Twist pe twist pe twist – Love Games could well have been termed Aao Twist Karein! The film has ample twists that are explored in the last 20-25 minutes that it pretty much justifies the reputation that filmmaker Vikram Bhatt comes with when it is about pacing up the final act in his films. He usually does it quite well, and consistently, and same is the case with Love Games too which has ample drama towards the concluding portions.
The first half sets up well too, though one does feel that a lot of it has already been unveiled either in the promos or the songs or the various marketing and promotional pegs that are all over the media. Patralekha needs Gaurav as bed partner, he doesn’t know what to do with his life and then arrives Tara who is just in need of love. There is no surprise whatsoever when jealousy creeps in this three way relationship.
You do feel that you have seen it all and hence you wonder what would Vikram offer in the second half. As a matter of fact, the next 20-30 minutes that follow are just about decent. However the real ‘Love Game’ sets in when Alisha comes face to face with Patralekha. One could well have expected another Arth (Shabana Azmi-Smita Patil) or Devdas (Madhuri Dixit-Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) moment but wait, this is 2016!! So it is no more about ‘Mera Pati Mujhe Waapas Kar Do’ or ‘Mere Pyaar Ka Khayaal Rakhna’. Instead, it is a ‘Hate Story’ that develops in this ‘Love Games’ which brings a neat twist to the plot.
Oh yes, there is an element of predictability that sets in. The scenes that follow may not throw you off the seat but are engaging nonetheless. There is good nervous excitement that comes in which gets Love Games rolling. Could the culmination have been more striking? Yes, but then you get a little more than what you could have asked for and in that aspect, the team of Love Games does just fine.
Where it didn’t really go the whole hog is the film’s core peg – couple swapping! It just gives a reference with some context setting on, and that’s about it. Yes, the couples meet and some walk away with another’s spouse. However, there isn’t anything extraordinary about such a liaison as you have seen it in some shape or format in other films. It would have even more exciting had the film explored this angle further. Instead, it turns out to be a love story between Gaurav and Tara with Patralekha turning out to be the villain of the piece.
As actors, Patralekha and Tara do well. Patralekha may seem like an awkward choice for a high society woman (considering her City Lights debut) but she begins to get more and more convincing as the film progresses. Moreover, she gets some of the best dialogues in the film and her cunning characterization becomes quite interesting. Tara is quite confident and delivers a mature performance. One would have expected her to be a damsel in distress here but that’s not the case, as you realize once the film progresses. Gaurav is a tad patchy as he maintains the same sad expression right through the film. In terms of body language and mannerisms too, he is inconsistent.
Technically, the film looks bright while the music (Sidharth-Sangeet) goes as per the mood. The set design is rich too, as per the film’s need. With a running duration of under 2 hours, Love Games succeeds in not boring you at any point. And for those looking for erotica, it has to be mentioned that scenes in there are more classy than titillating. Hence, don’t expect anything on the lines of Jism or Hate Story.
The film isn’t without its dose of cinematic liberties and some convenient/predictable episodes. However, if you like some dash of thrills and drama in a love story, Love Games can be given a watch.