Laila Majnu movie review: Much ado about nothing

Laila Majnu movie review: Laila Majnu is set in modern-day Kashmir. A Kashmir without guns, gore, government — and, but for one misguided soul, Kashmiris.

Rating: 1 out of 5
Written by Shalini Langer | New Delhi | Published: September 7, 2018 10:46:30 am
Laila Majnu review Imtiaz Ali Avinash Tiwary Tripti Dimri Laila Majnu movie review: There is only one true love in this film, and that is what Imtiaz Ali surely has for brother Sajid Ali.

Laila Majnu movie cast: Tripti Dimri, Avinash Tiwary, Parmeet Sethi
Laila Majnu movie director: Sajid Ali
Laila Majnu movie rating: 1 star

There is only one true love in this film, and that is what Imtiaz Ali surely has for brother Sajid. For, no one goes from a dud called Jab Harry Met Sejal to a bigger dud like Laila Majnu but for some true brotherly love. Unless it is the lack of ideas. Jab Harry Met Sejal married the titles of one of Hollywood’s most effervescent romances, and that of Imtiaz Ali’s best work. Laila Majnu goes back more than 2,000 years.

Girl (Dimri) who only goes to college to flirt with boys along the way, meets boy (Tiwary) whose only claim to fame is loving and leaving them. It helps that both are loaded, in a very Romeo and Juliet kind of way. So, the girl is almost always in heavy make-up and semi-bridal clothes, while the boy in a stubble and a dizzying array of jackets showers gifts on her across town. Her father is old-world rich, his is nouveau riche. Neither can stand each other, though there is a nice little scene where the boy fools around with his father in a way that Hindi films rarely allow.

However, there is fire, brimstone, sputtering passion between the limpid lead duo, with some unexpected sparks of perkiness, and since this is based on that classic tale, some “madness”. Helped along by some strange twists and turns, in a bid to make this classic tale “contemporary”.

Contemporary, did we say? Well, the film is set in modern-day Kashmir. A Kashmir without guns, gore, government — and, but for one misguided soul, Kashmiris.

Bringing us back to the Alis. Imtiaz, the writer and “presenter”, says he always wanted to make this film and when he looked around for the right “fresh” guy, chanced upon whom but brother Sajid. Sajid, the director, said yes, and looking around in turn for a suitably “exotic” place, chanced upon what but Kashmir, as his wife “belongs to Srinagar”.

Sajid says he also wanted to make a film that told the real story of Kashmir’s youth. So now we know what they would rather be doing: playing unquestioning friends to lovers who sing one too many bad songs.

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