Love Aaj Kal poster

Love Aaj Kal

wogma rating: Owner's Pride! (?)

quick review:

A film that is not funny but makes you smile wide because it makes you think, chew, mull. If you can't handle a "different" kind of love story - the practical, the contemporary, the possible - just shhhush away this instant! No need to read further. If you think you are game for a romantic film that is well thought over - don't go on reading this, book your ticket and one for me too. I can watch this one with each one of you again and again! The world wide web won't eat the detailed review before you come back, I promise!

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Director: Imtiaz Ali
Running time: 135 minutes
Genres: Comedy, Romance
More Movie Info

At the risk of sounding extremely snotty, I didn't think I'd ever consider having a Hindi romantic film on my list of favorites. But, here I am, guilty as charged with a strong contender. There should have been 200% of credit to give away which would then be split between writer Imtiaz Ali and director Imtiaz Ali.

The writer's decision to pick 2 characters and just focus on developing them, making them grow as people and yet keeping them consistent is a difficult one. It must have been tempting to shoot off into sub-plots. I'm glad they were ruthlessly avoided.

My admiration for various directorial decisions kept building as the movie began. If the first few minutes of the film make you worry, it is only intentional. Trust your capable director. From the background music or lack thereo,f to the way the scenes were sewn together, the director's role is obvious. Almost every 4th or 5th film reviewed here has background music by Salim-Sulaiman but this one was so-not-in-your-face. The flow of the film from one love story into another and back is seamlessly swift. It actually reminded me of Rang De Basanti, only better, because the story was more human.

Another brilliant stroke of genius is not losing the crux of the story to commercial viability. Yet it does keep the tone light enough to engage as many people in the audience as possible. Cracked the Midas touch, have we?

I haven't particularly liked Deepika Padukone in her earlier films but seeing her in the cast line-up I knew if there was a person who could get her to emote it would be Imtiaz Ali. Just like he did with Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met. And I wasn't disappointed. At least, now we know Deepika can do better than what she has done thus far. We know she can come out of the model-like within-her-frame body language. Though I seriously doubt the taste of costumes chosen for her in "chor bazaari". Minor irritant - shall be ignored.

Of course, Saif Ali Khan has played many a romantic role. But being playful yet intense, contemporary and old-fashioned, happy but dissatisfied isn't something many lead actors in the industry could pull off. And the transition in his character is believable without being inconsistent.

Looks like I'm sort-of back to being in awe of the writing. It makes you think. Is there point in pulling on a relationship that is not practical? Is it practical to give up on a relationship that means so much to you? Do you really know how much something means to you till you push it away and try to take it back on your own will. These are times when before you can ask "Do you love me?" you know the reply "What is love?" Does having it mean binding or finding someone who liberates you? Does not having it mean a space that needs to be filled or is it good riddance to bad rubbish?

There are no solutions to these issues, let alone easy ones. And this one doesn't really give you an answer but it is a film and if it has a set-up and a conflict, it has to have a resolution. This is one of the most satisfying climaxes in a love story. And yet like a friend I watched the movie with said, "I hope the 'wrong' friends don't get the wrong message." That sentence will make sense only when you watch the film. And watch the film you must! So go already! And if you've already been, isn't it worth another watch?

And the beauty is if you are not the type who likes to think so much for entertainment, you'll still enjoy it. As far as looking for the flaws, I'll watch out for those the second time around. Till then I'd like to be with this feeling of having enjoyed a film completely.

