Love Aaj Kal (लव आज कल)

Love Aaj Kal

Rating: 3/4 (Interesting premise, messily handled)

Love Aaj Kal (लव आज कल) is the newest effort by director Imtiaz Ali to give a fresh perspective to love. I had quite liked his Jab We Met (though the latter half was insane), so was brave enough to check this one out. The movie projects itself as a modern romantic comedy juxtaposed with an old romance. The modern couple is Jai (Saif Ali Khan) and Meera (Deepika Padukone) who have a breezy romance, which ends when Meera moves to India and they throw a breakup party to celebrate the separation. Jai runs into an aging Veer Singh (Rishi Kapoor) who berates him for letting go of his love so easily. He narrates his quest for love from his youth when the young bearded Veer Singh (Saif Ali Khan, again) is madly infatuated with Harleen Kaur (a very Indian-looking Giselle Monteiro). With distance separating them, Jai and Meera start dating others, but confusions start to creep into their relationships.

Love Aaj Kal seems to be quite confused about itself. There is nothing in comparison between the aaj (Jai-Meera) and the kal (Veer-Harleen). Veer Singh’s walk down his memory lane, set in 1940s Delhi is quite interesting to watch due to its sepia settings. Giselle Monteiro looks delicate and radiant in her debut, but her role requires her to not even utter a single word! Deepika Padukone looks good and is her usual icy self, her acting forced and artificial. Saif Ali Khan and Rishi Kapoor are good and they make the movie watchable. Much like Jab We Met, Imtiaz Ali makes the latter half a bit of a mess. Love Aaj Kal is a decent watch with an interesting premise, but messily handled.

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Twilight

Twilight

Rating: 3/4 (Both exciting and plodding in parts)

Twilight is probably the most popular book I have seen on SG buses/MRT this year, other than the Harry Potter series that is. The craze began here after the teen-vampire romance movie based on this book was released last year. My friends cringed through the movie, though I found it pretty well made. I must admit though that I could not see the fascination that Bella had for the pale Edward. Having gifted this book to my sister (a lame gift idea, I know!) I got a chance to read it back home while on vacation.

Twilight is the first in this vampire romance series written by Stephenie Meyer. The setting is Forks in Washington state, a town which is always pregnant with dark clouds and rain. Bella comes here to stay with her separated father Charlie Swan, who also happens to be the police chief of the town. New at her school, Bella is immediately drawn to the Adonis-like (sic) Edward, who initially thwarts her, but later accepts her love. The reason for his uncertainty? He is a vampire, albeit one who abstains from feasting on humans! The book deals with the problems this odd teen couple undergo on their journey of love. The climax is a faceoff with a killer vampire, when their love is tested.

Twilight

Meyer sets up a good premise and environment for Twilight. The book is written in first person, spoken by Bella. The Fork high school settings, crushes and friends are all too familiar. The lure of the book is of course delicate Bella going for the dangerous forbidden fruit, Edward. The romantic parts are especially drawn out, too verbose for my taste. Also, it is overwhelmingly written for a female audience. Most Martians will find it hard to sit through pages full of chatting between a girl and her lover about the tiniest aspects in their relationship! 🙂 Still, to give Meyer due credit the book drops an interesting anchor for a new teen romance series. Twilight is both exciting and plodding in parts. Open with caution, you have been warned!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Rating: 3/4 (A feel-good warm-fuzzy watch on any rainy day)

The first movie in a series is always a great experience! I love them because of the fresh new characters and the new world that is unveiled to the viewer. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone does not in any way belie this assumption. I watched the movie immediately after reading the book recently. I have both read and watched it many times before, but watching it after reading the book makes it a lot special.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Directed by Chris Columbus, the movie introduces a puny little Daniel Radcliffe as the eponymous Harry Potter. The movie remains very faithful to the book, which must have been easy since the book is quite a short read. This is not the case in the later movies in the series, which have to derive from much thicker tomes. The transition from book to movie is near perfect and I doubt any reader will have a bone to chew about it. The acting crowd is almost completely British, but thankfully they speak good internationally-grokkable English! There has been a lot of commendation about the quality acting in Harry Potter, which I agree with. My favorite here is unquestionably Alan Rickman, who plays Snape with such derisive aplomb! The CGI effects though old, look charming even today. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has all the feel-good warm-fuzziness of a boarding school novel and is hence a good (re)watch on any rainy day.