Direction: Mohit Suri
Actors: Aditya Roy Kapur, Shraddha Kapoor, Shaad Randhawa
Aashiqui 2 is about two singers in love. It has the Abhimaan angle of a famous artiste, Rahul, played by Aditya Roy Kapur, discovering a small-town girl, Aarohi, played by Shraddha Kapoor, and mentoring her to glory. But director Mohit Suri and writer Shagufta Rafique update the story. The predictable jealousy angle as the partner becomes more famous is sidelined for a thornier problem - he is an alcoholic. So, in fact, Aarohi's success becomes Rahul's salvation. For a while at least, it forces him to engage with life again.
It's an interesting scenario and Suri and his actors set it up well. The rockstar angle in Hindi movies always has touches of unintentional comedy - note Rahul's headgear, the stadiums filled with swooning fans and a hilariously slimy journalist in the second half who pushes Rahul to the brink again - but despite this, Aditya gives Rahul's angst a certain charm.
He is earnest and broken. And the real triumph here is Shraddha, whose porcelain face has a haunting vulnerability.
She's very good as the woman in the throes of a grand passion who believes that love will show the way. The problem is that once we are invested in these people, Suri doesn't take the story much further. It becomes overwrought, repetitive and, ultimately, boring.
Addictions in themselves don't make for compelling cinema - after a while, Rahul consuming copious amounts of alcohol, trashing rooms and getting into brawls becomes just tedious. Suri tries hard to raise the old-school melodrama to high tragedy but the screenplay is just too clumsy and pedestrian.
Like the original, Aashiqui 2 has melodious music - the song Tum hi ho, composed by Mithoon, has a lovely sweep and ache.
The film, however, never becomes more than the sum of its parts. Aashiqui 2 falls into that lukewarm category of 'I didn't mind it,' which is not the same as 'I liked it.' It could have been so much more.