- meeta, a part of the audience

42 reviewers(?) - 25 yays 13 so-so 4 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Aniruddha Guha, A Fine Imbalance : ...It's them you see on the big screen. The conversation is real, the characters are identifiable, and the lingo 'cool'... full review

Thumbs up, by Noyon Jyoti Parasara, AOL INDIA : ...This actually ends up as an alternative and happier ending for Devdas with a more independent and intelligent Paro! ... full review

Thumbs up, by Khalid Mohamed, : ...Like it or not, the characterisations intermittently become unsympathetic... full review

Thumbs up, by Beth, Beth Loves Bollywood : ...Overall I found the whole thing cute, very believable, and fresh while still rooted in other traditions of love stories... full review

Thumbs up, by Blogeswari, Blogeswari : ...Not once do you see Leen fluttering her eyelashes - a la 'Love birds' types or putting that bun kondai running around trees only to put an official stamp to the retro bit. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...But here, he recaptures the grace as well as the grit of his first feature. He’s unafraid to show how love can make even good people become temporarily… not-so-good... full review

Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...The subject matter is novel, never attempted before, but the material, the characters [Saif and Deepika especially] as also its execution is targeted at the youth in big cities mainly.... full review

Thumbs up, by Daliya Ghose, Bollywood Mantra : ...Love Aaj Kal is the film of the decade... full review

Thumbs up, by Anand Vaishnav, Buzz18 : ...Any minuses? Yes! The second half could have been 20 minutes shorter. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Hiral Sachde Thakkar, DearCinema : ...The opening snapshot scenes portray how Meera and Jai hook up, establish their relationship and characters without wasting time... full review

Thumbs up, by Deep, Deep's Home : ...On the acting front, Deepika Padukone rocked... full review

Thumbs up, desi hits : ...It's Deepika's best work yet. Aside from looking stunning, she naturally transforms her character from the first scene to the very last scene.... full review

Thumbs up, by Amrita, Indiequill : ...she nails the moments of quiet retrospection... full review

Thumbs up, by Kalos, merinews : ... If Jab We Met was the beginning, LAK is the middle and Ali’s next would definitely be the end of this trilogy.... full review

Thumbs up, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...There is a real sweetness in this sepia-toned tale of love. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Chintan86, Passion for Cinema : ...was i the only one who was amazed at the amazing creative screenplay of the movie??... full review

Thumbs up, by Jehan Handa, Passion for Cinema : ...Imitiaz has the film with it’s heart in the right place, neither is it down there in the cork with under the belt humor, neither is it up there in my throar with suffocating romance... full review

Thumbs up, by RK, Passion for Cinema : ...Focus is kept on the sanctity of love and less on an individual character. Jai, Meera, Veer, Harleen and Vikram all the five characters come across the power of love... full review

Thumbs up, by Ankit Ojha, Planet Bollywood : ...Technically, the movie is brilliant, and rises a few notches above Jab We Met.... full review

Thumbs up, by Irene Nexica, Planet Bollywood : ...It also would have been nice to see things from Harleen Kaur’s point of view – she’s mostly voiceless throughout... full review

Thumbs up, by Gohar Iqbal Punn, Radio Sargam : ...It’s not because of any discrepancy in direction or material but for the writing that is so different for the viewer, as they have not seen this type of subject before on the screen. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : instantly fall for the central characters, refreshingly flesh-and-blood with their set of quirks, flaws and strengths... full review

Thumbs up, by Janhvi Patel, StarBoxOffice : ...In a few scenes, she expresses herself beautifully even without dialogues.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikha, Times of India : ...All of Saif's babblings about love sans marriage and Deepika's discourses on career and cumbersome commitment are straight out of real-life ramblings in pubs, discotheques and coffee shops. ... full review

So-So, by Nita, A Wide Angle View of India : ...The movie raises questions like What is love? How does one know whether this is really love? ... full review

So-So, by Roshni Mulchandani, Bolly Spice : ...Saif Ali Khan is great; whether it’s the young Jai or the young Veer, he shines... full review

So-So, by Deepa Garimella, : ...The older romance has so much more soul, and contributes to most of the film's essence.... full review

So-So, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ... makes smart sense when he says love made people serious about life in yesteryears while seriousness towards life makes people abandon love in current generation... full review

So-So, Indicine : ...Its a D-R-A-G, the second half seems to go on forever! Should have ideally been about 30 minutes shorter... full review

So-So, Movie Talkies : ...Saif is at his confused best in the movie, his role almost looks like an extension of his 'Hum Tum' role or Aamir Khan's character from 'Dil Chahta Hai'... full review

