An Imtiaz Ali film is awaited with bated breath. When you have films like ROCKSTAR (2011), JAB WE MET (2007) and HIGHWAY (2014) to your credit, every step you take, every move you make comes under a microscopic view. Obviously, the expectations from Love Aaj Kal are colossal. Given a title like Love Aaj Kal, the film ought to evoke strong feelings, principally towards the second hour. But the emotional moments fail to evoke any emotion. In fact, your heart doesn't pine for the lovers and that is why Love Aaj Kal fails to create any effect.
Without an iota of doubt, you are hypnotized by the initial scenes in Love Aaj Kal, but unfortunately, it's not the screenplay that magnetizes you. The chemistry between Kartik Aaryan and Sara Ali Khan is piping hot and makes you speechless. Surely, Love Aaj Kal is not an easy film to write and execute. Like its predecessor, it has two stories set in different eras, run parallel, but have a similar end. Sadly, the script is riddled with cliches and flaws, which makes Love Aaj Kal a mundane love story that talks of love and heartache. Director Imtiaz Ali is known for his imaginative and inventive take on love stories, but the problem with Love Aaj Kal is that it starts off most impressively, has some terrific moments in between, but the writing gets so erratic and incoherent as it heads towards the conclusion that you wonder, am I really watching an Imtiaz Ali film?
With a capable raconteur like Imtiaz Ali at the helm, one expects Love Aaj Kal to be notches above the stuff we've been subjected to in the past. But the film falters after an impressive start, after you are introduced to the pivotal characters in the story. The writing (Imtiaz Ali) gets erratic as you delve deeper and deeper. The second half is stretched without valid reason and that makes Love Aaj Kal a tedious watch. Imtiaz Ali fails to outshine his previous works. Sure, he explores the emotional depths with immense compassion and also draws bravura performances from the central characters. But every film depends on a watertight screenplay and Love Aaj Kal stumbles and fumbles in this department.
In a nutshell, Love Aaj Kal suffers from a plot that appears confusing and is convoluted for an avid cinemagoer. Imtiaz Ali's direction fails to complement the screenplay and vice versa. The movie is not a regular run of the mill flick and the proceedings are clearly aimed at the classes rather than the masses. Also, music has always been a mainstay in all of Imtiaz Ali's films. But, sadly, in Love Aaj Kal, it is otherwise. Despite Pritam at the helm of things, the music, sadly, is plain ordinary and does not help in lifting the proceedings. Amit Roy's cinematography is top-notch. Every frame is picture-perfect, a painting on celluloid. Dialogue (Imtiaz Ali) deserve special mention. They are straight out of life. If any film stands on a weak foundation (writing), even 1.30 hours seem never-ending. The lethargic pacing and uneven editing (Aarti Bajaj) also mar the overall impact. The film could have been better had the editing been watertight.
Kartik Aaryan carries the most difficult parts with remarkable ease. Sure, we've seen him as the cool, urban guy in several films, but this one's the most demanding role and he glides into the character effortlessly. Sara Ali Khan looks ethereal. More importantly, she acts very, very well. This should be the turning point in her career. Randeep Hooda puts his heart and mind into every project he chooses to perform in. He is a stunner. Arushi Sharma does well in a small, but significant role.
To sum up, Love Aaj Kal is too confusing a film to be understood and enjoyed by the general public. It does not live up to the confidence and expectations from the otherwise very skilled and accomplished film-maker Imtiaz Ali. Once the initial euphoria settles down, it'll be difficult for the film to sustain. A KING-SIZED DISAPPOINTMENT! Imtiaz Ali's streak of flops continues!