Yeah yeah, so you guessed it, I am going to be talking about Love Aj Kal. Eventually.
Meanwhile...life has been, well...lifey. It's all been wonderfully busy and banal that I don't find a single thing to sit down and blog about. Unless you count out my newly acquired obsessive compulsive need to play Typing Maniac on Facebook at least 17 times a day. For a person who can neither spell nor type, it is amazing why I would even like the thing, let alone be pathologically addicted to it (in case my employers see this, the previous line is inserted only and only for its comic value, and is really no where near the truth. I have excellent typing skills and my spelling powers are what give Oxford English Dictionary so many sleepless nights).
But well, life as an almost grown up does weird things to you. And I have had to be horribly grown up the last few days. I even get back from work and cook dinner. Please to be noted, I said COOK. Not eat, not order, COOK. But the frugal life of a single working woman does come with some perks. Access to fast internet, for starters. Weekend movies for another. And if you still have a little bit of Culture Studies hangover, the inability to watch a film without being able to analyze it to bits. Even though the last one is not much of a perk.
It was with this baggage that I watched Love Aj Kal. As movies go, I think I have seen worse. It was not a bad film, in fact it has got all the ingredients for a minor multiplex hit--hot looking leads, who play characters with cool jobs and inconsequential families, and a no-frills take on
love relationships. So, then what? Then it is the same old, same old. The meet, they make out, they go their separate ways, and then discover that their happy place is in each others arms, thus reaching the bottomline, “ one true love theory: hence proved”. Finis. Everyone goes home happy.
After watching Love Aj Kal, we (me and the fellow boarders of the house) went ahead to watch Socha Na Tha. It was after that that the AHA! Moment hit. I like Imtiaz Ali films, they are smart, classy and very urban. And with the exception of Jab We Met has these enlightened females patiently waiting for the guy to grow up and realise that they are in love. Nice, but that is not what the aforementioned AHA moment is about. One could almost argue that they are not moralistic. But there, lies the subtlety of the man (The man in question being Imtiaz Ali. Try to keep up, will you?). It is in the realisation that he is not really breaking new ground, or saying new things in his films. He is, in fact, only selling very old wine in newer bottles (This adage is essentially meaningless, you realise that? How is that a bad thing for the buyers, if someone is selling old wine in new bottles? Doesn’t wine get better with age? So shouldn’t old wine in new bottles be a steal? But before you accuse me of digressing...)
Look at Socha Nah Tha...it's a film about essentially nothing--at the end of the day, Viren and Aditi go through all that trouble, confusion and Goa trips, for what? So that they can get married to exactly the same person that their families originally wanted them to get married to. So with Jab We Met. The dadaji says the kids are in love, and in love the kids are finally. And then we have Jai and Meera, the latest caricatures of Love 2.0, the modern age man/boy and woman/girl. They are smart, sexy and very career oriented. But eventually they decide to that love and marriage is after all what matters, careers be dammed. The film began and ended at the same place...they spilt because their work did not allow them to be in the same country. At the end of the film they walk away hand in hand into tall grass, but what about the bridges half-built in San Fransisco and frescoes half dusted in Old Delhi? Collateral damage of true love, I guess.
So as Gee summed up in her usual lucid fashion, our man Imtiaz Ali is only a more intelligent version of Karan Johar. But given that Karan Johar makes considerably more money than Imtiaz Ali, the word I'd use is probably subtle. Either ways, his films are funner. And much easier on the eye ;)