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Kucch Luv Jaisaa (2011) - Hindi Movie Review

Kucch Luv Jaisaa (2011) - Hindi Movie Review

Cast and Crew :

Starring : Shefali Shah, Rahul Bose, Sumeet Raghavan, Neetu Chandra, Manmeet Singh, Khurshed Lawyer, Om Puri, Kunal Kumar, Amin Hajee
Directed by : Barnali Ray Shukla
Produced by : Vipul Amrutlal Shah
Screenplay by : Barnali Ray Shukla
Story by : Barnali Ray Shukla
Singers : Mohit Chauhan, Monali Thakur, Sunidhi Chauhan, Anupum Amod, Mannan Shah, Nikhil D’Souza, Shefali Alvaris, Naresh Iyer
Lyricist : Irshad Kamil
Music by : Pritam Chakraborty
Cinematography : Bobby Singh
Editing by : Hemanti Sarkar
Studio : Sunshine Pictures Pvt. Ltd

It seems a bit pointless now, the idea that actor Shifaali Shah actually went and spent a day in jail with real criminals to get a feel of what it is like to be in the company of crooks and thugs while preparing for her role in ‘Kucch Luv Jaisaa’. The exercise seems futile now because Rahul Bose’s Raghav, the ‘criminal’ that Shah’s bored housewife Madhu hangs out with, in the film, behaves more like an edgy yuppie than the hardened felon his character is supposed to be.

Vipul Shah’s latest, ‘Kucch Luv Jaisaa’, directed by debutante Barnali Ray Shukla, is a film balanced precariously; where on one hand, it stars two gifted actors, Shifaali and Rahul, in lead roles, on the other, the meandering story and weak script, coupled with extremely sketchy characterisations, mean the film never really picks up steam, and consequently, doesn’t quite hold onto the audience’s interest.

Most of the film deals with Shifaali’s Madhu looking for some excitement in her life on her birthday, feeling forgotten by her husband, Shravan, played by Sumeet Raghavan, who is too caught up in work to remember the big day, 29th February, even though it comes once in four years. Riled, Madhu leaves home to embark on a day long adventure around the city. She teams up with Bose’s Raghav, who she runs into at a restaurant and thinks is a private detective hot on the trail of his target. In reality though, Raghav is a forgery artist on the run from the police, having been outed by his beloved girlfriend, a wannabe actress he was going to propose to. The two bond over the course of the day, learning something about themselves as individuals and finding a new attitude towards life at the end of it all.

At its core, the Achilles heel on ‘Kucch Luv Jaisaa’ seems to be the lack of vision exhibited by director Barnali Ray Shukla, who has also penned the film. Where the film sets out to be an adventure that Madhu is out on, the action here turns out to be quite bland and passive. While the film opens up well enough, with a happy Madhu slowly having her hopes crushed, as her husband leaves home without making any mention of her birthday, the action thereafter quickly turns dull as dishwater. Scenes like Madhu’s breakout montage are handled in a rather hammy manner. Jumping on a bed and shopping for a makeover might fit in fine in a film about high school romances, but they hardly work in a film that tries to deal with a more mature set of characters. In any case, post makeover, Madhu too starts behaving like a giggly schoolgirl, chatting up Raghav in a rather insipid sort of way, taking his private detective line at face value, certainly not something that you expect a mother of two to do.

Speaking of Raghav, the action between him and Madhu also turns out to be quite watery. For the most part in the first half, the twosome just keep driving around town chasing their target; how this adds to the plot of the film, apart from adding a good half hour to it, one has no way of knowing. The hints of romance between the two in the second half also come upto a naught. While the promos of the film promote it as a ‘luv’ story of sorts between the two leads, one can’t quite figure out at what point the two find a connection, while the ambiguity of the end doesn’t help.

The half-hearted characterisations of the film hamper its potential to a great extent as well. While Madhu’s character is relatable in the initial part of the film, she slowly seems to turn into a curious teenager as the film progresses, playing along with the private detective gag as though she’s performing in a school play. Raghav, on the other hand, swings between being a toughened criminal on the run and being a forlorn lover fantasizing about his girl.

In such a scenario, one doesn’t quite know who the credit (or discredit) for the performances belong to. While Shifaali Shah and Rahul Bose are actors who have proved their talents time and again, here, they seem to be shackled by their characters. While it is refreshing to see Shifaali here in a lighter role after all her ‘maa’ turns, and her Madhu conveys a certain sense of joie de vivre in her evolution from a housewife to just a woman, she does get a bit jarring at times and it doesn’t seem like an entirely realistic depiction of a housewife’s frame of mind.

Rahul on the other hand, plays his quiet Raghav with the adequate amount of gravitas, though his idea of being a ‘tapori’ gangster seems to revolve around speaking in rough, half-sentences and eating his food in the most gluttonous way possible. Being a new sort of role for Bose, at times, one can still spot the hangover of his usual, prim-and-proper English speaking roles here.

Sumeet Raghavan as Shravan gets a raw deal, his advertising exec husband coming off as rather smarmy in dialogues where he claims to know women inside out. At other times, like the end, the chemistry between him and Raghavan also leaves much to desire, while Neetu Chandra, as Raghav’s devious girlfriend gets few scenes and does strictly okay. Om Puri strikes a cameo as Madhu’s understanding father, and plays it well as always.

Pritam’s music for the film has few standouts, though a few tracks, like ‘thoda sa pyaar’ and ‘baadlon pe paon’ gel well with the visuals.

Debutante Barnali Ray Shukla needs to take a second stab at finding her directorial fortunes, as ‘Kucch Luv Jaisaa’ turns out to be a misstep. While it is an interesting image change for the two, and Shifaali Shah and Rahul Bose share an interesting chemistry, ultimately, the film here simply doesn’t have enough substance, nor does the writer-director Barnali have enough experience to keep the audiences engaged. ‘Kucch Luv Jaisaa’ sets out to be an out-of-box story about human relations, but ends up so dull that it turns out to be something else entirely.

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