Film: Love Story 2050
Director: Harry Baweja
Producer: Pammi Baweja
Banner: Baweja Movies
Cast: Harman Baweja, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani, Archana Puran Singh, Harsh Vasisht, Mehezabeen Sarela, Rachit Trehan, Karan Verma, Kurush Deboo
When a star-kid is to be launched, there is usually a lot of fanfare. If affordable, the debut vehicle is something unusual couched in the usual trappings of mainstream cinema. So the dressing might be the same but the salad is a curious concoction.
Harry Baweja’s magnum opus launch pad of his son Harman is a shocking subversion of the above. Loads of coloured pyrotechnics decorate a paper-thin, done-to-death, choking with clichés story wrapped in a narrative we left behind years back.
In a Kaho Na Pyaar Hain meets Krrish meets Mr India and whatever else not story-line, Love Story 2050 begins with a rich brat pining (and here embarrassingly begging) for love from his business tycoon father in a very Amitabh Bachchan-Pran style interface where both are established as cardboard cutouts.
After cliché no.1 enters cliche no.2 of boy seeing girl and its love at first sight to last for janam-o-janam. Girl acquiesces to boy’s ardent pleas for dates and love blossoms in what are the only fresh, endearing and enjoyable moments of the film.
All is well in la la land until fate deals a blow to our Shakespearean tragic hero and science comes to the rescue. All and sundry shift base to year 2050 and unfurl a havoc never before seen in film history, which comfortably ends in an ending unabashedly formulaic and mish-mash of a number of movies.
Love Story 2050 boasted of several offerings promising to entice and enchant the viewer. One of them was about captivating graphics creating a futuristic Mumbai where cars fly and robots live to serve humans. The movie does pack a terrifying amount of VFX and while doing so transforms a city of humans into a space-ship style existence somewhere between earth and outer space. Like the stage where Priyanka performs and the depths that the villain falls to, has neither foundation nor context.
Techonology is given a ridiculously outlandish berth and it’s with a silent thanks we see real humans inhabit this no-no-land instead of micro-chip operating robots look-alikes.
Talking about look-alikes, Harman, the much-touted newcomer, the debutante who has already signed a host of front-ranking movies, proves to be passable with histrionic capabilities barely touching average. It does him no credit that his mannerism, gesture, styling, move is extremely similar to the Roshan star-son especially with the latter’s unfailing talents that draw more unfair comparisons.
Much has also been made about the imaginative and modish styling for a world, which writes with laser pen; where the virtual is the only reality around. So ingrained is the concept in the ethos of the film that in a sweepingly symbolic move, the Mogambo-esque badman with a voice like a sore-throated Gulshan Grover wears several such chips embedded in his head like hairclips. Full marks to the stylist for being true to the screenplay in one of India’s most under-stated statement.
On the positive side, the fashionistas of the film throw up some very interesting and complementing ensembles that draw attention. Eye-catching but not bizarre, clothes, make-up, hair and the entire look marries aesthetics to innovation. A great amount of credit for the success of the looks also goes to the leading lady Priyanka Chopra who carries her sunny dresses with the same élan as he does her futuristic ones. And the same goes for her performance, which is as pink in the first half as it is mauve and maroon in the latter.
Art direction has an edge that speaks of a stupendous budget on the floor and on the machine. It is well-spent in actuality but its acontextuality does not help hold the film together. Strictly below-average music, lyrics and choreography bring down the valuation of a romance, which anyways does not have much going for it.
All said, all of the above might have been tolerable, even ignorable, if the curry had a little more soul.