Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
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.
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).
‘Archie proposes to Veronica!’
That headline sent shockwaves and started heated debates in many parts of the world this week, with most fans of one of the longest-running love triangles despairing that Archie Andrews has chosen the rich and glamorous Ronnie over the sweet and simple Betty.
But is it really that different a story from those dished out by Bollywood or the many TV serials? Perhaps the guy is rich. Perhaps the girl is wealthy and doesn’t tell the guy. Perhaps the guy has a wealthy father and doesn’t know it. But the end result is always the same. The guy/girl with the rich dad gets the girl/guy. Every time.