Film: Aashiqui 2
Cast: Aditya Roy Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor
Director: Mohit Suri
Aashiqui 2 opens with close up shots of Aditya Roy Kapoor’s lips. The camera plays a game of hide and seek before we get to see a clearer frame of his face. He stumbles and climbs the stage with blood shot eyes and begins to hum a radio friendly track to a CGI friendly audience as the opening credits start rolling in.
Mohit Suri’s idea of opening his film with a song wasn’t a bad idea. In fact the ‘Sun raha hai na tu’ track is one of the best tunes of the year, but its execution doesn’t live up to the song’s melancholy feel. Our hero is an alcoholic, but his addiction is neither explained nor explored. Guzzling enough bottles to stock up a bachelor pad on a dry day, he accidentally bumps into Aarohi (Shraddha Kapoor) an aspiring singer, making her ends meet by performing at a local bar in Goa.
Love at first sound happens, and Rahul decides to launch Aarohi after hear her croon a version of his composition. However, on her return to Mumbai, things take a different turn and the lovers separate momentarily only to be united later on. She makes it big as he takes the fall. Then there’s the inevitable jealousy (Abhimaan track) and insecurity angle which leads to one of the most banal climaxes of recent times.
There are so many ‘WTF’ moments in the film that you start losing count. Beginning with the basic understanding of the lead characters. Neither Rahul nor Aarohi look like singers. Their body language is too stiff and pretentious to mime the free spirit of a performer. He’s aimlessly floating through life like that plastic bag from American Beauty, while her attention is divided between singing and being a part time rehab nurse to her lover. In between this they find time to express their love and hate to one another Each time Rahul picks up a bottle to drink some more, we wonder why couldn't he walk into a clinic to get his alcohol dependence treated. Or how could Aarohi’s love be so blind to follow him into the darkness rather than lead him towards the light?
We are introduced to Mahesh Bhatt’s voice as Rahul’s father who speaks to him over the phone, but never shows up, even till the ‘final moments’ of the film. Similarly, Aarohi’s Maharashtrian family is struggling to make ends meet by cooking on a stove but lives in a house that looks strangely comfortable. Suri tries to copy the ‘palat’ (turn around) scene from Dil Wale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge by coming up with his own version that ends up being annoying than entertaining.
The film’s only saving grace are the melodious tunes and the background score. Performance wise Aditya Roy Kapoor has his moments when he’s stripped down emotionally. He shines in most of the poignant quiet moments like the one where he stands outside Aarohi’s vocal booth giving her reassurance. Shraddha looks pretty but needs to work on her diction. As a couple the two have the right chemistry for a romantic drama.
Aashiqui 2’s music is the only silver lining on this really dark cloud.