What happens when Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Serendipity come together in 2016 and have a few added twists of their own? Well, Loveshhuda is born. The reason why there are some quintessential Shahrukh Khan moments in there is because director Vaibhav Misra has been an Assistant Director to quite a few films starring the King Khan. Nonetheless, while he gets inspired by such love stories ‘jahan end mein sab theek ho jaata hai’, he brings in quite a few Hollywood influences as well, which works for Loveshhuda that is set in today’s times.
No wonder, the core premise of ‘a love story that starts in bed’ isn’t just a marketing gimmick because the fact is that this actually holds together the core plot of the film. What Vaibhav does is make sure that this isn’t a frivolous angle inserted into the story to bring on a shocking, titillating or bold element. Instead, it works seamlessly into the film, especially when the Hangover style narrative takes over which takes up a good part of the film’s first half.
So while Girish Kumar and Navneet Dhillon wake up on bed, it is the flashback portions around what led them to this situation that turn out to be entertaining. One layer after another is explored and by the time they split (one could well have heard the song ‘Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko Toh Pyaar Sajna’ in the background), you know that serendipity would get them together. Reason being that you truly believe their characters to be compatible with each other.
In that perspective, it has to be acknowledged that Girish has been brave enough to pick a role where he is projected as someone indecisive whereas Navneet is shown as a more mature personality. However, even in this kind of a situation, the character maintains its own self and Girish ensures that he treads the thin line without making his part come across as a complete loser. In fact the narrative towards the interval point, when Girish takes the plunge reluctantly, is quite well shot and the point at which audience is readied for the second half is apt as well.
Meanwhile, Navneet makes sure that she brings on the sunshine whenever she is on frame. She does well in her debut film and delivers a mature performance where she plays a young girl of today with a mind of her own. She doesn’t carry qualms of a one night stand, is moving ahead in life and doesn’t get all emotional or sentimental when coming face to face with the boy who could well be her partner. In a way, she too breaks the stereotype of a conventional leading lady and further character depth comes during the last 30 minutes of the film where she makes a smooth transition towards an eventual decision making.
What works towards keeping the narrative engaging are the songs, especially the party tracks that are set in first as well as the second half, as well as a well integrated background score. The film carries a rich look throughout and the locations at London as well as Mauritius make for a good big screen watch. That said, there is an overdose of ‘Mar Jaayen’ during the film’s narrative and especially in the second half, one just wishes that the story movement was a little faster as well as energetic.
Still, what makes the film work is a relatively different treatment that Vaibhav lends to the plot as well as the confident act by both Girish and Navneet. A harmless flick, albeit with a heavy dose of drinks that feature in practically every second scene, Loveshhuda turns out to be a cute-n-warm love story.
Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder