Love Aaj Kal (2020)

Kartik Aaryan, Sara Ali Khan, Randeep Hooda, Aarushi Sharma.
Imtiaz Ali

Love Aaj Kal 2020, starts with a backstory of a young boy Raghu following Leena (Aarushi Sharma) around post school. Not someone to be intimidated, Leena confronts Raghu. ‘Why are you following me’ she asks, clobbered albeit verbally, Raghu promises to not stalk her again. ‘I didn’t ask you to stop!’ she counters. That’s Imitiaz Ali’s take on love in the year 2020. We demand all of it, and are refusing to work around ourselves to adjust. We want all or nothing. What happened with Raghu and Leena, is happening again with Veer (Kartik Aaryan) and Zoey (Sara Ali Khan).

Veer and Zoey get together once, but Veer refuses to take Zoey to bed. After that, Veer has been following Zoey around, like a love-sick fool. He wants more with Zoey not a one-night-stand. After all Zoey is special. Theirs is a love-hate relationship, they squabble and make-up, also make-out as is evident in the trailers. And yet, when you think everything is going just well, Zoey decides she cannot concentrate on her career and at the same time give Veer the love that he needs *barf*. ‘Tum mujhe tanng karne lage ho’ – she breaks it off with the one person who loves her the most. At this interval point, you think you understand what Imitiaz Ali is trying to say – Love in today’s day and age is put in on the backburner a little too conveniently. And if anything can be put on the backburner, it is definitely not significant anymore. So is Love not significant anymore?

Through the turmoil, Zoey’s good friend Raghu (Randeep Hooda) is her confidante and even Veer’s well-wisher, how he guides the two of them, how he tells them his own story and that of Leena. His regrets, his passion and his commitment to love, is what makes Love Aaj Kal 2020.

The film is peppered with music by Pritam, songs like ‘Shayad…’ and ‘Haan Main Galat…’ are nice, but the whole soundtrack is not at par with the first film in terms of posterity. To make everyone happy though, the film ends with a remix of ‘Aahun aahun aahun…’ Though you might be a little confused by your elation at that song, wondering if Aarti Bajaj’s lack of editing the script into half has made you ecstatic. 

When I first saw Imitiaz Ali, I couldn’t imagine that the lanky man, with a curly mop of hair is directing a film. He looked young but capable of selling earphones of the deaf. With films like Socha Na Tha, Jab We MetRockstar I believed in his shrewdness more. Though, somewhere a niggling thought kept bothering me. Am I the one he is fooling? As his audience I have seen him make the same film over and over again, it is only with Love Aaj Kal, that he has become more blatant and making the exact same story, with the same title and so on…

Why does he still get producers to invest in his stories, why is he keeping from writing something different? Why do people still have faith in him? Because quite frankly, Imtiaz Ali is losing face when it comes to me. An ardent fan like yours truly, cannot keep making excuses for him and his obsession with his own work. What’s worse is seeing actors like Kartik Aaryan, Sara Ali Khan come to him in good faith. 

You can see that the two protagonists have tried to give their best to the film, but the script is so convoluted, and worse doesn’t end up saying anything new, which is hurtful for those of us who were concentrating on the film. At 141 minutes of run time, the film seems so long and stressful, you feel the need to start apologizing to your neighbor just because an apology is needed for a film like this. 

Actors like Randeep Hooda too seem awkward in this film, leave alone debutant Aarushi. With actors hamming, the film looks hammered beyond redemption. What a pity for those of us who have loved Imitiaz Ali and believed in him. 

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