So-So, by Jahan Bakshi, Now : ...Still, the dialogue is especially witty and smart- relatable and relevant- except in a few parts where it tries too hard, desperately trying to keep a 'Hinglish' tone... full review

So-So, by Joginder Tuteja, Now : ...But the entire flashback angle with Rishi narrating his own story, something which sounds quite exciting on paper, doesn't really carry the same punch as the Saif-Deepika story. ... full review

So-So, by Saurabh, Passion for Cinema : ...I did like the non-linear narrative which was good for most of the part but at times a bit abrupt ... full review

So-So, by Shubhashish Chakraborty, Passion for Cinema : ...there are many sequences which break the Bollywood cliche, which deliver the exact opposite of what you see in typical Bollywood movies but then You had seen extremely similar sequences in JWM... full review

So-So, by Lidia Ostepeev, Planet Bollywood : ...Cups of coffee, shared or sipped alone become metaphors for meeting, parting, remembering and longing.... full review

So-So, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...The sepiatoned track is the far better one. There is genuine charm as we see a new girl (whose name, I'm flummoxed to know, the filmmakers are hiding)... full review

So-So, by Neha Viswanathan, Within / Without : ...But the worst offending bit was that at no point do you see Saif and Deepika grow in a relationship. Everything is based on dialogues, as opposed to gestures.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...the lack of chemistry between Saif and Deepika and their surface-level emotions never quite convince you that they're made for each other.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mr. Inketi, Mr. Inketis Weblog : ...Veer’s (played by Saif Ali Khan) 1960s track adds nothing to the film... full review

Thumbs down, by Pankaj Mullick, Passion for Cinema : ...Love does have its place in the overall happiness quotient of young India and distractions will come to naught sooner or later.... full review

Thumbs down, by The ThirdMan, Upper Stall : ...It is far too verbose and over dependent on the hope that dialogue would carry it through.... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

4 readers - 3 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Rakshit : nice one.. Saw twice...second time watched only because of the songs.

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Shantanu :

Yay! Thumbs Up, by TimELiebe : Modern Romance contrasted with Traditional Wooing, Indian Style - brilliantly done on every level.

So-So, by Consumer Goods

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

Boy meets Girl. They fall in love. But do they know it?

What Worked

  • Peoples don't torture me. I'm all starry-eyed after watching such a good story. Could hardly find anything wrong with it, especially in just one watch.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • As I said nothing that diverted attention from the story in a first watch.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A fist fight.
  • Language: Clean.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Pre-marital sex is referred to. Nothing offensive on screen, other than a couple lip pecks.
  • Concept: About friendship, love and one being a part of the other.
  • General Look and Feel: A heavy subject is dealt with in a very light atmosphere.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Love Aaj Kal - Cast, crew, links

Supporting Cast:
Action Choreography:
Music Director:
Running time:
135 minutes

Comments (19)

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I stopped reading your review after reading this sentence:

>> I didn't think I'd ever consider having a Hindi romantic film on my list of favorites.

What would you rather consider? A Tamil romantic film?

Wow .. I dont think I have ever read a more glowing review on wogma. You just raised my expectations sky-high for this movie. I better not be dissapointed :)

The movie was a nightmare. The director lacked a consistant vision as to what he wanted to achieve. The dialogues were sub-par and so forced that they sounded painfully absurd. The screenplay was the worst of the lot. There is virtually no flow in the film; it just jumps from one shot to the other. And I confirmed what I long suspected: Deepika doesn't know how to act. The music was average. Rishi Kapoor was mind blowing with his performance in an otherwise dull and uninspiring film.

Of course, you have the right to your opinion.

Nice review. I liked the movie too, but I failed to see Deepika show her acting abilities again! I think she looks beautiful, and thats where her role begins and ends. With respect to her acting, I felt like she really didnt have a role.

right on, sister!

@vishal brilliant! Did you go watch the movie then? What was your take? I have a couple English and a Polish film and maybe a couple more from the rest of the world in my top films list. Didn't think a hindi romantic film would ever make it. The Hindi ones on the list are Sholay and Chupke Chupke.

