August Issue 2010

By | Arts & Culture | Movies | Published 14 years ago

Punit Malhotra’s directorial debut I Hate Luv Storys is riddled with clichés and stereotypes and, despite cruising along those clichés, the film falls flat mainly due to its running time. An easy 35 minutes of pointless wistful gazing and pining to the soundtrack could have been edited out of the 130 minutes.

The film stars Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor, the current icons of young Bollywood. Khan is typecast in the role of Jai (pronounced ‘J’), the guy who does not believe in love and hates everything associated with it — sappy movies, flowers, the colour pink. Sonam Kapoor plays Simran, the incurable romantic who loves rainy days, the colour red, candle-lit dinners and Karan Johar movies. Her life is perfect. She has an amazing job as an art director and she is engaged to the perfect guy, Raj, who adores her. A chance meeting at a movie house, brings Jai and Simran together but Jai repulses her with his wisecracks on the lameness of love stories. But wait, that is not the end of their chance encounter. The duo are brought together once again to design the set of Pyar Pyar Pyar, the great romantic movie maker Veer Malhotra’s next big flick. Predictably enough, they fall in love but there are obstacles to be overcome (her engagement, his philandering), but finally, love conquers all.

Produced by Dharma Productions, the film makes good-humoured digs at Karan Johar’s movies. A cast of actors (that many will recognise from Indian TV channels) enact scenes from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. Viewers will have fun trying to guess the films behind the scenes.

I Hate Luv Storys has some laugh—out-loud moments and does not take itself too seriously so much so that at one point in the film, Jai says, “I’ve run out of dialogues, they’ve all been taken.” However, the film-within-a-film aspect makes for a good gimmick because all of Jai’s scenes are juxtaposed with the hero Rahul’s in Pyar Pyar Pyar.

The music, which sounds like a generically churned out set of tunes (surprising for a Johar flick), does nothing to lift the movie. In fact “Sadqa Kiya” reminds you of the Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika Padukone number “Khuda Jaane” from Bachna Aye Haseenoon. Only the title track has a catchy ring to it.

Frankly speaking, I Hate Luv Storys is like a cut-and-paste montage of other popular romantic comedies over the last decade. A light-hearted and predictable affair, it doesn’t rekindle your faith in love, but it will certainly make you smile.