Ajab prem ki ghazab kahani - Movie Review
Romantic comedy starring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif
Ajab prem ki ghazab kahani
Dir: Raj Kumar Santoshi
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Upen Patel
What Its About: You can't keep a good director down for long. He'll bounce back sooner or later. It won't be fair to compare Rajkumar Santoshi's new film Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani to his cult classic Andaz Apna Apna only because they're both comedies. This one has its own share of hiccups and it's not exactly Santoshi's winning stroke. But his inimitable touch, his flair for humour and the spectacular Ranbir Kapoor make Ajab... rise above the ordinary. It's all about a small-town boy Prem Chopra (Ranbir Kapoor) who runs a Happy Club and helps sort out people's everyday problems. Enter Jenny (Katrina Kaif) who has moved into town. For Prem, it is love at first sight but the shy boy can't tell her about how he feels till it's too late. He decides to keep his love for her aside and help her find a mate. He keeps his promise but when she has a change of heart, it calls for a twist in the tale.
What's Hot: Ranbir, Ranbir and Ranbir all the way. It's amazing how with just three films to his credit, the young Kapoor has emerged as the finest talents of this generation. His ability to turn even a mundane scene into an extraordinary one - is stuff superstars are made of. With Ajab... he establishes his stature as one of the most prolific performers. Santoshi sets the film in a small hill station, and gives us the quaint charm of the town square, the little restaurants, the Happy Club and the simple folks like Prem's parents - well defined characters and well played by Darshan Jariwala and Smita Jaykar. The film has some hilarious moments - the whole 'dance' sequence, the one when Ranbir dons a dress and the sequence in the church are highlights. The Kaise Bataayein song has been shot beautifully and the choreography of Ram Ke Bharose is superb. Santoshi's screenplay is unpredictable but he keeps a firm grip on the most crucial parts. It's not the madness but the endearing old-world charm and humour that elevates the film above the mundane.
What's Not: The clichés in the film are a major dampener - the Hindu-Catholic love angle, the vote-hungry politician and the evil stepmom are very typical. Also the poor Rahul's (Patel) character is suddenly turned evil, so that the hero can get his love. In a breezy entertainer, you need a lot more innovativeness in the screenplay and the lack of it makes the film look like a Julie-meets-Cinderella kind of tale. The director, at one point, sadly falls into the trap of getting inspired by his own Andaz Apna Apna with too many similarities in the climax - the way the goon's sidekicks dress and "the mark" on the face are stark reminders. Katrina Kaif looks pretty but offers nothing more - this is a film that didn't offer all much scope and the magic remains limited to face value only.
What's That: The excessive stammering by both actors is headache-inducing. Was it really necessary? Also what is with Rahul laughing at Prem for getting moong dal ka pakoras?
What to do: It's raining Ranbir Kapoor this season. Watch it for the magic he creates on screen — time and again.
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