December Issue 2009
A Barrel of Laughs
Following the success of Wake Up Sid comes Ranbir Kapoor’s latest venture, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, directed by Rajkumar Santoshi. Although Santoshi has been directing serious films of late, with Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani he goes back to directing and writing a romantic comedy. Fans of Santoshi’s mega-hit, Andaz Apna Apna know that he is equally adept at handling both genres.
With Ajab Prem, the story is nothing new: boy meets girl, but girl doesn’t realise she’s in love with boy until she’s about to get married to someone else. A run-of-the-mill Bollywood plot sure, but the dialogue and fresh comedy keeps the audience engaged throughout. In fact, at times the movie is so funny that you forget that there should be a better storyline. Ranbir Kapoor stars as Prem, who is the president of the neighbourhood Happy Club, a group of friends who formed the group as an excuse to not find real jobs. In order to earn money, the Happy Club members try to convince people to join their club by paying a membership fee. They also try to unite star-crossed lovers, which is how Prem meets Jenny, played by Katrina Kaif.
What follows is pure entertainment with Ranbir as the perfect goofy, love-struck young man who will do anything for Jenny. The wedding dance scene where Prem tries just about everything to dance with Jenny is hilarious and so is Prem’s interaction with his father, with whom he shares a love-hate relationship. Katrina’s character as the girl-next-door is equally refreshing and, for once, she has a substantial role in the film rather than being just an ‘item girl.’ Ranbir and Katrina’s onscreen chemistry in the film has critics buzzing about their next possible venture together.
The supporting cast includes Upen Patel as Tony (whose performance is stoic and quite forced), Zakir Hussain and a special cameo by Salman Khan. With Santoshi in the director’s seat, one expected something better, especially in the second half as the film loses pace and, again, gets predictable. That being said, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani is still entertaining, leaving cinema-goers in peals of laughter throughout its running time. And so, as they say in Bollywood, as long as it entertains, is mindless and funny, it’s a paisa wasool film.