@Amber @Rahul ouch! I was thinking about that. You know how sometimes high expectations don't let you appreciate a movie for what its worth. Hope I didn't spoil it for you. Have you seen it yet? If so, did you like it?

@Sumit @Nisha so glad you liked it too

@Anil uhh...did we watch the same film? No story? Preaching? Really? Where?

@Ambuj Saxena It's sad that you didn't like the film. But as you said, to each his own

@kusublakki oh...I loved what she was doing with her voice at different points like when she was teasing Saif Ali Khan or in the drunk scene or in the scene where she's heart broken.

@Amrita Yo sister!! This is so our type of a film!!!

@Rahul I'm glad you enjoyed it despite the expectations (assuming you are the same Rahul above who had high expectations). Don't watch ripped copy, watch original whenever you can...its worth it :)

Meetu, I watched just it yesterday, and although I did enjoy the movie, I am quite disappointed from Imtiaz Ali - who, I think, could have done much better.
One of the best (hindi romantic) films of all times? No way. This is not even as good as Imtiaz Ali's previous two movies.

@Vishal in fact, I didn't like Jab We Met all that much. This one was a pure love story with no other frills. Just about him and her and their growth as people. Very few Hindi romantic films make it all about the two characters ONLY. And that's one of the many things I enjoyed about the film.

@sonal it has always been the audience's review. I am a part of the audience. That the part might not be in majority is a completely different story. :)

@Vijay I didn't get points 2 and 3 at all. Good for you that you've already watched Kaminey and you liked it so much!!

@Swati Bias would be if I unconditionally liked all of this director's/actor's/actress'/writer's/cinematagorapher's work. Which I haven't. As always, I wrote what I felt when I was walking out of the theater and will continue to do so. Unfortunately, there are bound to be some misses along with some matches. :)

When i first found wogma, i used to read reviews but found we have different taste in movies so stopped visiting wogma. But after watching LAK, which is average, saw lots of good reviews everywhere, so am here again to check out what meetu thinks. But I was surprised to see 4+ rating which i didn't see before when i used to read in the past.

What did the movie have, (if it had anything, that is)

Good Actors - OK, some.
Good music - Hmmmm. Can't remember.
Good production - ummm, welll, ooookaaayy, Just about.
Most imp - Good story/content - ZERO.

I have my own benchmarks of a good movie (don't we all have ours?). And when I can predict everything that's going to happen in the first 15 minutes of watching it, I write it off.
The screenplay is good, given that the writer had the whole plot already totally set. Saif delivers his lines in a catchy manner, Rishi Kapoor is wasted (Imtiaz Ali could have used any extra for the role, for that matter), Deepika is getting better with every movie. That's about all.

plzzz....the film is nothing more than a highly advanced TV serial. In fact, given the muck being shown on TV as TV shows, directors like Imtiaz Ali should be given the opportunity to make quality TV shows like Love Aaj Kal.

The film's range is between average-to-flop. The single screens have rejected it and it is average for the multiplex pop-con yuppies.

movie is definitely worth a watch, but only on cable TV.

Wrong interpretation of my review. I DID NOT give a thumbs up, by far

@Pankaj sincere apologies. Mistake rectified.

@TimELiebe It couldn't be a cultural thing because I know many, many people who LOVED it!

Oh and if you like Rishi-Neetu Kapoor you HAVE to watch Do Dooni Chaar - a recent release. And maybe some of their older films, just for fun.

Bakwaas means rubbish/nonsense in this context. :)

Beautiful movie! So well directed and so relatable!

@TimELiebe did you get a chance to watch Do Dooni Chaar?

ps. Sorry, for delay in replying to all your comments, there was a glitch in the matrix and all the comments came flowing in, in one sweep suddenly. Replying to as many as I can. :D

@TimELiebe Both are good films, must watch!

@TimELiebe no worries!
Umrao Jaan wasn't directed by Rohan Sippy. But you're right about Dum Maro Dum being a disappointment for him.
Ps. Aishwarya it is.

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