I really wanted this movie to be good. On paper, the idea of Imtiaz Ali teaming up with Shah Rukh Khan seems pretty special but this movie really didn’t end up being what either of them wanted it to be.
Before getting into what’s wrong with the movie, let’s talk about what worked. Both Anushka Sharma and Shah Rukh Khan were good. The movie looks really good. Imtiaz Ali knows how to shoot a film and him and K. U. Mohanan don’t hold back. The very first song of the film, ‘Safar’, is really well done.
The first half is fun to watch. It was casual cinema and entertained me. But then this movie decided that it wanted to be more than just a fun movie.
Now to the bad.
Anushka Sharma’s Gujarati accent is more of a gimmick than an accent and was unnecessary. After the first song, the rest of the songs only come off as filler. The songs are nice to listen to on their own but they seem to be awkwardly inserted into this film at random points. I watched this movie with Aditya Mukherjee, who is also a fan of Imtiaz’s work and the second ‘Radha’ started playing on screen he said, “This isn’t Imtiaz.” And it would’ve been fine there was only one such song, but there were like four more.
This isn’t Imtiaz Ali using music in a bad way, it just isn’t him at all. By now, I know that Imtiaz Ali always uses music to serve the story. The song placements were just not consistent with the tone of the rest of the film. They did nothing other than making the movie a lot longer than it should’ve been.
There is also a backstory given to Harry which doesn’t have a payoff as emotional as the makers thought it would.
I think this movie was trying to be too many things. It was a road trip movie with a love story at the centre of it but it went a little further than it needed to go.
This movie tried to achieve some sort of depth which it didn’t need to and could’ve been easier to watch if they had cut out all the unnecessary song sequences, one Random Wedding and another sequence right before the third act of the movie begins which I won’t spoil for you in case you want to see the movie.
This felt like something Imtiaz could’ve made better if he was given more control over the film. Somewhere underneath all the fluff is a decent movie. But, this movie’s potential was crushed by clashing tones and visions of what the movie should and shouldn’t be.
It felt like instead of Shah Rukh Khan committing to Imtiaz Ali’s vision, it was Imtiaz Ali who altered his vision in order to write a movie centred around what Shah Rukh Khan wanted to do, which is the opposite of what acting is all about. Any actor should completely allow himself to be controlled by the director and not the other way around.
Check it out if you have nothing better to. You won’t hate it, but you probably will forget about it soon.