Movie - I Hate Luv Storys (Hindi)
Director - Punit Malhotra
Producer - Karan Johar, Ronnie Screwvala
Cast - Imran Khan, Sonam A Kapoor, Samir Dattani, Samir Soni, Kavin Dave, Bruna Abdullah
Music - Vishal/Shekhar
Cinematography - Ayananka Bose
Background Score - Salim-Sulaiman
Editor - Akiv Ali
Costumes - Manish Malhotra
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues - Punit Malhotra
Release Date - 2nd July 2010
IHLS starts off by showing us clips of some of the best love stories we've seen on the Indian screen - DDLJ, DCH and Hum Tum (though it wasnt anywhere near the first two films, and why didnt they show any Salman Khan movie clip?? :P ) with a narration by the film's 'hero' Jay (Imran Khan) on why he hates those love stories, which is immediately followed by a narration by the 'heroine' Simran (Sonam Kapoor) on why she loves them. With that kind of a beginning, we are almost sure of what will be happening throughout the film, and we get exactly that. Fights, Friendship, Love, Duet in foreign country, Break-Up, Airport, Reunion, everything is there in this movie as well in more or less the same order, and the best part is that the movie acknowledges and makes fun of these formulas while making use of them. Lets get to the review now.
Jay Dhingra (Imran Khan) is the usual romantic film hero, who doesnt believe in love, until it happens to him one fine morning (or night, like in this one). Simran (Sonam Kapoor) is the hopelessly romantic filmy ladki who already has her Raj (Sameer Dattani), as her fiancee. Jay is an Assistant Director and Simran is an art director and they both get to work on the same film, directed by celebrated romantic movie director Vir (Samir Soni). A great relationship forms between Jay and Simran even before they could know it. And after some 'idhar udhar ki baatein, wagera wagera', the same old things happen here as well, only that it is presented in an entertaining way.
I dunno whats with filmmakers these days making love stories of Assistant Directors!! There was Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya earlier this year, then came a lil known movie Jaane Kahaan Se Aayi Hai with Riteish Deshmukh and almost the same storyline (with an alien thrown in). As I've worked as one myself, I know that assistant directors have hardly any time to romance around on the sets. (:P) Leaving that logic apart, a romantic film's set certainly was a great place to set this story and it works very well to carry the movie forward. The director Punit has gone the Farah Khan way by making fun of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his own producer Karan Johar, not one, but several times, throughout the length of the movie. And when a situation pops up just like an earlier movie, the director's not ashamed to acknowledge the original one with the right amount of cheekyness. But he loses grip in the second half, when the screenplay stretches much beyond how it shud be, and becomes as cliched as any other love story. But even in between those cliched scenes, he throws in some nice funny moments, which prevents the viewer from dozing off. Punit certainly shows some promise and hopefully will turn out to be a good director if he gets tighter scripts.
Coming to the performances, the lead pair has some crackling chemistry and that has helped the film majorly, making us forget about the plot-holes at least to a certain extent. Imran gives a new definition to cool, but the way he plays it reminds you of Saif Ali Khan and Aamir Khan many a times. After disappointing us in Kidnap and Luck, Imran is back to his comfort zone and charms the audience with his casual and natural performance. It is hard not to like Imran Khan in this film. But when it comes to emotional scenes, he is a huge let down. Jay's character is liberally borrowed from Akash of Dil Chahta Hai played by Imran's mamujaan. And they have even ripped off that famous scene where Akash breaks down over the phone to his parents, which has been done very badly in IHLS. Imran needs to go a long way before he can even be compared to his maamu. But those scenes are few and far in between, and Imran manages to excel in almost all the other scenes.
Sonam Kapoor is being touted as the new diva and she makes perfect use of that status. A combination of being cute and sexy at the same time, Sonam shines in a tailor-made role through which she showcases her acting skills, something which she couldnt do in her earlier films Delhi-6 and Saawariya. She looks like a dream in Manish Malhotra's costumes during the duet song in New Zealand. I didnt mind the movie getting dragged in the second half coz I didnt have any complaints watching Sonam even longer than I would otherwise. The two of them are an amazing on-screen couple who share an excellent chemistry (maybe after Ranbir and Katrina in Ajab Prem Ki...) and the movie works only because of these two people.
The supporting cast doesnt really have much to do. Samir Dattani and Bruna Abdullah appear in stereotypical roles, and evoke some laughs here and there. But yea, Bruna Abdullah is super-hot!! The Sprite guy Kavin Dave is excellent, especially in the second half, and lifts the film whenever he appears. That guy sure is promising. The fat young girl from Wake Up Sid (dont remember her name) is there as well. She was fabulous in that movie, but does not get much scope in this one. Samir Soni as a combination of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Karan Johar is excellent. The Gabbar Singh security guard was good as well.
The film has a chartbuster soundtrack by Vishal and Shekhar who are back in form after a long time. Each song is great in its own way, my favourite being the unplugged version of the sad song 'Bin Tere'. 'Bahara', a wonderful track by Shreya Ghoshal spoofs Karan's and Bhansali's films complete with sets and costumes. 'Sadka Kiya' is more like a tribute to Yash Raj's love stories and their songs shot abroad. 'Jab Mila Tu' is very cute and establishes the lead pair's relationship very well. Background Score by Salim-Sulaiman picking up apt Bollywood tunes for each situation is smart, to say the least. Loved the use of the tune from 'Bade Miyan Chote Miyan' during a funny sequence in the movie.
Ayananka Bose excels yet again with his slick and stylish frames and lighting, even though all the jazz and eye candy that you usually see in all Dharma and Yash Raj films are still there. The art direction team has also done a great job, especially with the sets for the movie that Vir is directing (in this movie). Manish Malhotra's costumes are like another star in the movie. He makes the actors look their best through some fab costumes. Imran's tees are damn cool. (where do i get stuff like that) and Sonam looks hot and beautiful according to the situations. Editor Akiv Ali has done a good job and there were some really cool cuts in the film, but he could have done a better job with the second half.
On the whole, I Hate Luv Storys begins by making fun of all the cliches and formulas in our love stories and ends up falling prey for the same cliches and formulas. But I think, that was the whole point of the movie, where a cool guy who doesnt believe in Bollywood love stories goes through the same stuff that happens in any such film to get his true love. (I'm sounding like the dialogue writer of this movie here :P). The movie's time-pass, at least for the fantastic chemistry and acting of Imran and Sonam, some genuinely funny moments and some great visuals. On the whole, it is just like any other love story, but the only difference is that Raj doesnt get Simran here, Jay does. Wonder what Veeru Paaji must be up to?
Rating - 3/5