Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
IHLS: I hate boring love stories
At one point in Punit Malhotra’s “I Hate Luv Storys” one of the characters tells another to just follow all the clichés and go for it. That could well have been Malhotra’s motto while making this run-of-the-mill love story that drags on for what seems like forever.
Malhotra seems to take every single cliché you can think of and insert that into his film – while pretending that this is a different love story. Boy who is commitment phobic – check; girl who has an overdose of pink in her bedroom and believes in love at first sight – check; Hate turns to love – check; Boring boyfriend – check. IHLS is definitely not big on the originality factor and you know how it is going to end. You just wish the journey to the end was pleasanter.
Imran Khan plays Jay, a young man who doesn’t believe in love stories and cringes at the slightest hint of mush but ends up assisting a maverick director who only makes love stories. Forced to work with art director Simran on a film, he pooh-poohs her ideas of romantic and ideal love and her “perfect” relationship with her boyfriend, appropriately named Raj (Sameer Dattani).
You don’t really need me to tell you how it goes from here. Jay and Simran spend time together, fall in love, one of them realises it, the other doesn’t and so most of the film is spent trying to get through situations that wouldn’t have been necessary if only the duo had had a heart-to-heart chat with each other.
Along the way, there are a lot of really inane dialogues (“Women are like buses, if one leaves another one comes along, but ultimately there is only one bus which can take you home”), some awkward acting and a lot of rich, pretty people and palatial homes. In fact some of the best lines in the film are not spoken, but printed on the t-shirts that Jay’s friend wears.
Malhotra spoofs movies like “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” and “Dil to Pagal Hai” and “Dil Chahta Hai“, but fails to rise to the standard that made these films the cult films that they are. The direction is amateurish and the pace of the film could have been shortened considerably without hurting the plot. There are some moments that make you laugh in the first half but the second half just goes downhill. By the time the climax rolls in you don’t care what happens to the two protagonists.
Imran Khan tries to make the best of his role and succeeds to a large extent but Sonam Kapoor is stuck with such a one-dimensional role she can hardly do much. Simran it seems has nothing else in her life except for the idea of love, and a great taste in clothes.
IHLS is ultimately a very ordinary and boring love story. Go if you have the patience for it.