Imtiaz Ali’s Love Aaj Kal
Love Aaj Kal is a very well crafted tale of modern love. Yes people know when the soul mates meet light goes off but ladies and gentlemen people aren’t stupid enough to live life by some light, now are they? Jai and Meera meet in London and start living out a relationship.
Two years later when Meera has the opportunity to come back to India to work, Jai refuses to let go of his ambition of moving to San Francisco. So they both break-up as it seems to be the only practical possibility. Jai meets a friendly restaurateur, Veer Singh, who takes it upon himself to make Jai realize that love can’t be practical.
Through parallel stories of Veer Singh in the 1960’s and Jai in the 2000’s we see the things people do for love. Jai and Meera continue to keep in touch and even end up coaxing each other to move on. Jai meets a foreigner and Meera falls for her boss.
Jai surprises Meera by landing in Delhi and in the time they spend together they both realizes that some where they need to end the bond if life has to go on. A year later Meera is all set to marry and Jai becomes a part of the festivity. Just before the marriage Jai realizes that he can’t go on without Meera but perhaps it’s a little too late. Meera doesn’t think so for she too realizes that Jai means more than the past to her. She calls him to from her honeymoon to confess but Jai breaks the news of finally moving to San Francisco. Meera gives up and returns to her marriage. Things take a few more turns for Jai to metamorphose into a believer.
Imtiaz Ali’s take on love in this day age juxtaposed with love of yesteryears is same but different and yet different but same. While Saif Ali Khan’s rendition of Jai and the younger Veer Singh is distinctive enough the stories of two generations isn’t.
Although the parallel stories add little value to the screenplay, they nevertheless make the narrative innovative for Hindi cinema. Rishi Kapoor as Veer Singh is fun in the first scene and from then on is a let down with the passage of time.
Deepika Padukone gets her best role till date thanks to the sheer span of the character. The music is okay save Twist and Chor Bazaari songs, the camerawork is seamless, the production design top notch and the dialogues are not filmy.
The strangest thing about the screenplay is that even though it is spread over some five years none of the characters grow beyond a point. That is a disappointment as the entire exercise is about turning over and realizing the worth of what one has and appreciating before it dissipates.
Nevertheless the film Love Aaj Kal is a very pleasing watch.