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A youthful movie in looks but too old & dull in content.
To begin with I would like to mention all the young and energetic names associated with this movie. First of its reputed banner of Karan Johar, who himself is known as a Master of Love Stories. Secondly, it is directed by a debutant young director, Punit Malhotra, who is the nephew of famous fashion designer Manish Malhotra. And then it has the two most energetic & talented names, Imran Khan & Sonam Kapoor who look adorable as a couple on the screen. So obviously, one is forced to expect something new, fresh and novel in terms of content from a talented ensemble like this.
But shockingly, what is served is neither something new nor it has any kind of fresh or innovative treatment given by the director to captivate his audience. Very unexpectedly the film is as predictable as the night coming after the day. In straight words, the only USP of the movie is its fresh paring of the lead actors and thats it.
Before the intermission, the proceedings are cute and the sequences are fine but you simply keep watching them only because you are expecting something new to unfold on the screen any moment. But nothing happens of that sort and post interval the film moves on to the same ages old path of realizing the mistakes and returning to the lady love as usual. However the director does throw few funny one liner dialogues and some comic sequences to give you the much required relief at regular intervals. But that's really not enough for the hungry viewers who were expecting a lot from this big movie.
Talking about the storyline, you can easily guess it by only looking at its various posters for a while. The plot of hatred (within a young couple working together) getting converted into love is known to the Indian Viewers as Rice in their daily meals.
Interestingly, both Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor have only few releases to their credits till now and they are also known for their extremely choosy nature and rejection of scripts after their recent flops. But I simply couldn't understand that out of all the scripts being offered to them, why did they choose this particular one, which was only a rehashed version of many other HIT Love stories of the past and had nothing of its own as original. May be the director also convinced his producers on the basis of some new kind of treatment he had in mind for the over-used plot. But unfortunately, the fresh treatment is not visible on the screen in any frame and he completely misses the big opportunity given to him by the makers.
Coming to the other aspects of the film, it no doubt excels in its technical departments namely in its Styling, Cinematography, Production Values and the Soundtrack. But sadly, everything else takes a back seat if you have nothing to offer as far as the main content of the movie goes.
Imran Khan looks fine in both aspects of his character but again why did he agree to do a role quite similar to the one he had already done in "Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na". Sonam looks amazing on the screen and has a fresh magnetic power in her beauty. She performs well in her role of a Set Designer, but with not a single HIT in her career till now, she got to be extra cautious to choose her future projects after IHLS. Samir Soni, who plays a Bollywood director in the movie (resembling Sanjay Leela Bhansal's persona) is OK. Samir Dattani underplays it well playing Sonam's boyfriend. Aamir Ali as the HERO is impressive but Pooja Ghai as the HEROINE doesn't get enough lines or scenes. Ketaki Dave & Anju Mahendru too have nothing much to do in the screenplay. But out of the entire supporting cast, Bruna Abdullah and Kavin Dave (of "Sprite Commercial" fame) truly stand out. In reality, the most enjoyable scenes of the movie are the ones featuring Kavin Dave as Imran's friend.
Musically, IHLS holds the merit with few good numbers composed by Vishal-Shekhar, out of which the Title Track is surely the best. The Background score also proves its presence in the movie smartly.
Another engaging aspect of IHLS is that throughout its entire screenplay, the characters keep pointing towards some big names in a taunting way. The movie starts with the actual film clipping of the Three Khans and there are continuous references to Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his movies such as "Saawariya" & "Devdas". May be the writers were following the real life story of Sonam Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor, who did actually worked as assistant directors to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, at the start of their careers. A particular scene also talks about Aamir Khan and his "Lagaan", along with a dialogue pointing towards his forthcoming home production "Peepli Live". And there are paintings and dance sequences used in the movie, similar to Karan Johar's "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham".
But here the strange paradox is that even after sarcastically talking about all the big names and Hit movies in his film, the director Puneet Malhotra, himself comes out with a product which is quite mediocre in execution and content in comparison to all. In other words, a debutant director like him should have essentially worked on his own project first to prove his caliber, before making mockery of some reputed names of the Industry.
To sum up, if you can appreciate love stories made with the same seen before familiar moves and if you really rate the star-cast more important than the movie itself, then you may like IHLS. But for me it's a project which had some great potential only before its release. Sharing a common theme with the 2009 release "I Hate Valentine's Day", it comprises of only one visual treat and that's Sonam Kapoor alone.
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