Friday, July 16, 2010


I Hate Luv Storys

I Hate Luv Storys

It’s a cheeky idea… how does industry kid Punit Malhotra disguise the fact that his idea of love stories is confined to Dharma and YRF candy floss romances? He designs his film I Hate Luv Storys as a spoof on Bollywood love stories. The odd spelling is probably meant to appeal to the limited language skills of today’s teens, the prime target for such films with young, trendily dressed stars. Their costumes alone could fund a small budget film.

How to spoof Bollywood romances without sounding boring? After all these films have overcooked the formula anyway—how many films do not end with a scene of the besotted lover running after a train or into an airport? Malhotra sets the film against a filmmaking backdrop, and to make it more ‘haha’ takes the most digs at producer Karan Johar’s films; followed by Aditya Chopra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s films.

The autocratic and eccentric director in the film, Veer (Samir Soni) is supposed to be modelled on Bhansali—look for barbs at Devdas, Saawariya and Black. The love story- hating hero Jai (Imran Khan) works as an assistant to Veer and the love story-adoring heroine Simran (Sonam Kapoor) is a production designer.

Jai—who likes to be thought of as cool and pronounces his name as ‘Jay’ hates romance, ostensibly because his parents spilt up. Pop psychology anyone? He makes fun of Simran (the name of the DDLJ heroine, get it?) because she is in love with a boring banker called Raj (the name of the DDLJ hero), who gives her white flowers (is it for a funeral, quips Jai) and wears shirts colour-coordinated with her dresses.

There is no substance to the fluffy plot—Simran falls for Jai, he rejects her; then he falls for her and she rejects him. Then all his friends and acquaintances conspire to get them together, after the predictable airport scene—this is not a spoiler, hardly anybody has thought of a more imaginative ending!

The other characters vary between silly (the leading man of the film within the film, played by Aamir Ali) and very irritating, the mandatory fat best friend and his fat girlfriend.

So in effect, what Malhotra does is make a very clichéd Bollywood love story, while pretending to be lampooning such films. Maybe he meant it as a tribute, because what the film also seems to say in the end is that these films dictate how real life romances go, and that maybe so in the narrow world view of a Bollywood filmmaker.

IHLS is okay for a few giggles, but is hardly likely to make it to the list of trend-setting date flicks, despite of the presence of its attractive and reasonably talented lead pair. Still, spoof or not, you expect some emotional pay-off from a love story, and quote frankly, no one could do the metrosexual weeping-moping- gazing moonily thing as well as Shah Rukh Khan. And he has grown-up now. What a pity!


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