Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Karan Johar's Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Farhan Akhtar's Dil Chahta Hai continue to inspire and motivate film-makers to this date. Danish Aslam's debut film Break Ke Baad borrows from the above-mentioned films, besides Imtiaz Ali's Love Aaj Kal and several other films churned out by Yash Raj and Dharma.
I don't think it's sacrilege to seek inspiration from a great film, a taut script or soulful music, but the storyteller ought to take that extra effort to present something more than what we've watched before, in his/her film. That's where Break Ke Baad fails to connect.
Break Ke Baad deals with space issues in a relationship, a much exploited and abused word used a lot in the present-day scenario. Space is almost like a break-up mantra and Break Ke Baad explores this concept rather than being a conventional love story. It has that typical Hollywood inspired urban drollness, approach and responsiveness, but what comes across on screen is a poor replication of romance-laden movies that we have enjoyed over the years.
Break Ke Baad goes wrong, sorry horribly wrong in its writing. The screenplay is full of glitches, the writing is juvenile, the situations are amateurish and I actually wondered how a shoddy screenplay like the one in Break Ke Baad was green-lit and approved in the first place. The intention was to make a cool film for the urban youth, but the writers [screenplay: Renuka Kunzru and Danish Aslam] have messed up and how!
Final word? A boring fare that gets unbearable after a point!
Abhay [Imran Khan] and Aaliya [Deepika Padukone] have known each other since they were kids. Their friendship turned into love at the tender age of 15, when Abhay realized that Aaliya is the girl for him.
Aaliya's life is defined by her burning desire to become an actress and she is unmindful of what or who comes in her way. Abhay, who is still unsure about what he wants to do, finds himself competing with Aaliya's incessant plans and projects to fulfill her dreams. Things come to a head when Aaliya decides to go to Australia to study and Abhay has to deal with the prospect of a long-term relationship, secretly fearing that he will lose Aaliya forever.
They decide to give their relationship a break, so that Aaliya can pursue her dreams. As time passes by, Abhay realises his skills, while Aaliya realises that there is no joy in achieving one's dreams if one has no one to share it with.
The basic idea of Break Ke Baad may compel you to think that it's going to charter a new path completely, but what comes across is a sham. I mean, the lovers break up for a flimsy reason [there's no persuasive rationale actually], then become friends, then go separate ways, then become friends again, then argue animatedly and then get married. Besides, the film is talk-heavy, extremely verbose and the chatter is pointless, senseless and ludicrous.
One fails to understand why the girl drops the guy like a hot brick. Actually, there's no valid reason for her to do so. He is so committed, so devoted, so trustworthy that any girl would give her left arm to be with him. But the girl comes across as a no-brainer and expectedly, realizes her folly only towards the finale [as expected in a screenplay of convenience]. Besides a faulty screenplay, even the supporting characters [Sharmila Tagore, Shahana Goswami] are wasted.
Director Danish Aslam has handled a few moments well, that's it. A love story ought to be embellished with a lilting musical score, but Vishal-Shekhar disappoint this time. The songs are strictly okay and one misses that winning track that makes a love story memorable. Cinematography [Andre Menezes] is alright.
Both Imran and Deepika take a step forward as actors. Having watched Imran closely from Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Na days, I feel that he has come a long way in his fifth outing and you can see a marked difference in his performance. As far as Deepika is concerned, I like the spontaneity that she brings to the character. After Love Aaj Kal, this is another film that will make people sit up and notice her talent. Sharmila Tagore is wasted. Ditto for Shahana Goswami. Yudhishtir Urs irritates. Lillete Dubey gets to deliver some spicy lines. Navin Nischol gets minimal scope.
On the whole, Break Ke Baad has a vibrant Imran and Deepika as its USP, but a faulty and an unpersuasive screenplay as is its major stumbling block. Fails to impress!