. And perhaps with the realisation that Imtiaz, the man with the untamable hair and the insatiable appetite for delving deep into the human psyche, has ebbed.... full review
Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...The film ends with a song, the usual medley of the cast dancing as the credits roll, and there it is, the film. Such liveliness, and zest: if only the whole film had the same feel. I came away with a feeling of being comprehensively let down: where has the craft gone, and where, indeed, the heart?... full review
Thumbs down, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...There are still takers for Ali’s admittedly unique brand of romantic anguish. They will likely be thrilled, not irritated, that Love Aaj Kal has shades of most of his earlier films: a chattering female lead like Jab We Met; the heart-versus-career dilemma of Tamasha; the escape to the mountains of Highway and Laila Majnu; the entirety of Love Aaj Kal 1.0. At one point, Veer tells present-day Raghu, “Dil se bol raha hai, I feel it." Perhaps this is what Ali imagines today's viewer thinks of his films. Sara Ali Khan going “Againnnnnnn" is probably more accurate.... full review
Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...All that you need to know, am guessing, is this was supposed to be some sort of a late-millennial take on balancing career with relationship — the new-age commitment phobia, if you will. Going back to Sara's character, she explains, "Par balance hai hi nahin mujhme." Have lost all mental balance too. Bas, ho gaya boss.... full review
Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, News18.com : ...There is no polite way to say this – Love Aaj Kal is pretty awful and dreadfully boring. It’s also overlong and hammy. The pursuit of romantic fulfilment has seldom felt so banal. I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five.... full review
Thumbs down, by Vaibhavi V Risbood, Pinkvilla : ...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.... full review
Thumbs down, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...This isn’t that kind of a movie. Love happens only once. It is forever. There is no scope for uprooting feelings and replanting them in more fertile soil elsewhere – an idea that Imtiaz Ali fruitfully explored in Jab We Met. Ali travels to his favourite hunting ground for closure – Manali. Pass us some of those Manali greens while you are at it, and pour us one of the detox drinks that Raghu is so fond of fixing, whatever the hour.... full review
Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...At best, love feels torturous, tired and worn-out, and at its worst it becomes little more than a caricature. For the viewer, there is very little by way of options other than lapsing into sheer disinterest, boredom and exasperation.... full review
Thumbs down, by Saionee Chakraborty, The Telegraph : ...Kartik Aaryan comes to the rescue. Yes, really. He is the best bit about Love Aaj Kal. Endearing as a younger Raghu and huggable as Veer, Kartik’s performance is earnest. Sara has her moments, but is screechy and the exuberance is over the top. The big bright smile and the spunk is infectious but belies the ‘spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’. She looks gorgeous though.... full review
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