Film Review: 'Gori Tere Pyaar Mein'
Opened: 22 November 2013
Cast: Imran Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anupam Kher, Shraddha Kapoor and Esha Gupta
Director: Punit Malhotra
Producer: Karan Johar/Dharma Productions
Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor appeared in a sparkling little rom-com last year – Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu – their pairing is an unusual one and it worked really well in that film, which co-incidentally was for the same banner but helmed by a different director. The duo return this time in a film by Punit Malhotra, the man who gave us a fickle, albeit rather enjoyable I Hate Luv Storys a few years back. It's a rom-com, and like most romances it's predictable, and relies on its lead pair to salvage even the most mundane scenes, and make us connect with their romance. Unfortunately, there is only so much actors can do if the script is so shoddily written and so painfully predictable.
Sriram (Imran in a half baked, smart Alec part that we've seen before), is a rebellious Banglorian yuppie with daddy issues who gets his marriage arranged by his stifling orthodox parents to Vasudha (Shraddha). His bride to be however, has other plans and isn't too hot on her suitor, and during one of their exchanges discovers that her not so eligible bachelor, hasn't quite moved on from his previous relationship either – with Dia (Kareena), a social activist, who we're led to believe, is so busy being Ms Congeniality and fighting for every social right under the sun, that she hasn't had much time to pursue her personal life.
Vasudha convinces Sriram to be a runaway groom and re-ignite the flames of his past relationship, and so, without much ado he flees at the altar and ends up in remote, rural Gujarat where his ex lady love is trying to solve the infrastructural problems of a poverty stricken village. How they reconcile and put aside their differences form the crux of the story.
At the very onset, be it the film's music videos, the trailers or the posters, the promotion for Gori Tere Pyaar Mein was quite tepid. Neither Dharma, nor the crew really upped the ante, and as a result, the film, unlike most other Dharma productions didn't look like it had much going for it. And sadly, in this case our first impressions of the film were spot on.
In Gori Tere Pyaar Mein there are a few typical light hearted moments in the first half which hold the audience's interest, but when the attention shifts from the romance to the village, the pace of the film takes a complete nosedive. You never really empathise with the dilemma or the problems the villagers face and neither do you feel for the lead characters because the set up is so darned superficial.
Yes it's a Karan Johar production, so the lead actress, naturally, will have her hair perfectly blow dried, be made up and look as pretty as a peach no matter what her surroundings, but given the film's premise it just looks ridiculous in this situation. The plot is contrived and lacks freshness – I don't think anything this stale has come out of the Dharma stable in a while. And I think the blame for these shortcomings should lie entirely with director Punit Malhotra . Malhotra tries to do what Shakun Batra did in Ekk Main Aur Ekk Tu, albeit in a different setting, and fails miserably. The music by Vishal Shekhar too is strictly average and none of the songs stay with you after you've left the auditorium.
Any flaws of the film could have been overlooked with fine performances, but alas that doesn't happen here either. Imran Khan has done the cocky-look-at-me-I-don't-give-a-damn character to death now, and its neither endearing nor cool. It's just annoying. Kareena, as usual, looks as radiant as ever and tries valiantly to do what she can, but this is far from being one of her better performances. It's a role she could have done in her sleep in fact, and an actress of her calibre deserves better. Far better. And the chemistry, which is a must in this case, is sorely missing between the pair. Surprisingly it's Shraddha Kapoor in a cameo that is the film's silver lining. As Vasudha, the reluctant bride, the actress brings a dignity to her character that is impressive for a newcomer. She looks resplendent too which only adds to her short, but sweet part. Anupam Kher is one dimensional and does nothing out of the ordinary, and none of the supporting cast stand out either.
I'm going with two stars for Gori Tere Pyaar Mein. It has a hollowness and an emptiness that is unique and hasn't been felt in a Karan Johar production for a long time. Skip it and catch it on demand or on the small screen. You won't be missing much.