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I Hate Luv Storys : A glossy (depressing+ moronic+ clichéd) love story!

July 9, 2010

I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. Neither do I understand the chemistry or the biology behind love, nor do I know the essence of being in love. But our honeymoon with love stories just doesn’t seem to end. It began in the black and white era when we saw two love birds getting drenched in rain. Later, it graduated to making out behind trees, bushes and flowers. Everytime the bush was shaken violently it was a suggestion that the couple was doing the ping-pong. That’s how we had grown up watching the so called “Act of love”. At one point of time, I was about to ask my mother, if women get pregnant as soon as the men touch them. Of course, I didn’t! Thank god, Hollywood elaborated the process and the internet gave a visual representation, more than what I could understand from books. And then everything changed when Aditya Chopra came up with the mushiest film of the 20th century, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenga. It was the pompous celebration of love like never before. Thankfully, Mr.Khan aka Raj taught us some Indian values along with laying down the template for all future love stories. And that’s how the whole problem began.

The baton of making candyfloss, sugar coated romantic films was passed on to Karan Johar and his team. As a kid, I loved watching DDLJ, K2H2, Mohabbatein and few other films. But something changed in college. Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and My Sassy Girl (Korean flick) were some of the love stories which offered a new perspective on love. I am still reeling under their influence and I believe in Woody Allen’s philosophy that love is transient. Maybe it’s a coincidence. Maybe it’s an unusual imbalance of hormones triggered by the scent of a woman (from a guy’s perspective). This is probably the reason why I hate love stories made on Indian soil. Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya/Ye Maya Chesave, is an exception! For that matter, the aspect of love in all Gautham Menon’s films is an exception. However, the problem with most of the love stories churned out from Karan Johar’s camp is that they seem to have lost the identity or even creativity to narrate a love story. Let’s say it is Yatha Raja…thatha Praja, wala case.

I Hate Luv Storys, the latest love story from Karan Johar’s camp, reeks of DDLJ in almost every scene. Since we live in 2010 and Punit Malhotra is the director, it’s a hatke love story. The film has Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor in lead roles. IHLS narrates the story of Jay (pronounced as J), an assistant director and how his tryst with Simran, the art director changes his perception on love. In a way, the film had a perfect setting. The blue eyed boy, Imran Khan is the desi version of Robert Pattinson. A damsel – Sonam Kapoor who’s putting on oodles of gorgeousness, day after day. Lavish budget, foreign locations, peppy music and loads of hot legs and cleavage! It was meant to be a perfect love story, but it spirals all the way to being some sort of Indian ping-pong on the internet. Depressing and clichéd!

IHLS starts on a high note and maintains the tempo for quite sometime. It’s goofy and often nasty when it comes to mocking Bollywood love stories. The rules of the game have been established well. We have J (Imran Khan) who hates love stories and doesn’t believe in love. His interest lies in guzzling beer, peacocking in parties for single women, dating and so on. On the other hand, Simran (Sonam Kapoor) eats, drinks and breathes love. She’s madly in love with Raj (Sameer Dattani), her childhood sweetheart. And everything changes once these two meet in the sets of a new film ‘Pyaar Pyaar Pyaar’. Although their relationship starts on a wrong note, the forces of nature alter the matrix and soon they start painting the town red. J teaches Simran, a thing or two about the art of living with joy, opening new doors and also the world beyond Raj. The film has some of its finest moments during this phase. The narrative has a nice fluidity and it’s easy to relate to Simran meandering towards J. There’s something special about Sonam Kapoor. Her smile is quite infectious and the screen lights up when she’s in a happy mood. Imran Khan makes an earnest attempt to fit into the shoes of J. If only he could carry his lovelorn, Devdas avatar with more élan, IHLS would have been more convincing.

The problem with IHLS is that it re-enacts every single cliché which it derides as the plot unfolds. Far from being an intelligent flick, this aspect alone makes it a moronic and yet another clichéd love story. In a way, it cements the quintessential fact that love stories haven’t changed much except for few changes in the template. The signs of the film spiraling down to being a depressing love story start right in the beginning of second half. The gloom on Simran’s face is unbearable. If I had one major complaint with Punit Malhotra, then it would be – Of all actresses why did you choose Sonam Kapoor and make her look depressed?! Pure blasphemy! No wonder, Cupid vanished in thin air…the mushiness goes kaput and love’s no longer in air. From then on, it’s a tireless exercise to make sure the film has a happy ending. Love stories usually have a happy ending. But IHLS is one such film where there’s no joy left despite a happy ending. Since it’s a clichéd love story, the ending is quite clichéd too. It’s not just predictable; the film’s a celebration of love which goes haywire!

