Love Aaj Kal: Not very original but it works

July 31, 2009

There’s one thing about an Imtiaz Ali film — it may not have the most original storyline or cutting-edge techniques, but it sure has the best dialogues. And that, in my opinion, is the USP of his films.

Director Ali is telling you a regular love story, where you know immediately that the two lead characters are going to end up with each other, but his treatment is fresh and the people in the film don’t act filmy (which sounds like a paradox, but isn’t).

“Love Aaj Kal” begins with the story of Jai Vardhan Singh (Saif Ali Khan) and Meera Pandit (Deepika Padukone), who in London and in love with each other, but are “practical” enough to realise that their relationship can’t take priority over their careers.

So when Meera decides to move to India to pursue a career in conservation architecture, the duo decide to break up, albeit amicably. There are no tantrums, no tears and instead of being sad about it, they decide it’s best to be practical, even throwing a “break-up” party to celebrate the event.

In New Delhi, Meera starts going out with her boss (Rahul Khanna) while Jai falls for a Swiss girl called Jo. He also meets a café owner called Veer Singh (played endearingly by Rishi Kapoor) who narrates his own love story to him, which we get to see in flashback.

Saif plays the younger Rishi Kapoor and is noticeably uncomfortable in his role as a Sikh man in love with Harleen (played by newcomer Gisele). This love track lends to some tender moments in the film, especially the one where Saif’s character lands up in front of Harleen’s balcony one fine morning.

Both the stories play out almost parallel to each other, and while both “styles” of love are diametrically different, they end almost identically, which makes for a nice touch.

Like I said before, the story isn’t very original, reminding you at times of “Hum Tum”, “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” and even “Socha Na Tha” and Jab We Met, Ali’s earlier films. But watch out for the interactions between Jai and Meera, they are the highlight of the film and the reason it works.

Saif Ali Khan is pleasant to watch and good at what he does, but he reminded me too much of his character in “Hum Tum”. Rishi Kapoor is great in the tiny role he has and so is Rahul Khanna. Watch out for Deepika Padukone. She is endearing and eminently watchable in this performance. Ali does get the best out of his heroines.

“Love Aaj Kal” is good weekend watching, so I would say go for it.


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Looks like Bollywood is finally coming out of the doldrums. ‘Love Aaj Kal’ is a must-watch movie on my list.

Posted by Toe Knee | Report as abusive

Love Aaj kal seems to be a very practical movie ….It was really good to see that indian cinemas are slowly gaining maturity ….At one point when Dipika gets married to Rahul, i thought the movie is about to end :) …but was then delighted to see the later part of the movie…

Movie hardly has a strong story but is still a must watch !!!! I must say Imtiaz Ali [ the director ] has done a great job …

Rishi kapoor’s story too was a great one and the idea of running both the stories in parallel was simply excellent …

Posted by Vvaibhav | Report as abusive

It just strikes the chord. Nice movie to look up to, was worth the money paid for the tickets.

Posted by Praveen | Report as abusive

LOVE AAJ KAL. Imtiaz Ali again proves that he got a talent.. The direction is great, the way he potrait the past story and the todays one is really great. Saif, I like his acting in OMKARA and trust me dude he again bang with a BOOM.. Deepika….. Beautiful and other guys really done their respective part in a very well manner.
Watch it for everything…
Deepak Singh..

Posted by Deepak Singh. | Report as abusive

oh god who r these guys there’s no point in the movie both the characters are just dumb idiots ……hehehe honestly speakin i ran away the moment the film ended because i bought the ticket for 200 each for tht reason i stayed in theatre or else i would have been lost in first 10 of the show….guys i wouldn’t give a pinch of a star(ratings) for this crap movie….guys i’m not jokin seriously just don’t go.

Posted by sridhar | Report as abusive

booooooooring not worth of watching honestly…..

Posted by sridhar | Report as abusive

It was good time pass thats all. No out of the world acting neither anything different. But yes it showed the comparison in the two different relationships. The 2009 and the past of Rishi Kapoor.
However what i don’t understand is why is indian cinema so out to expose and go on about sexual contact. I mean it gives the signal that it’s cool to have sexual relationships before marriage etc. After all we are asian indian pakistani etc and like to watch our desi movies with family and when you see the stars go on about doing it before marriage it giving the impression “yeah it’s cool etc etc ”

Root to high pregancy rate no wonder. No wonder society is messed up. I mean i hate sitting there watching something that displays the girl guy open about what they have done in there relationships lol it’s like telling my dad hey this is what your daught be doing with her guy.

Whats funny is she gets married and then realises how silly.

At the end of the movie they should say “what ever you do don’t try this at home please”

Posted by iqra london | Report as abusive

Some scenes in the movies are okay however it starts off slow. The movie’s pace gets a bit less slower when the other story starts running in parallel.
There are a few things that are really annoying in this movie such as Saif playing this careless cool dude kind of role again and again even now when he’s about 40 yrs old. Mobility of Saif and Dipika, one minute they’re in London, the next they’re in India and then Saif in SF. Logistically it does sound a bit difficult to achieve. The way it’s shown that casual sex is cool and that too sort of in the first meeting. The most disturbing part of the movie — SPOILER ALERT!!! — is when Dipika realizes after the wedding that she loves saif. That is really self centered. So in a way the movie does promote the idea that it is okay to get married and then get divorced at your whim (in the name of love). Well…I can go on and on but seems like it was a good idea to try to show that even thoough the times change and no matter how fast paced life gets somethings remain just where they are (in this case to be with someone you love)

Posted by Movie Goer – US | Report as abusive

Movie resonantes tremendously specially with our generation, Wen we all are running crazy towards our materialistic goal and acheivement,, Its great to reflect that any materialistic goal cannot fulfil our ever stressfull and ultimatly peace seeking hearts…IT WILL ALWAYS BE HUMANS AND BONDING BTWN THEM THAT WILL DEFINE US & OUR SOULS…..where this movie precisly delivers the right message…

Posted by Tycoon | Report as abusive

& MEssage behind wedding and realising ,,, I suppose it is simple LOST & FOUND issue,, obviously materialistically speaking it hardly matters in commercial world,, but worth everything in PERSONAL LIVES,,,

Posted by Tycoon | Report as abusive

I am in a doubt whether i should really watch this movie. Many have given it favourable reviews. But many have criticised it saying that a previously used concept has been stretched far too long. ashley alfred- UTV World Movies.

Posted by ashley alfred | Report as abusive