Star cast: Imran Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Samir Dattani, Samir Soni, Kavin Dave.
Plot: Sonam, an art director with a Bollywood director, falls in love with Imran who works as an assistant director in the same unit. But Imran doesn’t believe in love. Spurned, Sonam returns to her childhood friend, Samir Dattani. It is now Imran’s turn to fall in love with Sonam. But is she ready to accept him?
What’s Good: The freshness in the script, the chemistry between Imran and Sonam, the humour, the performances, and, of course, the music.
What’s Bad: Nothing really except, perhaps, the slow pace at times and the film industry-centric jokes.
Verdict: I Hate Luv Storys is a definite winner. City & multiplex audience and the youngsters will especially luv this luv story.
Loo break: Not really!
UTV Motion Pictures and Dharma Productions Pvt. Ltd.’s I Hate Luv Storys (UA) is the love story of Jay Dhingra (Imran Khan) and Simran (Sonam Kapoor). Jay works as an assistant to director Veer (Samir Soni) who makes mushy love stories which prove to be box-office hits. But Jay hates love stories and doesn’t fancy the idea of marriage, preferring instead to have affairs. Simran joins as the art director of Veer’s new film, Pyar Pyar Pyar. She identifies with the typical Bollywood heroine and she thinks life is a romantic film. As luck would have it, Jay is asked to assist Simran in the art department.
Jay and Simran, poles apart, begin by hating each other but soon, Simran begins to love Jay even though she is to be married to her childhood friend, Raj Dholakia (Samir Dattani). Jay’s imperfections make him extremely endearing to Simran who realises that the magic in her relationship with Raj is fast disappearing in spite of Raj loving her a lot. Mistaking Jay’s friendship (with her) for love, Simran confesses her love (for him) to Jay. Surprised, Jay tells her, he doesn’t love her.
Simran returns to the ever-forgiving Raj and tries to re-build that relationship but now, Jay realises that he is actually in love with Simran. Does Jay profess his love to Simran? Does Simran accept Jay or does she also spurn him the way he had spurned her?
Debut-making writer-director Punit Malhotra has penned a script which makes good-humoured digs at Bollywood romantic films, especially the mushy ones. For this, he falls back on landmark love stories like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Dil To Pagal Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Dil Chahta Hai, Devdas etc. Since the very scenes from these films, which have become memorable, are shown in a new and satirical light, the audience enjoys the humour that is created. But there’s a flip side too. While the comical look at landmark scenes is entertaining, the use of such memorable scenes to find a solution to Jay’s problem in the climax does not appeal as much. For, the audience expects that the resolution of the drama would offer complete novelty because the concept of the film is slightly new. Nevertheless, the humour towers above all else, even if the comedy is more class-appealing than for the masses. The youth, especially, would identify with the humour and the actions and reactions of Jay and Simran.
The first half starts off well but gets repetitive along the way. It, therefore, tends to get boring, also because the pace is a bit slow. Besides, director Veer giving so much importance to his assistant, Jay, doesn’t make too much sense. The other weak spot is that there is an overdose of film industry jokes, especially in the first half, which may not get the desired reaction from the public.
Not only does the pace pick up after interval but there is also more drama in the second half. Even the lighter moments of the post-interval portion are more entertaining and enjoyable. On the minus side is the emotional appeal which is quite low. As already mentioned, remodelling the climax on earlier films is also a weak point.
However, considering all the pros and cons, the film does come across as a whiff of fresh air even though it may not be consistently enjoyable. Secondly, the chemistry between the two lead actors is very palpable and, therefore, a major plus point. Dialogues are extremely witty and youth-centric but also more for the city crowds.
Imran Khan is endearing and does well for a good part of the film. But he does need to improve in emotional scenes. His acting seems slightly below the mark in the scenes in which he becomes emotional while talking to his mother as well as in the scene in which he professes his love for the first time to Sonam Kapoor. Imran is free and lovable in the light scenes. Sonam Kapoor does an excellent job. She gets into the skin of the character and shines in both, light as well as dramatic, scenes. She also looks very desirable. Samir Dattani is sincere. Samir Soni fails to evoke much laughter although his scenes are meant to be funny but that is not entirely his fault. His scenes are not comical enough and also, part of the humour lies in the fact that his character is inspired by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, which many among the audience may not understand. Kavin Dave, as Imran’s friend, Kunal, is rather cute. He has wonderful lines to mouth and his acting is very natural. Bruna Abdullah is extremely likeable as Giselle. Khushboo Shroff (as Nidhi) and Aseem Tiwari (as Nikhil) lend fair support. Ketaki Dave and Shirish Sharma are alright. Anju Mahendru provides able support. Aamir Ali has his moments. Pooja Ghai gets limited scope and is okay.
Punit Malhotra has penned a script that isn’t easy for a first-time director like himself but his narration is quite smooth. His efficiency, as director, is evident in several scenes, prominent among them being the one in which the tough security guard softens and smiles lovingly at a depressed Jay, and when Jay looks dejectedly at the little boy selling red flowers. Punit definitely has a bright future ahead of him. Vishal-Shekhar’s music is a major asset of the film. The title song and ‘Jab mila tu’ are already hit numbers. ‘Bin tere’, repeated thrice in the film, grows on the audience beautifully. ‘Sadka’ and ‘Bahaara’ songs are also quite nice. Song picturisations (Bosco-Caesar) are good. Ayananka Bose’s camerawork is splendid. Sets (Amrita MahalNakai) are very good. Costumes (by ManishMalhotra) deserve mention.
On the whole, I Hate Luv Storys is a good, entertaining fare for the city youth and the multiplex audience. Although it doesn’t have much for the smaller centres (where even the English title may prove to be a setback), it will emerge to be a plus fare on the strength of its business in the cities and its revenues from sources other than theatrical.
By Komal Nahta