The film has a good supporting cast. That guy from sprite ads makes his presence felt and it’s a pleasure to watch him doling out all the gyaan to J. Veer, the famous director who churns out blockbuster love stories has a great comic timing. And the Brazilian hottie, Bruna Abdullah – if it wasn’t for her voice, she would have been a perfect 10 in the code of “The Game”. For once, staring at someone’s cleavage for so long isn’t a painful exercise. The only problem is, her role is a tad too dumb to take her seriously. Sameer Dattani breezes through his scenes. Interesting thing is, he probably has the same dialogues, expressions with ample costume changes throughout the film. Since it’s a Karan Johar’s production, the film is filled with great colours, locales (New Zealand), soothing music and slick cinematography. It’s custom made and polished stuff for the young generation who are expected to coo everytime they see Imran Khan showing off his toned body. Quite similar to the Robert Pattinson syndrome, that has taken the adolescents by storm. And I don’t get either of these syndromes.

All said and done, the film has probably grossed quite a lot of money already. Some critics have called it a date movie; if it’s true then I wonder if they walked out after the first half. For once, I was on the verge of liking “pink” and “orderliness”. But thanks to the depressing second half, I am back to my normal state. Guzzling beer on weekdays rocks and if you get your sweetheart to do the shots along with you, it doesn’t get any better than this! Thumbs down for IHLS, the film reiterates the fact that I will continue to hate love stories, especially the filmy ones. For once I am thankful to Karan Johar and Punit Malhotra that I didn’t choke myself in the extra oodles of mushiness they seem to have stuffed in the film.

P.S: I wonder if Sonam A Kapoor realizes that she doesn’t have to shed her clothes to entice the audience. It’s a rare case where an actress looks far better when she’s wearing the trendiest of clothes rather than baring her skin!


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17 Comments leave one →
  1. Srikanth permalink
    July 9, 2010 5:50 pm

    I agree, the bollywood movies are different. You forgot notebook in the list. Second para, i totally agree.

  2. Vivekananda permalink
    July 10, 2010 11:48 am


    Please dont get offended but read through and try to make peace with the truth. You dont need to publish this comment if you are touchy about the truth but at least read through:

    For anyone aspiring to be a professional movie critic to make a blanket statement like “I hate love stories made on Indian soil” is unimaginably silly. Just because you have had the opportunity of watching a few movies does not give you better taste and shit. Dont you think at some point in their career KJo and his team would have watched Annie Hall and dissected the shit out of every scene trying to bring in the same aesthetics and ideas into Indian cinema?

    Why do you have to write such harsh reviews? Amma lanti cinema, neeku annam pette cinema. Alanti cinemala meeda vummu vuse bratakalanukuntunnava brother?

    You think being snarky and trying to be funny will one day eventually make you like Roger Ebert and help land you lots of chicks. Unfortunately this is not the case. The guy ended up with no job and no jaw.

    You are basically an ugly guy who is acutely aware of his ugliness and you have had no success whatsoever with women. You have never experienced love and are probably jealous of most other better looking people or at least those who go out with good looking women. You have a small dick and masturbate frequently.

    Please be more constructive in your criticism. It is easy to brand someones effort as “moronic”. It is also easy to say it is my personal opinion and shit like that. Telling people that you have a small dick is also my personal opinion. Will you be OK if I go around telling this to everyone? There sure are bound to be some negative effects! Similar ga nuvvu cinema gurunchi yadava vagudu vaagena kuda anthe.

    I repeat again. Be gentle and constructive in your criticism. Snarky might be good to get a few hits on your blog but it does nothing to add any value to this world.

    Insha allah. Intha cheppina kuda if you persist its your karma.

    • July 10, 2010 12:04 pm


      You realise that Hemanth can retort by turning the same comment against you? He found a movie bad, and chose to write about it. You found a review you bad, and chose to write about it. Pray tell me, what is the difference?

    • manu permalink
      July 10, 2010 12:45 pm

      lol@vivekanand… tinnama, padkunama, cinema choosama ani undaka… evaro edo raasthe neekendukoy 😛

    • Dheeraj permalink
      July 10, 2010 11:29 pm


      ROFL…What the heck man…Sicko…

      Why do you care about his ugliness or his dick or his masturbation or his opinions?
      He just wrote his opinion, Read all his posts, and you’ll know that he is always generous while writing his reviews.

      Anyway, it’s his opinion and he can write all the shit in ‘his blog’. If you want to differ it, comment on why you dislike his opinion, but not making silly comments such as ‘small-dick’ like a cry-baby.

