The good thing about remaking a South Indian hit is that you get everything ready on a platter. Including an inkling of how the remake version might fare. AJAB GAZABB LOVE, directed by Sanjay Gadhvi, is no relative of AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI [never mind a similar sounding title]. Instead, it's a remake of the Telugu film SEEMA TAPAKAI , starring Allari Naresh. The Telugu version was a joyride, a thorough entertainer, with Allari Naresh's act catching your eye. In more ways than one, AJAB GAZABB LOVE resembles Vashu and Jackky Bhagnani's sleeper hit F.A.L.T.U. The emphasis, like that film, is on providing entertainment.
AJAB GAZABB LOVE is a love story at heart with a dash of glamour, a bunch of striking songs filmed at scenic spots and a dose of comedy to woo its target audience: mango man. As a matter of fact, it's evident at the very onset that you need to throw your thinking caps out of the window and enjoy the roller coaster ride that's brimming with crazy situations and madcap humor. If that's okay with you, the journey won't be cumbersome.
Heir to a billion-dollar automobile empire, Rajveer [Jackky Bhagnani] has it all, a loving family, riches of the world, and a dream job designing cars. He falls head-over-heels in love with Madhuri [Nidhi Subbaiah], who is a strong advocate of social justice and equality. To his dismay, Rajveer learns that she 'hates' all rich people and will have nothing to do with a rich boy like him. In a sweeping stance of romance, Rajveer decides to give it all up and pretend to be the 'poorest of the poor' in order to win her affection and love.
A comedy of errors ensues as Rajveer and his ultra-rich lavish family attempt to play the parts of poor slum-dwellers and in doing so turn into a dysfunctional bunch of over-the-top actors. How long will they succeed in keeping up this charade? And is there something that Madhuri is hiding herself?
AJAB GAZABB LOVE abounds in cinematic liberties, but one isn't complaining because, let's face it, you are not looking at path breaking cinema here. Imagine the millionaire-father selling bananas. Imagine the hoity-toity millionaire-mother stitching clothes to make ends meet. You may scream, it's farcical, but all these implausible goings-on keep you hooked nonetheless. Especially the comedy scenes involving Kirron Kher, which are a riot.
While much of the first half is devoted to Jackky wooing Nidhi, the wheels gather momentum towards the second half as the drama sets in [with Arjun Rampal making a dramatic entry at the interval point]. The flipside is that the dramatic moments in the second half aren't convincing in entirety. Besides, the narrative doesn't reach the crescendo like it does in the first hour, primarily because the episodes are far from persuasive. The clash between the two warring factions [Arjun Rampal, Darshan Jariwala] could've been more dramatic. The climax, although hurried, brings the film back on track.
AJAB GAZABB LOVE is a complete departure from what Sanjay Gadhvi has attempted in the past. To give the credit where it's due, Gadhvi gets the grammar of an entertainer right. The test lies in making the spectator chuckle/giggle/break into a guffaw, as the situation may be, since the film abounds in illogicalities and absurdities, and Gadhvi goes all out in doling out the most outlandish and hilarious situations. In fact, Gadhvi takes the Rohit Shetty route of entertaining here and adapts to the new environ pretty well. Sajid-Wajid's music is an ace. 'Boom Boom' is a winner and has been filmed most stylishly. Ditto for 'Tu', which stands out for its chartbusting tune and groovy choreography. 'Nachde Punjabi' is another track that demands a second look.
Jackky's character is modeled on the lines of Salman Khan's roles in Rajshri movies. Jackyy, I admit, seems to be getting better with every film. He is effortlessly charming and carries the comic scenes well. The youngster has worked really hard on attaining a chiseled physique and flaunts it at regular intervals. Nidhi enacts her part efficiently. Pretty looking and photogenic, she manages to make her presence felt despite the presence of experienced actors.
Arjun Rampal, in a dual role, is competent. Arshad Warsi brings the house down in a cameo. Darshan Jariwala and Kiron Kher, as Jackky's parents, are terrific. In fact, the two actors add tremendous weight to the film. The actors enacting the role of Jackky's relatives [cousin, brother, bhabhi, niece et al] are functional.
On the whole, AJAB GAZABB LOVE is a decent entertainer with a lilting musical score. This one's for the youth primarily and also for those who get amused by zany entertainers.