Review: 'I Hate Luv Storys' is a smartly subverted romantic parody

Friday, 2 July 2010 - 5:20pm IST Updated: Friday, 2 July 2010 - 6:56pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Inspite of the lack of a credible story and the predictable ending, this film is worth a watch.

I Hate Luv Storys
Cast: Imran Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Samir Dattani, Samir Soni, Bruna Abdullah, Ketki Dave, Anju Mahendra.
Director: Punit Malhotra
Rating: * * *

A love story that tries hard not to be stereotypical- Punit Malhotra’s ‘I Hate Luv Storys’ subverts generic clichés and turns accepted tenets of romance on it’s head. It’s also a parody on the industry that seems obsessed with love stories. 

The storyline though is pretty non-existent. The plot exists of smartly manufactured ‘situations’ that are strung together by wispy threads constituting several subplots.  It’s a romantic comedy for sure but the mechanics at play are different from the run-of-the-mill.

Jay (Imran) meets Simran (Sonam) in a cinema and they feel an attraction to each other. But Simran is more or less engaged to the perfect guy Raj (Samir Dattani) while Jay is too much of a  ‘love’ hater to make much out of a stray attraction.

Then Simran comes to work for Jay’s boss Veer Kapoor (Samir Soni), the foremost romance director of the film industry and things start hotting up. First they are just friends, then Simran falls in love with Jay, gets rejected and then when Jay is finally ready to acknowledge his love for Simran, she rejects him.

The script turns around conventionally accepted filmy truisms of romance. What hitherto had been a male preserve in a romance gets transferred to the female. So while Simran manages to get on with her life and make practical decisions despite being emotionally suckered by humiliation and rejection,  Jay is shown as weeping copious tears, baring his heart to his mother and also gets ridiculed for behaving in girlie fashion when it’s his turn to get rejected.

The relationship between Simran and Raj is typically Ken and Barbie.

He is good-looking, has a solid well-paying job and follows the norm (read cliché) where romance is concerned. They wear the same colours, love the same things and get so boring in their ‘together’ choices that it takes Jay’s entry into their lives to force them to evaluate their own antiseptic relationship.

The discontent is verbalized but visually there appears to be a disconnect. We get to know all this mainly from the superbly written dialogues and not from the visual plotting. The plotting is  not sharp enough it tends more towards ploddy. The so-called fights between Simran and Raj appear to be mere expressions of  minor discontent and not supportive of a dramatic shift in affection towards Jay.

But the parallel plot lines bring in greater rewards. Veer’s attempt to make the mushiest romance of all-time titled ‘Pyar Pyar Pyar’ with  reigning matinee superstars shores up the humour nicely. Veer appears to be a cross between Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Yash Chopra with character traits of the former and directorial savoir faire of the latter. His antics thereof are consistently chuckle-worthy.

The second half turnaround where Jay starts to feel his loss appears to be similar to the one in ‘Jaane Tu…’ but it’s not as convincing. It appears manipulative. The run in towards the climax also appears rushed. So much time was spent in establishing the stereotypes that the development becomes haphazard and the runtime gets extended to almost unbearable limits.

Vishal-Shekar’s music also tends to be a drag.

Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor make sincerity a cornerstone of their respective performances. They appear likable and believable. The chemistry between them may not be entirely palpable but the freshness of their pairing and the visible vibe that they share translates well on screen.

Inspite of the lack of a credible story and the predictable ending, this film is worth a watch mainly because of the appropriate candy coloured cinematography, reams of sparkling wit, great comedic timing and humorously edged performances provide for some consistent pop-corn styled entertainment!

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