Review: Kya Love Story Hai

Posted on April 22, 2007


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An architect messes up the, um, foundations of his romance and tries to alter the, uh, blueprints of his relationship with the girl. Oh never mind.

APR 22, 2007 – THERE’S a beautifully honest scene at the beginning of Kya Love Story Hai. Arjun (Tusshar Kapoor) learns that his friend Kevin has just lost his girlfriend. He rushes to the cemetery, where the service is taking place, but Kevin is nowhere to be found, and one of the mourners points to a figure sitting a little distance away, all by himself. That’s Kevin, of course. Arjun goes over and sits by his side in the awkward way that people usually do in these situations, and he begins to mumble good-intentioned nonsense like “Things will be okay with time,â€? when Kevin simply says – and this is the good part; he just says this, he doesn’t burst out in anger at these hollow platitudes – that they won’t. This moment is staged very awkwardly – as is most of this movie by first-time director Lovely Singh – but it does its job by effectively laying out the premise of the story to follow. And that’s this: how can anyone else know what you’re feeling unless you tell them? And how can Arjun even presume to know what Kevin is going through when he hasn’t been in love at all? Both these concerns come together as Arjun falls for Kajal (Ayesha Takia). She thinks he’s just a good friend, and how is she supposed to think otherwise if he won’t tell her?

Tusshar Kapoor started out in the movies with this very same dilemma in Mujhe Kuchh Kehna Hai, and he was good there because his bland screen presence – in a just world, he’d be playing the hero’s best friend’s younger brother – was a perfect fit with his guy-next-door. It was easy to imagine him in love with a glamorous goddess like Kareena Kapoor, and it was easier to imagine him quaking in his boots at the prospect of expressing his emotions to this unattainable creature. But Kya Love Story Hai asks us to buy him as an architect with tons of money (ergo, no more guy-next-door) who chooses not to work for a living (ergo, no more sympathy factor) – and so the time never comes in this love-triangle when we root for Kajal to pick Arjun over Ranveer (Karan Hukku, an incredibly wooden newcomer). The way I saw it, if this is the choice Kajal is given, she’s pretty screwed either which way. Because compared to the men, Ayesha Takia is so incredibly alive, you want to quietly kidnap her away to the sets of a better movie. Then again, this is how you recognise someone’s worth. Any reasonably competent actress can sink her teeth into an author-backed role like the one in Dor, but if she can be in this and yet find it in herself to be so good, now that’s a truly remarkable performer.

It’s nice, in a young-love story, to see ambition – not parents, not rich-versus-poor, not religion – being the spanner in the works. Kajal wants someone who’s made a success of himself, which is why she cannot see herself with the idler Arjun. And it’s also nice to see that despite all these rules that Kajal has made for herself, she’s easily persuaded by Ranveer to give up her career (that is, her ambitions). She’s met the man of her dreams, so she’s willing to let go her (other) dreams. But the writing is so bad and the direction so clumsy, these ideas remain mere ideas. They never take off and develop into the kind of romance that would make you exclaim… Kya Love Story Hai! But Pritam does his best to keep us hanging in there. The film kicks off with a terrific item number by Kareena Kapoor (though if the director knew the first thing about making movies, he’d had have saved this number for later; after this burst of colourful energy, it’s all downhill.) But the song that got to me was Gumsum hai dil mera, rousingly sung by Sonu Nigam as if he were channelling Rafi in the Shammi Kapoor era. (The choreography is set in the back of a truck, just like Subhan Allah haai.) Those were silly love stories too, and they had hardly anything going for them except the music and the momentum. But that’s enough, really – for the basic thing about entertainment is that we should not be bored. That’s a lesson today’s filmmakers need to learn. We keep hearing of directors who rip off Oldboy or Reservoir Dogs. Maybe they should try doing that with Professor or Kashmir Ki Kali.

Copyright ©2007 The New Sunday Express

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi