When I walked into the 2:50pm show of London Paris New York at the local Regal Cinemas I expected another exclusive Indian movie watching experience.
My expectation was fair considering the movie boasts of no stars and except for pinheads no one was exactly stroking for this movie to cum! 😉
Who would have thought that Pakistani actor Ali Zafar and the pretty lass Aditi Rao Hydari have fans abroad!
To my utter dismay and shock five people, all Americans, were already there.
First I thought they walked in by mistake due to the English title but when three out of the five persisted till the very end, it is a telling tale of how deeply Bollywood has wounded the American culture.
Anu Menon takes the Story, Screenplay and Direction credit for London Paris New York, yet another saccharine love story from the hackneyed stables of Bollywood.
As the movie unfolded I felt as if Tyrannosaurus Rex came out of hiding.
No No!! I am not talking about Ali Zafar’s looks but the era to which the story belongs.
The screenplay although amateurish was bearable unlike the rotten Ekk Deewana Tha.
The movie unfolds in the form of events on three days spread across six years, from 2005 to 2011.
Yes Yes!! They meet each other only on those three days in all of six years and half the time they spend being pissed off with each other.
The idea was to show the “angst” of youth to which I say “what a tragedy of life!”
Nikhil (Ali Zafar) is the rich son of a film producer.
“Maha-Tam-Bram” Lalitha (Aditi Rao) is the daughter of a middle class Maharashtrian Brahmin mother and a Tamil Brahmin father.
That she is a Maha-Tam-Bram has absolutely no relevance to the story.
London – Day 1 – 2005
Nikhil and Lalitha bump into each other in London’s Heathrow Airport as they arrive on the same flight from India.
Nikhil’s destination is London, to study Cinema and make movies.
Lalitha claims to be a feminist and her destination is New York, to study Political Science.
So, the two opposites get an excuse to spend a day and night together when Lalitha misses her flight to New York. The next 25 minutes is about how the two are drawn to each other during the London Darshan. They consummate their relationship with a kiss….and she is a feminist.
The reason Lalitha does not just check in to a hotel instead of spending the day with a stranger is “Main kabhi akeli hotel mein nahi rahi. To thoda sleazy lagta hai”. She also thinks full bodied wine is Silk Smitha! :-S
Paris – Day 2 – 2007
Nikhil has lost track of Lalitha after he breaks his promise of visiting her in New York. He also sends her three letters but she doesn’t reply.
Yes Yes!! In 2005, communicating via letters was still the in thing! 😀
He manages to track her with the help of a friend when she visits Paris on an exchange program.
The director’s idea of showing the passage of two years is the addition of a goatie to Nikhil and Lalitha sporting a new hairdo and a whore-like costume.
They meet again, make up for Nikhil broken promise, do Paris Darshan, fall in love again, kiss, f#ck, and break up again due a dark secret of Nikhil that Lalitha reveals.
By the way the director’s way of showing Lalitha as a feminist is making her mouth dialogues such as “Men are shit”. Aah! how I wished she mouthed something else. 😉
Every time the romantic duo meander around cities mouthing inconsequential dialogues I slowly started dozing off. Suddenly the display of most of 32B jolted me back expecting something….but nothing happens.
The changes in feelings of the lead characters towards each other were too abrupt.
One moment Lalitha hates men and next moment she is provocatively close to kissing Nikhil.
This happens throughout the movie.
New York – Day 3 – 2011
Nikhil once again tracks the lost Lalitha’s whereabouts in New York and lands up at her place.
Director shows the passage of time with a much younger looking clean shaven Nikhil and a long haired Lalitha with eye glasses.
Lalitha is getting married the next morning to Alan, an American.
So, any guess what they do next?? What else but New York Darshan!
By the end of the Darshan they are on the banks of Hudson river passionately kissing and dozing off.
Does that night change anything?
What is the next turn in the thrilling “one day at a time” love ride of Nikhil and Lalitha?
If you are a schmuck incapable of guessing the end then go watch the movie.
Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao are the only two characters in the whole movie and it was an excellent opportunity for the two to train themselves at sight-seeing, wine tasting, and bar hopping.
They excelled in all of that.
Ali Zafar deliver adequately what his role demands.
After all how much does one expect from a song-dance-lover boy role?
By the way, what’s a Pakistani doing in the Indian film industry?
Aditi Rao was pleasant. While nature has not gone all the way to make her bootyfull, she definitely holds her own (in the context of acting) ;-). Her role was slightly more interesting than Ali Zafar’s but the director has made her play it in a single dimensional way.
Ali Zafar has scored the music for the film and also sang most of the songs.
The songs and music were not extraordinary but pleasant nevertheless.
“Woh Dekhney Mein” and “Tehri Si Zindagi” were the pick of the album and the Punjabi song “Ting Rang” was also ok.
Why do Indian movies have kissing scenes?
The duo make an ass of themselves in the attempt to kiss onscreen.
The most awkward kissing techniques and poses were out on display in this movie.
Next time the Indians act as if a fire has been lit under their asses when culturally “offensive” joke is cracked in some Late Night Show they should shut their trap and watch this movie. Every Caucasian is referred to as “Gora” or “Gori” or “Gore log”!
The good thing about the movie is that it sticks to its basic premise without deviating into sub-plots and the running time was a little more than 90 minutes.
It ends before one feels too exasperated.
Cinematography and camerawork was pleasant.
However, the lack of novelty in the story/screenplay, weak characterization of Lalitha and dull dialogues dent the charm of the romance.
Maybe love-struck couples may consider it a decent date movie but for the majority of the folks out there it’s not worth your attention.
Move on! What’s next?