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I Hate Luv Storys

As you watch Imran and Sonam brush against each other through 'I Hate Luv Storys’,without raising discernible steam,you wonder,are newly-minted Bollywood couples given a litmus test before they are paired?

Cast: Imran Khan,Sonam Kapoor,Sameer Dattani,Sameer Soni

Director: Punit Malhotra

Rating** 

As you watch Imran and Sonam brush against each other through ‘I Hate Luv Storys’,without raising discernible steam,you wonder,are newly-minted Bollywood couples given a litmus test before they are paired?

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Because if they were,the meet-cute couple of the newest date flick would have been kept far apart. Jay ( not Jai,okay?) and Simran are chalk and cheese,which is a good thing,because that’s how all self-respecting rom coms begin. But as they run the gamut of the demands of the genre—squabbling and dislike,progressing to love and like,passing through bits and bytes of confusion—they remain on different pages,which is not a very good thing at all. In the end,when Jay and Simran embrace,they give off a flavour of awkward sibling-ness,not a couple who would collapse if they were kept apart another living,breathing moment.

And that’s the main problem of this predictable saga,by the newest director from Dharma Productions : the lead couple does not spark enough,making the periperhal characters scurry that much harder to keep it going. Jay and Simran are employed by a film director who adores love stories ( could that be Karan Johar,by any teensy chance?) : Jay doesn’t believe in love ( his parents split when he was young,see? ); Simran looks at the world through rose-tints,and as she is production designer on the film,she orders Jay to fill the set with pink balloons and cushions. He gags,she snarls. Half an hour later,they are smiling at each other.

We’re not,because by that time we’ve seen enough of the film to figure that there isn’t anything especially new in the way this production has been designed. Simran’s boy-friend is called Raj,leading to many ‘DDLJ’ jokes ( there are also,naturally,reverential references to the many hits Karan Johar’s made ),but Sameer Dattani’s bland presence doesn’t add anything to the triangle : his one job being to appear in bold-hued shirts in order for Khan to call them ‘fugly’,which raises a laugh the first time it’s said,but whose subsequent use arouses the oh-no-not-again feeling. Sameer Soni, as the director in love with luv storys,comes off too avuncular. Even the music’s ho-hum.

The best offerings from Dharma Productions have revelled in corralling large doses of emotion and laughter : ‘I Hate Luv Storys’ is a half-hearted stab at both. Of the lovers,Imran fares better. Using every single wiggle of his mobile eyebrows,he gets into his character — who’s always running late,always making excuses,always making jokes—with zest. Girly girl Kapoor,in comparison,is stiff and rehearsed. There’s more liveliness to the interactions between Khan and his male BFF ( in fact,the film’s zingiest moments come from them),than Khan and Kapoor.

In sum,’ I Hate Luv Storys’ is pleasant but flaccid fare.

shubhra.gupta@expressindia.com

First published on: 02-07-2010 at 03:26:31 pm
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