Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani: Ranbir saving grace
Fifteen years later, Santoshi is back with another comic caper, this time starring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. But if you are expecting another “Andaz Apna Apna”, you will be sorely disappointed.
This film has almost nothing going for it and if it weren’t for some funny moments in the first half and the brilliant comic timing of Ranbir Kapoor, it would have sunk into oblivion.
Ranbir plays Prem Shankar Sharma, a loveable but good-for-nothing young man who runs something called a “Happy Club” (the purpose of this club is unclear).
He meets Jenny (Katrina Kaif), falls in love and spends the film’s first half wooing her. This is the half that is funny in parts and will make you laugh.
Unfortunately, it is all downhill from there.
Jenny, it turns out, is in love with Rahul (Upen Patel with an atrocious accent) but cannot marry him because Rahul’s father is a politician afraid of losing ‘Hindu’ votes if his son marries a Christian. Our filmmakers are inventing newer obstacles in the path of love.
So Prem puts aside his “prem” and sets about helping Jenny get hers. The second half has some funny moments, like the scene between Prem’s parents, but otherwise the script wears thin.
“Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani” has some really shoddy editing and awkward dialogues. Upen Patel’s accent makes it hard to understand anything he says, and even when you do understand, he delivers emotional dialogues in such a deadpan manner you wonder whether he understood them in the first place.
Katrina Kaif is pleasing on the eye and manages some comic expressions but the real star is Ranbir Kapoor. He has such a screen presence and brilliant comic timing you cannot look away from the screen even during the most inane scenes.
It is the mark of a star to be able to stand out among mediocrity and indeed Kapoor is the only reason anyone should watch this film. This is really his story.