Written By: Urooj Zulfiqar
It’s been…well let’s face it…it has been a while since a decent love story hit the Indian Cinema. Last love story saga I watched was few years back before the action-packed-horror-thriller-fantasy-loving-social drama-real life -movies dominated the cinemas. It’s about time the true spirit of Bollywood movies return and in a new avatar with such debutant directors as Punit Malhotra with a romantic comedy, I Hate Luv Storys, starring the chocolate-boy, Imran Khan, and the beauty-queen of simplicity, Sonam Kapoor. Punit Malhotra, who has worked under Karan Johar (the film’s producer) as an assistant director, seems to be following Johar’s foot-steps just about right but in his own hatke style.
If you are missing the pure-sweet romance in the movies lately then it is a must watch flick this summer. Compared to the past fairytale love story of epic proportions, expansive sweep and overblown emotions, I Hate Luv Storys is an every-day date flick which the typical audience can relate to. And the best part: you don’t need a girlfriend or a boyfriend to enjoy it with. The movie is not a total chick-flick, in case you are wondering. Malhotra even jabs fun at the sappy love stories of the Bollywood mush factory that keeps producing the same romantic saga, don’t mind the cliché. He spares no one, from the likes of Sanjay Leela Bhansali to Yash Chopra, to Karan Johar and even Farhan Akhtar.
The movie is simple and to the point. No overacting. No expensive setting. No sappy dialogues. No rona dhona. No special sequences. No overdramatic entries. And God knows what else other typical romantic movies have. Malhotra works with the movie through a different angle. He creates the magic between two young people in a sweet-n-sour love story. He keeps the story simple with real-life characters and situation that ordinary people can relate to. The movie is a combination of Jane Tu Ya Jane Na, the college-based love story, and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, the love-story of Rahul and Anjali.
The movie is set in the tinsel town, Mumbai, and partly in New Zealand. Jay (Imran Khan), a young cool dude, hates love stories. Ironically he is stuck working under the mush king of the Romantic movies as an assistant director. Veer (Samir Soni) his boss loves directing the melodramatic, romantic movies because he believes that the audience needs filmi, fairy-tal- like life to relate to. After being fed up with Jay’s cynical attitude towards love, Veer makes Jay an assistant to production designer Simran (Sonam Kapoor), who is a strong believer of love-stories, an exact opposite of Jay.
She believes that her life is just perfect like the movies. Perfect family, perfect job, perfect everything…even a perfect boyfriend, Raj (Sammir Dattani). Bas, her life is complete like the movie…at least that’s what she thinks. Little does she know, her life is just about to take a U turn, when she meets Jay. The strong cynic that he is, Jay keeps reminding Simran that her love-life is nothing like the movie. Raj, according to Jay, is quite boring and wears ‘fugly’ shirts. The sugar sweet overtures of love that Raj and Simran share are found only in films, not in real.
There begins the banter between the two on love, which eventually gives way to friendship and before she knows it, Simran is in love with Jay. But the cool dude is unaware of her feelings. Will this cynic, Casanova boy ever believe in the ‘L’ magic? Will Jay be hit by cupid’s arrow? Will Simran’s love ever call him to her? Will the spark fly?
I Hate Luv Storys pays an unsaid tribute to the clichéd romance of Bollywood romantic movies. It gives no deep sabak on the matters of the heart; nor does it tell a romantic tale that’ll have you crying and sighing. No. It is a simple, sweet love story, and quite predictable one at that. If you are expecting to see the clichés like a hero-like entrance, or a hero rushing to the airport to stop his mehbooba from leaving, or him proposing to her with a bouquet of flowers, or – worse- closing his eyes and seeing her face, then you’re right. It covers the basics of any love-stories: the arguments, the confessions, the falling-in-love, the proposals, the heartbreaks, the chase, the winning-backs, and all other things that crazy people do when in-love. The movie has it all. But it’s presented in such a way that you’d be laughing off your seat than clinging on to it.
Kudos to Punit Malhotra, who makes a confident debut with a romantic-comedy that is funny from the start till the end. The first half features the antics of the irrevocably flamboyant Jay that just breezes by. The second half, on the other hand, is a drag and the story comes to a standstill when the setting shifts to New Zealand. Admittedly the climax is not impressive at all, but no complaints. Although the script doesn’t support the story-line, the movie rocks, overall.
Imran Khan shines like a star. It is as if the role was made only for him. He has done superbly as a carefree Jay whose life turns topsy-turvy after he meets Simran. The chocolate boy of industry has given full justice to his character of Jay. He has that aura of a college boy and man-in-making, the way the character demands Imran to play. Imran portrays that Casanova, lover boy to such an ease that one can’t say he has underplayed the role. Sonam Kapoor matches him to the ‘T’ with her simple, girl-next-door looks. As Simran, she is superb portraying the dreamy eyed girl who is vulnerable when in love and stoic when jilted. Imran’s and Sonam’s off-screen chemistry is portrayed on-screen too. Samir Soni is a delight to watch as a king-of-mushy director, who has a vision on love that needs to be expressed through movies. Sammir Dattani plays well as his part of unexciting, perfect boyfriend.
The music of the movie is amazingly composed by Vishal and Shekher. They have done superb transition to bring the emotions of the movie and characters in words. It is as if the songs were written and composed just to suit this story-line and characters only.
Even with the poorly written script and unmatched dialogues and story, the movie is superb. I have watched the movie three times already and yet I can’t get enough of it. Every time I watch, it is as if a new experience for me.
If you don’t like the mushy, romance then watch it for the actors. If that’s not appealing then watch it for the music. You will love it! It’s a tongue-in-the-cheek romantic comedy of the summer!