      You jealous moron…Anthati goppa peru tho…intha neechamaina budhi…aa peru ke kalankam kadhara…

  3. July 10, 2010 12:04 pm

    @Vivekananda you think as a movie critic ,come on man you dont have right to say,even the people who saw are telling movie lacks some intensity

  4. Mareach permalink
    July 10, 2010 1:05 pm

    Absolutely hating this “holliwood”ization of Bollywood.. Not that i m against the change..its like there s scope to get better of “Indian” senses rather than segmenting and venturing into “multiplex” territory…Movies like IHLS might get revenues but not longevity n shall be branded as “also ran” kinda genre…What we need is movies like Peepli Live ,Oye Lucky Oye, Aithe, Tamil Padam to break the jinxes n cliches.

    About IHLS ..Malhotra made the package look more like a 30 min Story into a drag fiit for “Nerolac” kinda visual n T.V commercial.
    Movie is good for a T.V watch not on big screen..not worth money!!!
    Critically not a critic..intoxicated by movies

  5. July 10, 2010 1:10 pm


    Cheers to Mr. Vvknanda. 😛

  6. prabhu permalink
    July 12, 2010 10:10 am

    > You think being snarky and trying to be funny will one day eventually make you like Roger Ebert

    @Vivekananda, Bingo. you’ve hit nail on the head

  7. Vaibhav Pandey permalink
    July 12, 2010 12:55 pm

    Mr. Vivekananda..
    This is my first comment ever on a blog…
    You are self obsessed…and frustrated! take a chill pill…

  8. yalkur permalink
    July 12, 2010 1:12 pm

    dude… may b u r too harsh on dis movie.. wat happened to dis kinda hard hitting writing wen u rote 4 KRRs JUMMANDI NAADAM.. u appreciated it naa..?? and as per ur reviews KRRs JN shud b better dan IHLS..i understand both r different genre and shud not b compared, but im jus comparing wat u rote on dos films.. bullshit dude, dis movie may not b de best luv story but its not as bad as u rote it off… u mite get more hits but seriousli readers will lose trust in wat u rite if u rite like dis…i think wat vivekanada rote is partially correct…
    thumbs down ananta emundi mama cinemalo..JN matram baagunda…lite teesko baabu.. nuvedooo raastav (purely ur personal opinion, may b) but 100 peopl wud read it n u hav 2 accept wat readers hav 2 say..if u cant take wat we hav to say stop riting..k
    dono weder u r reading all dis n wantdli not replying r too busy tweeting…don get offended but constructivli criticise..k

  9. Vivekananda permalink
    July 12, 2010 2:26 pm


    Please dont treat my previous comment as being limited to only this post. General ga reviewers are way too harsh. Reviewers are always trying to get a few laughs by insulting others. Alanti pani yavadayina cheyyochhu ani cheppatanike had to put a harsh comment myself.

    And this reviewer is totally unreliable. Wrote a positive review for Jummandi Naadam and tried to justify by making the review very long and so boring that it was practically unreadable.

    Be crisp boss. Write reviews to the point. Not everyone is interested in your history and shit.

    But all said and done this reviewer is at least the best in the current corp in action. Aaa Jeevi gaado leka greatandhra ayithe manam matladukovatam kuda parama waste. So I’ve decided to haunt this reviewer’s comment section and insult him frequently from now on.

  10. July 12, 2010 3:30 pm

    I love the polemic, as it goes to the essence of romantic filmmaking.

    Of course love stories are crap. They are all based on a universal con: the fact that romantic love makes a human being happy – forever after.

    Anyone disagreeing with Hermanth should get some REAL life experience and you’ll realize that the con works for only about 3% of the population (because they die before they see how the trick works). Fabulous book dealing with the explanation of WHY: Owning Your Shadow (also handy for people interested in The Hero’s Journey).

    That said, this is about film, so we’re talking mythology here.

    The audience needs love stories. And judging them by their ‘realistic’ truth is like reviewing a Michael Bay movie as if it were a documentary. Ain’t gonna work.

    “I believe in Woody Allen’s philosophy that love is transient.” So do I, at least romantic love. But any successful cinema culture cannot be built on such philosophy but rather the denial of it.

    So by taking the Allen/Linklater approach, you’ll be limited to films that appeal to a limited audience.

    That’s fine, as everyone is entitled to their opinion.

  11. ram permalink
    July 12, 2010 11:17 pm

    nice review

    i think, you need to write small paras for better readability…

  12. Harshini permalink
    July 13, 2010 1:55 pm

    Hey, this is Harshini. I couldnt reply you back on twitter since you are not following me 🙂
    Im studying in BITS Pilani Dubai, 3rd year ECE. I saw that you were an ex-BITSian .. and I think you are doing a very interesting job of editing for a magazine like Southscope! 🙂

  13. August 1, 2010 1:51 am

    “It’s a rare case where an actress looks far better when she’s wearing the trendiest of clothes rather than baring her skin!”

    — I agree. Sonam Kapoor is so beautiful. She does not need cheapness to attract men.

  14. August 11, 2010 2:24 pm

    i had liked the movie…..

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