Four school-friends, Ali, Giselli, Satyajeet and Zoa, have some or the other problem with their parents. Ali and Giselli love one another but cracks develop in their relationship. Zoa hates Satyajeet at first but then desperately tries to make amends for her rude behaviour towards him. All the four finally join forces to educate their parents about giving children a free hand in matters of career choices. Read the review of Always Kabhi Kabhi to find out more.

Always Kabhi Kabhi Review (Always Kabhi Kabhi Movie Poster)Business Rating: 1/5 star

Star cast: Ali Fazal, Giselli Monteiro, Satyajeet Dubey, Zoa Morani, Satish Shah, Lilette Dubey, Vijay Raaz, Akash Khurana, Navneet Nishan, Mukesh Tiwari, Manoj Joshi, Shah Rukh Khan (special appearance).

What’s Good: Two songs; some light moments; some performances.

What’s Bad: The routine subject; lack of heartwarming moments; lack of comedy; disjointed screenplay.

Verdict: Always Kabhi Kabhi will not get the audience’s love.

Loo break: Not really.

Watch or Not?: Watch it if you like to see newcomers and new talent.

Eros International and Red Chillies Entertainment’s Always Kabhi Kabhi (UA) is about a group of four friends who are studying in the same school, St. Mark’s. Sameer alias Sam (Ali Fazal), Aishwarya (Giselli Monteiro), Tariq Naqvi (Satyajeet Dubey) and Nandini alias Nandy (Zoa Morani) are buddies studying in the same school. Each of them has one or the other problem with one or both of his/her parents. Sam does not get along with his father. Tariq’s father is obsessed with having his son study MIT at any cost even if Tariq himself is not so keen. Aishwarya’s mother wants her to become a model and ultimately an actress but the daughter has her own aspirations. Nandini’s parents have no time for her. In other words, all the four friends come from dysfunctional families.

Sam and Aishwarya are fond of each other but a crack develops in their relationship. Tariq is fond of Nandini but she doesn’t really care and, in fact, quite hates him. However, one incident changes her opinion about Tariq and she actually asks an agitated Tariq to forgive her and become friends with her.

The school in which the four are studying is participating in an inter-school competition of Shakespeare’s plays. Aishwarya and Sam are cast in Romeo & Juliet and, much to everyone’s joy, St. Mark’s is selected in the semi-final round. Before the final round, Aishwarya meets with an accident and has to be hospitalised. Nandini is now selected for the play.

But even before the semi-final round, Sam and Aishwarya have a fight as the latter thinks that Sam is selfish. The truth, however, is that Sam had gotten himself arrested in a police raid on a pub just so that his other friends could escape arrest. The misunderstanding is cleared during their performance in the semi-final round and Aishwarya apologises to Sam for her behaviour. Still, she is not aware that the two investigating police officers (Mukesh Tiwari and Manoj Joshi) had demanded a bribe of Rs. 50,000 from Sam to hush up the case.Sam wants to win the drama competition so that he can pay the bribe from the prize money but since Aishwarya is unaware of the bribe angle, she again thinks that Sam is selfish and has a commercial motive to participate in the drama.

Even as relationships are strained and efforts are being made to cement relationships at different levels, Nandini chances upon Aishwarya’s thoughts about life, which she (Aishwarya) has documented. Instead of a play of Shakespeare, Sam, Tariq and Nandini now decide to perform on those thoughts – and they do so. They are also joined by Aishwarya. Through the drama and dance, the four convince their parents that children should not be pressurised and should be allowed to pursue their dreams.

Always Kabhi Kabhi Review (Always Kabhi Kabhi Movie Stills)

Always Kabhi Kabhi Review – Script Analysis

Roshan Abbas and Ranjit Raina’s story is hardly inspiring or exciting and not just because 3 Idiots and F.A.L.T.U. had similar story-lines. Although the film is a love story, the romantic tracks are not heart-warming. Because of this, the audience does not root for the lovers to unite; and they also don’t feel sorry when the lovers separate.

The screenplay, penned by Roshan Abbas, Ranjit Raina and Ishita Moitra, is far from convincing. The very prospect of watching four young and promising people from dysfunctional families is depressing, more so because the other entertaining portions in the drama aren’t as entertaining or enjoyable as they ought to have been. Also, a lot of what the writers probably wanted to convey has not come on the screen, perhaps, because it has remained in their minds. Because of this, the screenplay looks far less cohesive than what it should’ve been. Too much importance is given to the inter-school drama competition in the final round of which, in any case, the main protagonists go ahead and do something they were never meant to do!

If the romance fails to touch the heart, it is the scattered screenplay which is to blame. Likewise, the parents shedding tears in the climax looks rather unbelievable because the audience does not experience the same emotions. The misunderstanding between Sam andAishwarya looks too contrived, thereby diluting the impact. Had Sam taken his friends into confidence, there would’ve been no misunderstandings in the first place. Since the friends were partying together in the pub at the time of the police raid, it would’ve been completely in order for Sam to reveal what had happened to him. In fact, it seems rather strange that his friends, who fled the scene, didn’t even bother to find out about how Sam had escaped.

All in all, the screenplay leaves a lot to be desired. The point it makes about the need to give children a free hand is good but the way in which it arrives at the point is not interesting. Dialogues (Roshan Abbas and Ishita Moitra) are nice at places.

Always Kabhi Kabhi Trailer

Always Kabhi Kabhi Review – Star Performances & Direction

Ali Fazal acts reasonably well but he is not hero material. Giselli Monteiro is wooden and hardly impressive. Debutante Zoa Morani is the best among the four romantic lead actors. She performs naturally and makes up for her lack of heroine looks. Satyajeet Dubey makes a fair debut; he acts quite well but needs to work harder on his voice modulation and dialogue delivery. Lilette Dubey is splendidly natural. Vijay Raaz acts very ably. Akash Khurana performs well. Navneet Nishan makes a mark. Satish Shah stands his own in the few scenes he has. Mukesh Tiwari and Manoj Joshi are effective. Ashwin Mushran does a fine job. Shah Rukh Khan adds star and glamour value in a special appearance in the Antenna song.

Roshan Abbas’ debut attempt at direction is okay. Given the weak script, there wasn’t much he could do but having said that, it must be added that his narrative style is more class-appealing than mass-appealing. Music is good but a hit musical score was the requirement for this teenage love story. The Antenna (music Pritam Chakraborty) and title song (music Aashish Rego) have pace and appeal and their picturisations (Bosco-Caesar and Feroze Khan) are also youthful. The Antenna song has been picturised in two versions, which is good, but both the versions are shown back-to-back, which is definitely not a good option. Action scenes (Parvez Khan andFiroz Boss) are okay. Camerawork (Anshuman Mahaley and Fuwad Khan) is very nice.Editing (Sanjay Sharma) could’ve been better. Production values are of a good standard.

Always Kabhi Kabhi Review – Komal Nahta’s Verdict

On the whole, Always Kabhi Kabhi neither has the warmth and emotions of a teenage love story nor the entertainment value and music of a romantic drama. It will not be able to make much of a mark at the box-office.

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