Anu Menon is a filmmaker trained in London and her western sensibilities are apparent in the approach to her debut film. She has dealt with the subject with immense maturity and has come up with an award winning performance. Having said that, let me add that having no big stars will work adversely for the film. If there was a Ranbir Kapoor or Priyanka Chopra, the opening would be different. Sad, but true. Indian audience need to break from the star mould. Newer stars and directors need to be given their due, so what if they do not belong to any film families.
Aditi and Ali manage to hook you from their first scene together onwards. Don't go by the star tag, these are stars of the future. Especially Aditi.
Their on-screen chemistry can be felt. Their falling in love is almost magical. Their meeting over three cities to test their love is a novel way of exploring their emotions. Can a long distance relationship survive?
On a flight to London, Lalitha (Aditi), who is off to study Political Science, is told that she will miss her connecting flight to New York because this flight has been delayed. On the way out of the airport, she bumps into Nikhil (Ali Zafar), who will be studying Film Direction. She drops a book she is reading and he picks it up for her. Soon the conversation moves from Mills & Boons to Politics. Lalitha has information on any subject. Nikhil is the quintessential flirt who works his charm on Lalitha. Nikhil gives her company in London as they spend a day exploring the streets of the city. Sparks fly. Nikhil promises to meet Lalitha a few months later in New York, after a passionate kiss. This was in 2005. CHECK OUT: Aditi Rao Hydari- Ali and I don't want any negativity
The scene then moves to 2007, in Paris. Nikhil has come in search of Lalitha and after enquiring about her whereabouts he has managed to track her down. Explanations are offered about why he could not meet her. They begin their journey again. Their romance now is even more intense, but abruptly, Lalitha leaves him in his hotel room. I can't reveal the reason here! She asks him to be true to his self.
The scene now moves to New York, five years later. Nikhil has once again come in search of Lalitha. She is only too happy to see him. Unfortunately, she is to marry the next day. Nihkil pleads for one night out on the streets of New York.
So will she marry Allan her fiance? Or will Nikhil be the lucky man?
I have a problem with the beginning and the end. Eight hours is too short a time for one to fall in love. But to Anu's credit, she bares Nikhil's and Lalitha's emotions beautifully. Still, you wonder, is it possible to fall in love? I guess, yes. The end too could have been drastically different. At least the viewer would have gone home thinking.
Aditi Rao Hydari is a spontaneous actor. She has a sweet charm of her own that is infectious in nature. Her timing is perfect. She is a complete actor, perfectly immersed in the character she is portraying. Ali Zafar on the other hand, redefines the art of flirting and gives cocky a new meaning. Both set the screen on fire. Mention must be made of the dialogues too.
The subject is bold in its treatment. The way these two youngsters, who are away from their homes in a foreign land, conduct themselves is also laudable. Not every parent would want this but then every 20-year-old has a mind of his own.
For two new actors to hold you mesmerized is laudable. This movie should be a definite 'must see' on your 'to do list' this weekend.