Frankly, I wasn’t expecting anything new. After many dull Friday matinees I’ve pretty much given up trying to expect anything out of a hyped-up Bollywood movie. But Love Aaj Kal took me by surprise. Director Imtiaz Ali’s portrayal of love may not be the ultimate truth but strikes a chord somehow.
The movie tells two stories- Jai and Meera are a modern day couple in London who apparently love each but can’t get themselves to commit. Meera leaves for India on a job assignment while Jai, having broken up mutually with her, is on the prowl for a new girl. But there’s another story, that of Surjit and Harleen. In times gone by their love also blossomed, albeit differently. Surjit passionately pursued her but in keeping with the societal norms of the day.
Love Aaj Kal is nothing like the promos. Imtiaz Ali’s parallel storytelling shows the past and present stories unfolding alternately with smooth transition. Whether the setting is Calcutta 1965 or San Francisco 2009, the scenes capture the mood and emotion of the day cleverly, not forgetting the songs which pepper the movie wisely. And no matter how much you try you simply can’t predict this one.
After Socha Na Tha and Jab We Met, Imtiaz Ali is on a roll. There’s no complaining about the cinematography, music, dialogues and attention to detail. On the other hand, the performances could have been a bit more convincing and the movie shorter. But after the aforesaid dull Friday matinees, this one shines through.
Give it a shot, you won’t regret it.