There is no denying that Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar have given Bollywood a brand of irreverence that came as a breath of fresh air in what was a claustrophobic environs prevalent in Tinsel Town during the 1980s and much of the 1990s.
The tongue-firmly-in-cheek-humour at award nites and the repartee-filled sitcoms on television was a novelty to the audience who were fed on propriety and were probably fed up of it. However, all this laughter also caused some sneers amongst the believers in Bollywood’s hierarchy of superstars, stars and actors. But, Messrs SRK & K-Jo couldn’t care less!
For, they believed that laughing at themselves absolved them of their laughing-at-others act. In the past Karan Johar, who can be credited with creating candy-floss and popcorn romance of the Archie comics variety, used self-deprecation to telling effect in the movies he produced.
It did make the audience laugh to see the producer being laughed at. But, in true businessman style, it was Karan himself who laughed the loudest… on his way to the bank. His latest offering though makes one squirm as the fresh air might just be slowly turning foul.
Top-5 reasons to watch I Hate Love Stories:
- Any movie that is about movie-making is a fun watch for the audience who have no clue about how a film gets made. So, watching the tussles between a mushy creative director Simran (Sonam) and her boorish assistant Jay (Imran) makes for some fun
- The lead actors have an interesting chemistry through the film though one cannot say they crackle as the Ranbir-Katrina duo did in Ajab Prem. But, the duo does react well to each other, especially in the argument scenes
- Though Imran Khan remains wooden as only he can be (He seriously needs acting lessons from ‘mamu’ Aamir Khan), Sonam is definitely going places. She is all set to take over the mantle of “actor of all seasons” from Kajol.
- Samir Soni’s take on K-Jo himself as the Monarch of Mush is interesting enough but director Punit Malhotra was probably scared of mimicking his mentor too much and conveniently brings in shades of Sanjay Leela Bhansali to add to the mirth.
- Ayananka Bose once again creates a visual treat, capturing the scenic locales and the nattily dressed actors in hues of pink, red and the occasional blue. Additionally, the movie quite short at 2 hours and 15 minutes – so you don’t need to actually keep glancing at the watch.
Top-5 reasons to skip I Hate Love Stories:
- Has Bollywood forgotten about scripts? Three of the last four movies I sat through looked entirely rudderless and unfortunately for K-Jo and his team, this one fares no better. The movie rambles and what is worse is we know where it’s all going to end.
- Characterizations have never been strong points of the Dharma Productions banner, but this one moves into banal territory. Both Simran and her beau Raj (Samir Dattani) belong to the 1980s – a time when K-Jo was growing up to his beloved Yash Uncle’s brand of mush.
- The patchy story can be dismissed in two lines. Boy hates girl who finds him interesting. Then boy loves girl, but by then girl has lost interest. A bunch of other characters try to mess around with sentiments of both the protagonists until eventually… we don’t want to test your intelligence by telling you the ending.
- The self-deprecation that one enjoyed through most of the first half suddenly vanishes as the actors switch roles with Jay turning mushy and Simran getting all hoity-toity. And that is when the director desperately needed a few twists and turns.
- That is also when realization dawns on us poor souls watching the movie that behind all that ridicule of mush, the absolute truth behind a K-Jo production remains the same: “Mush alone leads to the Gold Rush”.
So, if you truly hate love stories, we suggest you are better off watching some great rivalry on television, watching the World Cup soccer quarter finals and the Wimbledon finals might just be the better option.[?]