LOVE AAJ KAL is JAB WE MET without the intensity of Geet. However, here you have the confused, so-called 'me stud man' image of Jai Vardhan Singh (Saif Ali Khan), which takes a beating and comes out fighting to salvage his love, or whatever it is that is left of it. So Jai who hogs the best dialogues and even screen space when he is required to listen takes Geet's place convincingly.
One scene is when Meera (Deepika Padukone) is getting married and asks her friends to call Jai (who also is at the reception) to meet her. Obviously, she has something to say, but what happens is Jai steals the show with his 'Amitabh-like' lines while you are left wondering what is it that Meera wanted to tell him. Point to note Imtiaz.
Imtiaz Ali has spun a two-layered tale of love and has Saif Ali Khan portraying love in today's time (Aaj) and love two decades ago (Kal). In both roles, Saif is super convincing. Love seems to be the flavour for Imtiaz and he handles the subject with a degree of confidence that has now become his trademark.
Jai and Meera meet and fall in love in London. After two years of courtship, Meera's archaeological background takes her to India while Jai has his dreams to work on a project in San Francisco. They decide to break-up and even have a 'break-up party'. How cool is that. Their meeting, falling in love, tender moments and even the break-up is capsuled well by Imtiaz. But somewhere deep down, both know that they can never be separated. For Jai, break-up means he is now ready to date more girls, while for Meera it is work and the prospect of meeting new men. Jai is the super-cool dude who does not believe in the philosophy of love. Not for him is the Romeo-Juliet kind of romance. This is Love Aaj.
Rishi Kapoor, who owns the restaurant where the 'break-up' party is held, reminisces of his love and how he wooed his girl to Jai. Patiently following her cycle rickshaw in the by-lanes of Delhi and even going to Calcutta to track her down after she had moved away. Saif Ali Khan plays the younger, vulnerable, and unsure in love Rishi. That was Love Kal.
In both tales, Imtiaz weaves a pattern to display that whatever era you may have been in, Love has a singular momentum and you only love once. Both love stories are unraveled together and as they head to the climax, Imtiaz has you firmly in his grip.
The first half moves fast but you just get the feeling that the second half could have been tighter. It drags and you wonder why Imtiaz is letting his grip off the proceedings.
Deepika comes out shining. Put her in the hands of a good director and she can do wonders. Imtiaz coaxes out a good performance from her. But believe me; this girl can do much, much better. She stands up to the much-experienced Saif Ali Khan in the lighter moments as well as the more intense ones. If she makes the right choices, she will be an actress to watch out for.
Saif Ali Khan makes a smooth transition from actor to producer. He may not have promoted his film with the force of a Ghajini, but he managed to create just the right kind of hype. Maybe, if Team India had to progress further in the recently concluded T-20 World Cup, the hype would have gotten bigger. Saif has shown a sharp business eye looking into every aspect, including the music by Pritam.
Love knows no language. Besides, it cuts through people from all age. Aaj, Kal and what have you. It is neat, clean and full of romance. This one is for ''The mango people. The Aam Junta'', as Saif's Jai says in one of his dialogues. Go for it.