By Taran Adarsh Bollywood Hungama News Network
Rajkumar Santoshi has changed lanes. Known for intense, hard-hitting movies [with the sole exception of ANDAZ APNA APNA], Santoshi now attempts a rom-com in AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI, his new endeavour. That's something we all know by now, right?
But not many of us know that Santoshi is equally at home handling a comedy. And AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI proves it.
If you're attempting a rom-com, you need to get a few things right…
One, the romance should be livewire. Ditto for the chemistry between the on-screen pair.
Two, the film should make you laugh. As simple as that!
In AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI, the romantic moments are endearing. Most importantly, the on-screen chemistry is electrifying. Ranbir and Katrina look great together!
I've often said that comedy is serious business and the audience has moved over from banana peel humour in movies. The comedy in AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI - though it borders on absurdity - is funny in most parts. Sure, there're times when you feel that the humour looks forced [climax fight especially], but you don't grudge it since Santoshi's intentions are crystal clear from Scene 1 onwards: Entertainment ke liye kuch bhi karega.
Another factor that goes in its favour is Pritam's music, who belts out a couple of lilting tracks.
On the flip side, the film could've done with a fresh plotline. When you talk of 'Ghazab Kahani', it has to be ghazab by all means. It shouldn't fall prey to predictability, but the second hour succumbs to mediocrity occasionally.
Yet, despite the blemishes, AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI is a full-on entertainer. One thing is for sure, you'd fall in prem with Prem and his antics. An ideal date movie that should connect with the youth.
Prem's [Ranbir Kapoor] fundas in life were very simple -- be happy, make others happy. A case of mistaken identity leads Prem to almost kidnap Jenny [Katrina Kaif], who was brought up by indifferent and uncaring foster parents.
Prem falls in love with Jenny, but realizes gradually that Jenny is in love with someone else [Upen Patel], the son of a conniving politician [Govind Namdeo]. Prem decides to sacrifice his love and get the lovers married.
In the first sequence, Santoshi makes it loud and clear that AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI is very unlike his previous ventures; this one harbours on illogical situations. Right from the time Ranbit sets his eyes on Katrina [the yellow outfit episode], the film is a roller coaster ride.
A few sequences entertain you thoroughly. Sample these: Katrina slaps Ranbir when he stammers as well. She feels he's imitating her; Ranbir's sequence in the church; Salman Khan's cameo; the love-hate relationship that Ranbir and his father [Darshan Jariwala] share; the sequence at the party; the interval point when Ranbir falls on the ground literally... the first hour of the film simply rocks!
But the second hour makes you a little grumpy. The third angle of the triangle [Upen Patel] isn't convincing, while his father's [Govind Namdeo] track is beaten to death. Even the villain [Zakir Hussain] is a sore point.
Watching the second hour makes you feel that the film may've had a longer running time and in order to bring down the length, a number of scenes must've been chopped off, which, in turn, must've resulted in continuity lapses. For instance, Katrina's kidnap by the villains looks too sudden. When and how did it occur?
Yet, there're two sequences in this hour which are remarkable and which should bring the house down. One, when Ranbir wears Katrina's top to hide her presence in the house and the climax fight, when Katrina mistakenly bangs Ranbir a couple of times.
Directorially, Santoshi proves the naysayers wrong and bounces back with a film that the youth would relate to. You can't write off the maker and AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI proves it. Pritam's music has 'Hit' written all over it. S. Thiru's cinematography is first-rate.
Ranbir Kapoor is the next big thing and AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI proves it yet again. He's charismatic, emotes exceptionally well and tickles your funny bone without making faces. It's a fantastic performance all the way. Katrina Kaif continues to surprise. She surprised you in NEW YORK. She surprises you again in this film. She scores in both emotional and light scenes. Also, Ranbir and Katrina make a wonderful on-screen couple.
Darshan Jariwala is exceptional. Smita Jaykar is very good. Upen Patel is decent. Govind Namdeo is getting typecast. Zakir Hussain is fair. Navneet Nishan is alright.
On the whole, AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI entertains majorly. At the box-office, the fantastic pre-release campaign coupled with the terrific chemistry between Ranbir and Katrina, excellent music by Pritam and tremendous appeal for youth should ensure a big start for the film at the ticket window. The business prospects seem excellent, thus ensuring handsome returns for its investors.
Bollywood.com Rating: 4