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Star Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Sara Ali Khan, Randeep Hooda and Aarushi Sharma.

Music: Pritam.

Director: Imtiaz Ali.

It's Valentine's Day! The day of love and romance. No matter how many fanciful love stories have been presented to the public already, people will never stop relishing them. This is probably because romantic movies are always so innovative, and they evoke the best emotions and feelings within us. Movie characters often have to struggle and fight for their love and happiness, make it work against the odds, but this is actually what makes romantic films so engrossing. And on the occasion of Valentine's day, what's better than watching an Imtiaz Ali film, Love Aaj Kal (2020) starring together for the very first time, the hero of the masses, Kartik Aaryan and desi internet’s favorite actress, Sara Ali Khan, Right? But Ironically, It doesn't work that way.

The movie story is based on the same plot of the 2009 released film, by the same name Love Aaj Kal, depicting a comparison between Old-day love and the Modern-day love. Portraying two love stories from different eras facing different obstacles. One couple battles society's restrictions while, other trying to balance between work and love life. The plot mainly revolves around the love story of the two main lead Characters Zoe ( Sara Ali Khan ) and Veer ( Karthik Aaryan ), who are walking on two different paths in their life with very different thinking. On one hand, Zoe is a free-spirited, career-focused 22-year-old girl, while Veer is a person who believes in listening to his heart. The two meet at a cafe shop, owned by Raghu(Randeep Hooda), who tries to match the two. The film sees two different love stories moving together, one being the past of Randeep Hooda from which Zoe tries to learn by connecting her existing love story with Veer.

How Raghu's story help Zoe and Veer think over their relationship and work on the same? What obstacles did Raghu faced in the '90s and what currently Zoe and Veer are going through? Will Zoe and Veer end up living together a happy life? Is the premise of the story.

Talking about the direction and technicalities, only one-word popups, "Disappointed!" It hurts to the core of the heart to digest the fact that it's an IMTIAZ ALI FLIM!

Imtiaz Ali is a brilliant director who has given some fresh breath of air to his love stories and some are excellent like Socha Na Tha (2005) Jab We Met(2007), Love Aaj Kal (2009), Rockstar (2011), etc. But lately, he is also in a syndrome of serving the same old product with an altered packaging. Love Aaj Kal (2020) seems to be a complete disaster coming after Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017). Tamasha (2015), another film by Imtiaz, which was bashed by critics still was far better in terms of the content. But Love Aaj Kal (2020) is such a misfit!

The storyline of the movie is very confusing and poorly narrated which eventually fails to connect with the audiences. Somewhere, Love Aaj Kal (2020) does not click at all, the soul is missing from the film. Imtiaz is a critically acclaimed director and the way he interprets his story, does character sketching is appreciable and we have seen some of his best works in the past. But this film is turning out to be one of his weakest works. Somewhere, he has absolutely gone wrong in keeping the tone of the film very casual even while the characters are undergoing a process of self-discovery, trying to develop the power of discretion, distinguish between what their hearts and heads want, and finally the power of reunion is also diminished due to inconsistent and shallow screenplay.

Imtiaz used to be the 'go-to-guy' in Bollywood for love-travel movies, thanks to Socha Na Tha (2005), Jab We Met (2007), Love Aaj Kal (2009), Highway (2014), etc. Although this move does embrace some elements of Ali's trademark styles, it eventually ends as a disaster. Sorry! But as an Imtiaz Ali fan, We are deeply hurt.

The dialogues lack depth and soul. The cinematography work is normal, nothing out of the box to talk about. The background score and the music are perhaps the only good thing about the film, which aptly fits the story. The songs 'Rahogi Meri' and 'Mehrama' are very beautifully picturized by Imtiaz. Trademark work shown by the director there. The movie has few moments in the first half where you might be entertained but the second half seems to be stretched a lot. Even the performances of the leading star cast doesn't do any good for the film.

Karthik Aaryan, who plays two characters in the movie, delivers a very mediocre performance throughout. At times it felt he his trying to imitate the behavior of the character 'Janardan' (Rockstar Movie) the way Ranbir Kapoor played it but fails miserably. Sara Ali Khan, who was critically praised and loved for her performances in Kedarnath (2018) and Simmba (2018), was seen struggling to pull off the character of Zoe. The loud expression, the over the top acting, everything seemed forced and unnatural.

Randeep Hooda, who was nowhere covered in the trailer of the film, turns out to be the only saving grace of the movie! The talented actor plays his part incredibly well. The actor making a comeback to the silver screen outshines everyone even in a tight limited screen time. The debutant, Arushi Sharma is innocently beautiful in the movie. She does justice to her character's demand. Comparatively, her Love track story is more vividly written than the Zoe's.

Overall the film stumbles and does not provide what its viewers are seeking. We genuinely expected that Imtiaz Ali will present us something new as he always does(except the forgettable, Jab Harry Met Sejal). It's kinda evident that Imtiaz has lost his visionary touch as a creator. His art of understanding of human character, portraying its depths and its darknesses is nowhere encountered in this film.

Love Aaj Kal (2020) seems to a disappointing inferior version to the classic original, Love Aaj Kal (2009). Some of his movie characters are still fresh in our minds, be it lively Geet (Jab We Met), The journey of Janardan to Jordan (Rockstar), The intriguing love story of Ved and Tara (Tamaasha). Aaah!

While in Love Aaj Kal the major drawback is that it does not have any new storyline but just bits and pieces of certain instants fused together. Scenes of Jab We Met, Tamsaha and Love Aaj Kal(2009) amalgamated together as moments.

To summarise, the movie totally lacks the Imtiaz Ali tadka. The movie seems to be shabbily wrapped up. Final message to Imtiaz Ali by a disheartened fan, " Aagli baar aana to puri taraha aana, warna mat aana"

Verdict: A one time watch.

Rating: **1/2

Verdict: A one time watch.

Rating: **1/2

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