For a movie debuting under the banner that’s also debuting in the industry, there wouldn’t be a lot of expectations. But for a debutant director’s movie under the new banner of Yash Raj Films, we all can expect something! Films to rock the youth, the tagline of the banner goes, and as far as the packaging of the movie is concerned, they’ve done it neatly! You’ve got promos, Mentos and Onida tie-ins, spin-off promotional cartoon shorts, and what have you. Directed by Bumpy (known for the execution of the wild reality series Roadies), you’d want to know how the movie would go for a person who’s already done something extremely young and brash at heart.
Now before I go for the kill, let me state a few comparisons the movie will have. From its promos, this film, unfortunately, looks like it is, very blatantly inspired by teen chick-flick John Tucker Must Die (and here we have another four word title Luv Ka The End, where ‘The End’ can mean death and the first word is, like the title of the former, a name), which, at the time of its release, came with a tagline: Don’t get mad, get even (and you all just know what I mean now). There’s also the Mean Girls spice added up. Well, let me clarify before any assumptions are made, that this movie has a whole lot of inspired ideas, but the story structure and screenplay differs highly, and they haven’t ripped off the movies scene-by-scene, so let’s leave it out of the “It’s copied” factor.
Rhea is about to spend the most beautiful 18th birthday of her lifetime – getting to see a private concert of rockstar Freddy Kapoor, having the most romantic dinner of her lifetime, and then losing her virginity to the “Luv” of her life, Luv Nanda. Everything is planned until she watches him cheating on her with another girl. But hey, wait, he’s not just two-timed her, he’s also made out with and ditched a lot of girls (uploading a session of the former with his lecturer Miss Naaz on the internet) to gain points under the Billionaire Boys Club, the thing that’s the new rage in town and has become the baap of Facebook and Twitter for the rich dudes. Now all Luv Nanda – the spoilt brat son of a smuggler father – has to do to gain one thousand points is to entrap and make out with a simple, sweet virgin. The realization crushes Rhea for a while, but she gains her strength almost immediately, vowing to make Luv’s life hell, all in a day! Will she succeed in executing her plans?
Alright, the story isn’t groundbreaking, or even intelligent. The screenplay doesn’t boast of any innovative narrative. But what the movie has, thanks to the well-penned dialogues and some really genuine humor, is charm and pace. For a chick flick that caters to the fantasy of bruised hearts of girls whose immediate wet dreams are to devastate their ex-lovers’ lives. Bumpy is one guy who knows how to execute stuff well, and despite the occasional weird feeling of artificiality one might get after watching a couple odd scenes, the film rests on escapism in those two fun hours, filled with a lot of crazy stuff. What I’ve liked about the film is the intelligent packaging, allowing it to cater to the audiences ranging 18 to 25, and who deal with such situations the most. As far as character sketches and development is concerned, they’ve actually taken any and every cliché of every teen movie making rulebook in the universe to create standard, conventional characters, like the sex-starved fat dude, the all-brawn male, the popular diva-chick and her chamchis, the sweet-simple lead character, and her two best friends (and these friends have to be imperfect). Though the end results could have been annoying, they aren’t, which is a very good sign.
Technically, you’ve got a snazzy product here with a very upbeat, urban feel to it. With some really sweet camerawork and cinematography and a very tight edit, you’ve got a film that has a good pace. Special mention must be made to the brilliant opening title music video of Freak Out (also commonly known as the T-Shirt song), choreographed and executed, with a terrific combo of stop-motion and visual effects, by Hitesh Kewalya and Nupur Bhargava (both of whom are also the brains behind the logo of Y-Films). The motion graphics and the titles used on them (like First Half Ka The End for the interval point) are innovative. Music by Ram Sampath is extremely situational, but “Tonight”, “Freak Out” and “F. U. N. Fun Fanaa” are worth a listen. The “Mutton Song” has terrific hilarity value. Lyrics to the music by Amitabh Bhattacharya don’t have the punch his songs are usually supposed to have, but that’s fine for a film like this.
Performances wise, Shraddha Kapoor is the best of the lot, and comes up as a promising performer who does a beautiful job acting the teenager with aplomb. Mahi Way’s Pushtie Shakti gives a bindass act. Taaha Shah does well playing the cool, casual brat, but what’s with the accent? BURday? Seriously? Ali Zafar in a cameo does a far better job in the cameo being the cool, casual dude, minus the weird accent Taaha mouths. Others are good.
I’ve stated what’s good here, but we certainly can’t ignore what’s gone wrong here. Extreme, over-the-top in-movie branding was a bit of a pain, arriving at weird times, abruptly and with no reason. At the risk of repeating myself, Taaha’s accent is such a distraction you feel like killing yourself. Post interval, the ride is “Bumpy” for most of it’s first half, but you forget all of it with the exhilarating final 20-25 minutes.
Overall, Luv Ka The End is one of the most intelligently packaged chick flicks to come out in Indian cinema of late. Embellished with beautiful cinematography, some really funny humor, and pretty relatable situations in many places. With a target audience of teenager, and of chicks whose escapist fantasy is to strangle their two-timing ex-boyfriends, this works big time. Recommended for the audience ages 18 to 25!