Ayan Mukherjee made an atypical debut film, Wake Up Sid(2009) in which its dishy protagonist Ranbir Kapoor, played an overprivileged youngster coming of age.That movie was a success thanks entirely to a brilliant performance by Konkona Sen and some sublime music which belongs to Bollywood hall of fame.This time around he tackles that eternal Bollywood genre – a musical romantic comedy.
It is a genre that seems to have gone out of fashion a little bit.Love is not a priority for Bollywood anymore and often bobs its head up as a subplot to introduce some eye candy and songs.Bollywood movies used to be a way of escaping the crushing realities of the real world in a dark air-conditioned environment and live a life of fantasy for a full 3 hours.But the multiplex going generation simply does not have that patience anymore.Heck they even shrunk cricket to a T20 bikini format within which the whole business of match fixing must happen.
So Bunny( Ranbir Kapoor) is a new age stereotype, selfish, unemotional and chasing his dream of seeing the world with a degree of emotional ruthlessness. Naina (Deepika Padukone) is a nerdy medical student who joins Bunny and his friends for a Himalayan trek on a whim.She too runs to catch a train a` la DDLJ (completely lacking Kajols bounce) but there is no Ambrish Puri yelling behind her “Ja Simran Ja, ji le apni zindagi”. Of course she falls in love with Bunny but realizes he is completely self-absorbed .They meet again after eight years, with Bunny having seen the world (well almost).Since by this time only 95 minutes are over, the movie slows down to soak in lots of big fat Indian wedding atmosphere before they say their obligatory iloveyou’s (yep iloveyou is a single word in my dictionary henceforth!).
This film is trying to espouse the exact opposite philosophy of Zindagi Na Milegei Dobara which tried to instill some “Follow your dreams, even if it means a really large carbon footprint and tons of squashed tomatoes that the hungry children of Africa will never eat” spirit in young people.Since Mr Mukherjee is growing up and has seen the world already, he tell us to rediscover the joys of rootedness and family values.
Madhuri Dixit makes her “item-aunty” debut with the camera regarding her face and body from a respectable distance.Well what can one say, she is a bonafide goddess now, waiting for her Padma Bhushan and ultimately Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Deepika Padukone is completely unconvincing in the first half as the nerdy girl who is capable of being very cool indeed. Ranbir Kapoor proves his acting prowesses again but needs to choose better scripts, for the time being he can still provide a solid opening for any big film.Aditya Roy Kapoor desperately needs to go to acting school, he falters in the second half when the scrip demands just a little more from him. Kalki is still fresh as the oddball almost otherworldly half French toothy waif trying to blend into the desi scenery.
The cinematography by veteran Manikandan is competent but unremarkable for a big budget film. Couple of songs are good and well shot but nowhere in the “Ektara” league. Ayan Mukherjee shows very little creativity in his direction, this film would have been a competent rom-com had he and his editor done their job well.The greatest challenge that a modern love story faces is that it needs to refresh itself as fast as young people change their FB status updates.In the Twitter age with its 140 characters limit, a 3 hour long romantic comedies is as obsolete as a 486 PC. There is a half decent film buried here under a young directors hubris.