Some movies are really hard to write a review. Not because they are exceptionally good or bad. But because you cannot decide you much you liked them, actually. London Paris New York is one of them. It is definitely the most time I took to write a review.
We make a hell lot of romantic comedies and release them next to each other to make it worse for our audience. EMAET hit the screens barely three weeks ago and and was followed by particularly soporific Jodi Breakers and Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya. All of them blatantly belong to the same genre. And this weekend comes with London Paris New York, a little film that indiscreetly managed to create quite an overwhelming buzz right upto its release. New director, music that connects, Ali Zafar's looks and the brilliant Aditi Rao Hyadri. Lovely recipe. Wait till its cooked.
LPNY comes with a bag of similarities with EMAET in its offering, apart from just the genre and a debutante director at the helm of reins. The characters go around the best looking places of the world, have uninhibited fun being with each other and end up loving each other. There are barely ANY other characters that exist in the movie that is made like a long casual conversation between two people, it being occasionally funny. The director gives an urbane treatment to the proceedings which are surprisingly refreshing and breezy here too. But there is a striking difference between the two movies too, apart from them exploring different faces of a couple's relationship. LPNY is more author-backed, surprisingly, thankfully but not perfectly. It grows onto you as a sporadically mature take on unsteady relationships, yet chameleonically erects an intense love story of two people who fall in love just by meeting for 3 days out of 7 years, in the odd 100 minutes it trudges for. And yes, the extrememely short length works in favor of the movie, although the movie itself may not be liked by everyone. You have to believe in real world characters that possess the absolute frankness to talk about anything, even if its considering dating each other in the first 5 hours of their first meeting itself. You have to have an appetite for the possibility of love happening in a day's time, and that it lasting over years without much a do is not contrived. You have to be welcoming of a girl sleeping with a guy to childishly make him go through her pain is not bizarre. All of this and more, graciously, do not stick out as moronic leaps of faith because director Anu Menon handles them with significant care and searing spontaneity. The characters maybe straight out of the book, but their interactions keep you perennially engaged with their insecurities, fickle whims, indecisiveness, cuteness and above all, their believability. I must admit that I was partially disappointed by the interval time as the story did not offer a lot and the chemistry seemed labored, but the second half justifies that incompleteness with an "older and wiser" take on the equation and leaves you engrossed in their love, which is odd and unbelievable but totally likable. This is more like an indie movie in the cloak of a commercial rom-com. Yes, we will keep making love stories in a zillion different ways.
Studio backing by Fox International has ensured a good set of technicians working on this movie. Cinematography is another ode to the new trend of tourism movies like ZNMD. Editing is commendable. Music and Lyrics by Ali Zafar lend the film exactly what it needs. Good call there. Most of the songs are remarkably suited to the occasion, well composed and well sung by Zafar and Aditi herself. Yet, Thehree Si Zindagi takes the cake in the album. Dialogues wont make you roll with laughter but are bordering on zingy, endearing and clever.
What works the best for the movie is the unrestrained chemistry of the leads, that makes you believe in their improbable love, without even a ray of doubt. They let go of the hackneyed and deliver the heartwarming with as much ease as panache. I went in for the movie to love Aditi Rao Hyadri and came out loving Ali Zafar. His cocky humor, twitching foreheads and brows, and flamboyant mannerisms speak more than I expected out of him. Given a proper role, Ranbir or his likes cannot disregard him in the competition, considering he is enigmatic enough to allow the girls drool over him. Aditi Rao Hyadri is the prettiest girl I have seen in at least a couple of years, and this is the fifth time I am saying this. Its impossible to take your eyes off the screen if her eyes are on it. She delivers another stalwart performance, and only this time, she sings too. Bound to go places.
LPNY is not dazzling or disturbing, but is consistently serene and convivially lovable. I liked it a tad bit more than EMAET because it comes with more natural conflicts in its plot and tries to address them with sensible punditry. But the incompetent first half sort of tilted my gut back to the initial level, hence the same rating. Positively recommended!
Rating - 3/5