Kolkata, 15 Feb 2020 17:25 IST
Love Aaj Kal Porshu does not fascinate the viewer with the twists in the plot. Instead, she remains hooked in anticipation of making sense of the narrative.
Pratim D Gupta always made sure to leave the audience with a warm feeling in his previous films. His latest, Love Aaj Kal Porshu (2020), breaks this consistent run. The film delivers a mixed experience, leaving the viewer confused whether to focus on the elements of romance in the movie or the twists and turns in the plot.
In the songs released earlier and the trailer for the movie, the chemistry between the lead pair, Arjun Chakraborty and Madhumita Sarkar, their refreshing appearance and their presence in visually appealing frames, attracted the viewer. There are many such occasions in the film as well, where you would like the moment to stay a little longer and get carried forward. Unfortunately, the twists in the plot intervene to disrupt the flow. As a result, you don’t take away much from the film as you leave the theatre.
Though Abhiroop (Arjun Chakraborty) doesn’t look like he is having a hangover when he wakes up, at the beginning of the film, the narrative begins on a refreshing note, with Avijit Kundu’s synchronic background score that takes the audience along with the narrative.
Arjun Chakraborty plays multiple avatars here and establishes each of them with the right kind of body language quite quickly. Madhumita Sarkar also plays multiple avatars, as partner of Chakraborty's avatars, with a natural appearance but without much variation.
In each of the narratives, despite appearing in different avatars, the protagonists fall in love with each other and that is how the director has attempted to convey that true love happens with the connection of two souls — the brains and memories hardly play a part in it.
However, the course of falling in love in the film seems too orchestrated and abrupt. The process does not seem organic as by the time the chemistry of the characters begins to sink in, they are placed into another avatar.
Revealing the context behind placing the artistes in different avatars could be a spoiler. It is apparent from the trailer that the context involves the character of Kalki Maitra, played by Paoli Dam. She reigns over the different narratives involving the protagonists and the narratives have a logical climax, too. However, the entire plotline doesn’t offer a seamlessly enjoyable experience; whenever it shifts from the narrative of a romantic equation to Maitra’s sequences, it causes a rupture, despite that leading eventually to a transformation of Dam's character.
Also, the two primary characters are put up at an island resort that is clearly not in an urban setting. Yet they are repeatedly told that the 'city' has been shut down by a strike and they believe it too, which doesn’t appear convincing.
There is another sequence in the second half when a crowd suddenly gathers to meet the protagonists on the streets of a village. It is as if the crowd was informed of their arrival beforehand, whereas the duo seem to be there simply by chance.
Paoli Dam has played her character with authority, but even so it does not leave much of an impact. Anindita Bose and Anirban Chakraborty, too, deliver decent performances.
Arijit Singh’s song Aye Dekhe Ja and Dev Arijit’s Shune Ne are placed appropriately in the film and beautifully shot by Subhankar Bhar. His camerawork in the sequences of the protagonists’ interaction raises anticipation as he, along with editor Sanglap Bhowmik, rises above the weakness of the screenplay.
In order to present the idea with more conviction, perhaps Pratim D Gupta needed to make the screenplay of the sequences dominated by Maitra stronger, so that instead of disrupting the romance they would complement the narrative. Now, Love Aaj Kal Porshu does not fascinate the viewer with its twists. It keeps the audience hooked with the anticipation of making sense of the narrative.
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