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London Paris New York  : Smooth take-off, crash landing
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Friday, March 2, 2012
Romantic comedy
Anu Menon
Ali Zafar, Aditi Rao Hydari
London Paris New York Movie Stills
Three days, three cities and an ocean of emotions to deal with. A very simple story but damn complicated to make, as this thankfully short film leaves you unfulfilled due to its lack of connect from moment to moment.

The plot: Two strangers, Nikhil Chopra (Ali Zafar) and Lalitha Krishnan (Aditi Rao Hydari) meet in the most cliché manner at London airport. Before you can say David Cameron, they’re lying on the grass beside each other and the straight-laced South Indian Lalitha with a dishevelled plait translates sexual positions of the French couple smooching next to them. They fall in love even sooner after a 1- day tour of London culminating in a passionate kiss at Heathrow. They decide to meet again at New York where Lalitha is headed for studies but a couple of years later, the film shifts location inexplicably to Paris. Nikhil has traced Lalitha to the Sorbonne there, she’s got a new hair cut (gone is the plait) and wears red lipstick and she’s as cold as ice with him. But she soon warms up enough to yeah, go for a romp on the bed in a hotel room. And just when he talks of going all over the world with her making love, she turns cold and walks off again. Believe she’s out for sweet revenge as he didn’t turn up in NY as promised, and when she’d gone looking for him, she’d seen him with pants down with another chick in his bed. So this is her sweet revenge. They part again but when the film shifts to New York, he turns up at her doorstep again and after the blow hot, blow hot routine by Lalitha, they kiss by the Hudson. But they finally (phew) get together in NY only after another bundle of emotions are dealt with.

The good: The fresh pairing of Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari is worth looking forward to. Ali has the good looks-good body-cute smile combo, playing his boyish part with impressive maturity. Aditi with her glowing complexion and huge lovely eyes, carves a special cute niche for herself as she sprints from a supporting role (in Delhi 6, Yeh Saali Zindagi, Rockstar) to a leading lady. She adds a lively feminist shade to the film, making it a neat character-driven film.

The regular emotions of love like betrayal, revenge, jealousy and attraction are dealt with differently as the heroine plays a more important role than most do in routine love stories. The music (composed and sung by Ali himself) adds spunk to the film, with a bit of help from Aditi’s vocal chords too.The story might leave most very disconnected at times. However the film does have moments that bring you something new from the kitty of romantic films. For a weak genre like romantic boy-meets-girl-misunderstandings-happy ending movies, this one tries to push its boundaries and puts a man at the receiving end for once. Perhaps feminists may enjoy it a tad bit more than other viewers.The dialogues by Anu Menon and Ritu Bhatia are quite playful as they try and keep it real most of the time.

The bad: Debutant director Anu Menon makes the film look very amateurishly structured and it appears that the script got written after deciding on the three locations. The whole idea of one day in each city gets so much importance that the script seems secondary, almost like a have-to-write-it after-thought. The film also has a very predictable end and one feels that the 3-day random journey was too short for the audience to connect to the amount of emotions they are dealt out.

Ali Zafar’s song ‘Tehree si zindagi’ is insignificantly positioned, buying into the screenplay time and giving nothing in return. The story doesn’t really have a flow and the change in looks, hairstyle and locations take up all the attention. Additionally, there is a narrative that is not impactful. The only brownie point it gets is the cheer-worthy role reversal where the girl walks out after making love, unlike Band Baajaa Baraat, Jodi Breakers et al.

Overall: A feel-good film for the ones who like the genre but definitely not worth going around the globe for. But yes, Aditi and Ali definitely prove that they are ready to move to the next level in their professional lives.

– Pooja Thakkar

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