First Jab Harry Met Sejal and now Love Aaj Kal…oh dear Imtiaz, what is going on? We demand an explanation (and a full refund) for painfully watching two talentless souls in a thoughtless tale.

Rating – 1.5 / 5 ⭐½

As the vision of the Indian film industry begins to narrow down and the era of the “remakes” triumph, letting go of our filmy expectation seems to be the only way to make peace with the kind of crap we’ve been watching recently. But before I start listing the numerous things that went wrong in this dysfunctional spectacle, I would just like to say that director Imtiaz Ali, if you don’t know what kind of issues 20-something year olds face in their relationships, we would love to enlighten you…but wtf was this?!

Zoe (Sara Ali Khan), a 23-year old smart, sophisticated workaholic finds herself drawn towards an awkward, idealistic geek Veer (Kartik Aryan), who believes the two share something special after just one make-out session (lol). Torn between choosing her career or love life, Zoe seeks advice from a café-owner Raj (Randeep Hooda), whose past romance with high school sweetheart Leena (Arushi Sharma) parallels with Zoe’s modern-day relationship and acts as a template for her to base her life decisions on. In 2009’s OG Love Aaj Kal, we witnessed Saif & Deepika face real-life adult relationship problems such as long-distance and wanting different things from life, the kind that modern-day couples can actually resonate with. Moreover, with Rishi Kapoor playing Saif’s alter ego, the uncanny resemblance (with a pagdi) in the #kal story seemed believable and tied up well. However, I couldn’t help but laugh at imagining a handsome hunk Randeep Hooda to resemble Kartik Aryan…to a point where they had to actually photoshop poor Kartik Aryan’s face to match it to Randeep’s. #Amateurs.

“Aana toh puri tarah aana, ya toh aana hi mat”

Coming to the broader drawbacks of this disastrous film – after sitting through 2 hours 22 minutes of senselessness, I was still unable to pinpoint what the real conflict was? Imtiaz Ali’s writing, including character development, dialogues and plot progression, was so deeply suppressed under his itch to go massy that creating palpable emotions and a solid relatability factor seemed like a dream. Despite repeatedly reiterating dialogues that are ideally supposed to be felt via an undertone of unspoken emotions, such as “mujhse kabhi yeh work-life balance hoga hi nahi”, Ali’s attempt to birth complex characters was in vain and rendered useless in facilitating and decorating his non-linear aaj-kal style of narration.

Love Aaj Kal’s cast and their respective performances made it nothing short of a cringefest – Sara Ali Khan, I hate to say this but “tum mujhe tang karne lage ho”. Pulling off a fiery independent personality such as Zoe’s was probably a bit much for this amateur actress to handle. On multiple occasions, Sara’s efforts to bring about depth in her role came across as inept overacting, making it almost impossible for the audience to watch with a straight face. Kartik Aryan, you’re better off sticking to Pyaar Ka Punchnama equivalent roles – embodying a character with absolutely no personality such as Veer’s must have been an unimaginable challenge for someone who thrives on monologues in unidimensional scripts. Regardless, Randeep Hooda was the saving grace of some sorts and effortlessly swept the floor despite his limited screen time. Arushi Sharma, too, delivered a promising performance and could have been utilized more effectively had she not been hidden behind the #Sartik frenzy.

If you have no idea where your love life is headed and couldn’t care less about it, go watch Love Aaj Kal to feel better about yourself. Otherwise, please save yourself the time, money and energy required to sit through this empty charade and remember Imtiaz Ali for his Jab We Met days.

Got your own reviews and ratings of Love Aaj Kal? Let me know in the comments section below and follow @thecinesurgeon on Instagram!

Posted by:The Cine Surgeon

Diu Somani, The CineSurgeon, is a student of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the Royal Veterinary College in London. Diu has two main loves, animals and Bollywood.