Director: Anu Menon
Cast: Ali Zafar, Aditi Rao Hydari, Dalip Tahil
Synopsis: London, Paris, New York is a film that captures the angst of the twenties, the most dramatic period of one’s life – when you have to find a career, you have your first significant relationship and most importantly form your identity in this world.
This is story about Lalitha, a middle-class South Indian girl from Chembur (an eastern suburb in Mumbai) who is on her way to New York to study politics with full scholarship, and Nikhil, a Punjabi, rich kid from Bandra (a posh western suburb of Mumbai )who is going to study Film Making in London on 100% dad’s money. They decide to hangout together one evening in London and find that they are completely drawn to each other even as their future lies on separate continents.
The film follows their personal journey and their love story as they meet in London, Paris and New York for a night each over eight years. The film is in three chapters and each chapter is shot in a manner that mirrors the mental state of Nikhil and Lalitha.
Review: We all know that urban relationships are prone to begin with intensity and end with too much abruptness. Most of us see it happen and many are even prone to this less emotion and more serotonin driven surge of intimacy intermingled with attraction. So in that sense London, Paris, New York aims at recreating the urban couple who seem perfectly suited but circumstantially challenged, pursuing their own aspirations albeit in different cities. If only they knew that long distance relationships can be handled, that insecurities creep in irrespective of having an affair, the age old theory of ‘if there is a will then there will be no revenge ala Kill Bill’. Intimacy and longing is something we see a lot of urban twenty somethings avoid like the plague. It also doubles up as a great virtual tour of three vibrant cities making you wonder how despite the innate romantic charm of each city, the couple fail to sustain the romance they feel so palpably.
Too short-lived a romance that too happening right in the hot spot locales of three highly alluring cities. So what you do next is stop wondering and instead try and figure how such palpable chemistry can stay intact despite just having three days reserved across years for things to brew. To unleash love, debates, lust, frustration, pep talks, confrontations and failure at creating good cinema in a span of a single day. Making it seem like a marathon of love across continents but still not seeming rushed into. So it’s a love story that happens at the Heathrow airport and ends on a bridge in New York.
So we meet Nikhil Chopra (Ali Zafar) and Lalitha Krishnan (Aditi Rao Hydari) both free-spirited people, one a producer’s son other a Tam-Bram political revolutionary headed to study in New York. Bumping into each other at the airport in London and a chance conversation between them sets things rolling. Prince Charming has relocated himself from the insides of a bulky well to the confines of a grand airport.
Getting back to the story, a day spent together results in lots of flirting, chatting and finally kissing with the vow to meet again in six months. Rekindling their long lost lust and mushy banter yet again in Paris where Lalitha aided with Parisian boutiques becomes a Lolita of sorts. But there too the unexpected happens until destiny finally decides to give them one last mother of all chances to seriously evaluate love and not just look at it like an all day spa treatment. Leaving you half-baked replenished as a long list of chores is waiting around the corner to strike.
So you kind of grow to like this geographically challenged couple but sadly their story has no twists and turns and is mostly as bland as worn out tees. So it’s love at first sight but consistently drowning despite the presence of rivers like Thames, Seine and Hudson. That too progressively and you wonder why, because is love not a wave that hits you hard, so how is that such river-backed cities do little to inspire the on-off couple?
Ali Zafar is amazing in his charming and witty boyish avatar. He is very endearing with his no-holds-barred performance and also natural before the camera. Highly confident but very casual and typically male in demeanour. His breakdown in the film under the Brooklyn Bridge sees him surface as an actor. One that was heavily backed with urban profanities, the kind we are all cocky enough to freely use, along with hardcore acting. Taking the melodrama but retaining the drama sorts. Ali is a charmer, his trademark Pakistani husky voice, sheepish grin and almond-eyed chocolate boy appearance make him a delight to watch. Aditi Hyadri looks gorgeous with her quintessential ‘Audrey in Paris’ blunt cut and towards the end in her New York geeky gorgeous woman look. A must mention is her attire that transforms to complement every city she shifts base to. As this film strictly focuses on the lead pair there is tremendous scope to hog screen space. But the acting could have been still more enticing, the script seems lukewarm in depth. Music is really nothing that might linger for long in our minds. So overall a highly average watch with some nice feel-good moments. An ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’, again an insightful story of new age romances was far more entertaining in its vibrant storytelling. Even a ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ was a slice of life teen romance story that made its mark with just the right amount of comedy and tragedy. I wish this film could live up to its genre. It seems abrupt in places, keeping you glued to kill time and not in awe of it being a timeless film. Watch it as a ‘timepass’ flick that could perk up your Sunday afternoon. Rest assured you will not suffer as you find moments of redemption in the charm of Ali Zafar.
Verdict: Watch it as a ‘timepass’ flick that could perk up your Sunday afternoon. Rest assured you will not suffer as you find moments of redemption in the charm of Ali Zafar.