Kunal Kohli has, and will always be known for his surprise hit Hum Tum, for which actor Saif Ali Khan became a star overnight. Post Hum Tum’s success, Kohli directed an average Fanaa, and followed it up with a decent Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic, which also announced the debut of his production cell, Kunal Kohli Productions. More than two years later, Kohli is back, albeit only to produce debutant director Danish Aslam’s film under his banner. This movie has a lot going for it – Vishal-Shekhar’s excellent music, Imran Khan and Deepika Padukone’s extra-promising pair, and a genre (romantic comedy) that has proven to be a success more often than not.
But there are times when the genre doesn’t work, and when the formula fails to generate success. Does Break Ke Baad succeed or does Danish Aslam fail to execute a good product? Let me analyse.
They grew up together, they became the closest of friends, and then they decided to be in a relationship for around eight years, till she finally gets to achieve her dream of being an actress, post getting elected in a scholarship for acting in Australia, and this is when Abhay (Imran Khan) and Aaliya (Deepika Padukone) decide to “take a break” in their relationship. And then life changes for them…
I’ve always said that, and I repeat, that story and screenplay is very important for the viewers to hold their attention, but here, the screenplay (Renuka Kunzru, Danish Aslam) is full of glitches. Most of the movie borrows from the attitude of Love Aaj Kal, which was a far superior product, which successfully conveyed the confusion in relationships and kept it far more real than any other. While the character development is something viewers must watch out for, the story fails to grip post interval – it just goes all slow, and the viewer wonders why did they come to see the film.
The pre-interval portions hold some interest due to the imaginative writing of the lead characters and engaging chemistry between the two; along with some witty realistic one-liners and some scenes you could relate to. But post-intermission, the movie drags and goes into various subplots such as the two trying to make a secure life out of their ambitions and dreams, which for most part makes the story drab and boring. What makes the movie worse is the random climax, which makes the viewer feel it was as if the movie was written in a hurry. Though Imran Khan’s previous film had nothing new to say, it was far more entertaining because of some smart writing, something that’s only shown in bits and spurts here. I’d like to mention, however, that though Danish the screenwriter requires a lot more to work on, Danish the director has a lot of potential and is here to stay, provided he gets better scripts to work on.
Moving on to the performances, Imran Khan does really well, but he seems repetitive, just like Deepika Padukone’s character graph looks like. Imran Khan played a similar “understanding” guy in Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na, but when actors look repetitive in their roles, the future doesn’t look good unless they get more versatile even though they want to stick to the same genre. Nevertheless, he hooks you because of the slightly different mould of the character he’s playing.
Deepika Padukone has spunk, but her role reminds you of both Bachna Ae Haseeno and Love Aaj Kal. While her commitment phobia reminds you of Bachna Ae Haseeno, the bold, thinking attitude of her character reminds you a bit of Love Aaj Kal. While Deepika’s mad act is probably the only reason one might stay to watch how the film unfolds, post her gripping act in Lafangey Parindey, one expected her to reach new heights, and with the promising promos, it looked quite like it, but apparently all that glitters isn’t always gold!
Lillette Dubey is a far more gripping character to look out for, and when supporting characters like herself and Sharmila Tagore (playing Ayesha Khan, Aaliya’s ex-star mom) become more interesting than the lead characters themselves, you know there’s something wrong. Navin Nischol is good. Yudhishtir Urs, otherwise known as the host of Channel [V]’s hatke show Truth/Love/Cash, is hilarious! Shahana Goswami is amazing! She is one actress to look out for! Her body language as the no nonsense person is perfect! Others are good.
Overall, Break Ke Baad tries to hard to be cool and modern, but also tries to pack in too many subplots and shaadis and over-exaggerated coolness, that it gets difficult to view the movie as a romantic comedy anymore! This is a clear case of the trailers giving dubious promise! Watch this film only if you’ve got nothing to do! Disappointing.