Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
is a movie starring
Katrina Kaif, Ranbir Kapoor, and Darshan Jariwala.
The wacky adventures of a young man who is willing to sacrifice his own love to insure the happiness of others, and get the girl-of-his-dreams married to the boy-of-her-dreams.
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A statue in a town's square narrates to a journalist the story of 9th standard-failed, unemployed, trouble-maker and stutterer Premshankar Sharma. Premshankar, cons Mr. Pinto into buying a dilapidated flat to pay for expenses of the Happy Club over which he presides, much to the disapproval of his restaurateur father, Shivshankar, who wants him to wed Shakuntala Mishra. Premshankar's life will undergo many changes after he falls in love with Pinto's adopted daughter, Jenny. He believes that she also loves him, and even helps her to elope after her parents force her to wed wealthy Tony. Premshankar ends up in despair when he finds out that Jenny's true love is Canada-based Rahul, the son of wealthy politician, Pitambar Jalan.Written by
Dying is easy, comedy is hard...as proved by this film
"Dying is easy, comedy is hard" the British actor Donald Wolfit supposedly quipped on his deathbed. And how true it is! This is borne out in "Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani", the new film by Raj Kumar Santoshi. It starts out promisingly enough with Pop Art credits in the cheery primary hues beloved of Roy Lichtenstein. But if one thinks this hip opening is how the film will proceed, one would be way off the mark.
This romantic comedy is only fitfully funny, and too long drawn out to be amusing. Santoshi's cast resorts to extensive mugging and slapstick antics in the hope that they will be construed as light frothy madcap comedy. The film's male lead, Ranbir Kapoor, an extremely talented and likable young man, is set adrift without good lines and a leading lady, who though abundantly blessed with vapid good looks, is quite at a loss when she is required to act.
Ranbir Kapoor plays Prem, the good-for-nothing, good-natured leader of Happy Club. Luckily, he happens upon a group of young men considerably dimmer than he, and sets himself up as their leader. His followers look up to him admiringly and always address him as President, and he never leaves home without his name tag: President Prem.
The Happy Club—always the look-out for new members—aims to be happy, make everyone else around happy, have fun, and unite star-crossed lovers. Despite these simple yet lofty aspirations, the townsfolk do not look kindly upon the club members, as they have had ample experience of their freeloading ways.
In the course of a botched kidnapping to fulfill their mandate of reuniting lost loves, President Prem meets Jennifer (Katrina Kaif), the fair and flaky adoptive daughter of the Goan Catholic Pinto family that has just moved into town. Pretty, dimwitted Jenny becomes the town's librarian (it's all relative, you see: she probably has an IQ in the double digits), and Prem drops by to visit, but cannot be coaxed into doing any reading. When he discovers she is single, Prem promptly falls in love with her, and spends the rest of his days in adoring puppy dog fashion, getting underfoot and practically stalking her, but never actually declaring himself.
This being a "masala" Hindi film, there are complications and coincidences aplenty, and they go on and on until one is past caring. Both Prem and Jenny stammer when under emotional stress, and the audience is meant to discern through this device when they are playacting and when they are speaking the truth.
Let it never be said that I am a mean-spirited or ungenerous film critic: Katrina Kaif is very pretty, has a creamy complexion and looks good enough to eat with a spoon; she is probably a fine upstanding citizen, donates selflessly to worthy causes, always remembers to moisturize daily, brakes for the handicapped and small furry animals, and no doubt eschews the use of aerosol sprays because they release toxic fluorocarbons into the atmosphere. In short, Katrina Kaif is a paragon of virtue and goodness.
Sadly, however, she will never be mistaken for an actress. Her line readings are almost painful to the ear, but every once in a great while, almost by fluke, she gets a nuance right, startles herself, then looks beseechingly into the camera, imploring the audience to applaud her teeny-tiny microscopic iota of success as a thespian. Ranbir makes valiant attempts to be funny and act for both of them, and later, upon the introduction of an untalented muscle-bound interloper, for the three of them. No filmi hero should be required to do so much heavy lifting, and despite his best efforts, Ranbir is simply not man or actor enough to act for THREE people.
Mercifully, the supporting cast is much stronger than its female lead, and they contribute some much needed silliness to the proceedings.
After prolonged meanderings, the couple ends up in the fearsome villain's lair that charmingly resembles a giant bubble bath. Here, finally, there is some entertaining giddiness, but it's too little, too late. Even divine intervention by our blessed Redeemer Himself in a gentle cameo doesn't quite manage to save the film.
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