Now this is what one terms as something truly and remarkably different performance. When it comes to love stories, there is a certain ‘sur’ that is adopted by most actors for screen. However, one has to credit Kartik Aaryan for breaking the stereotype and get into a characteristically different persona for his latest release Love Aaj Kal. In a double role (where he actually ends up creating three different characters set in the 90s, turn of the millennium and the current era), Kartik makes sure that his performance emerge as the key highlight of Love Aaj Kal.
Just like the character of Jordan from Rockstar which Ranbir Kapoor had nailed quite effectively, Kartik Aaryan too makes sure that he delivers his career best performance in Love Aaj Kal which has ‘the man for the broken hearts’, Imtiaz Ali, at the helm of direction all over again. Just like he has tried to put across some complicated tales of love, longing, desires, broken hearts and redemption in films like Rockstar, Tamasha and Jab Harry Met Sejal, Imtiaz gives an altogether different treatment to Love Aaj Kal as well.
To accomplish that, Kartik Aaryan had a job in hand and it is apparent that he has completely surrendered to the director’s vision. If as a youngster from the 90s he transitions from being a school kid to an opportunist hotel manager to a shrewd businessman (later seen as Randeep Hooda) in years to follow, Kartik brings in varied shades to his characterization. However, the toughest part on the sets must have been reserved for his portrayal of the software engineer from the current times whose soul is sufi and for him romance means quoting Rumi repeatedly.
His two partners in the film are Sara Ali Khan and Aarushi Sharma. Let’s talk about Sara first. If Deepika Padukone’s character in Love Aaj Kal got all confused after getting married, out here in the new version Sara is perpetually confused. Whether it’s her time out with friends or those looking for one night stands or Kartik who wants a lifelong bond or her mother who wants her to explore her career, Sara is constantly in a thinking mode. Not that characters like these don’t exist in real life but for a larger audience base it may turn a bit too much after a while.
She does well though in portraying this character well and also looks like a million bucks in many of her trendy costumes (barring the one where she finds herself in a flashy dress while being all sloshed on the road). Her acting style is all natural and her dialogue delivery too is as per the young woman of today, something that works well for the film. As for Aarushi, she is required to be all awkward in her late 80s/early 90s avtar and the job that she had in hand was to say more with her expressions than dialogues, something that she does well.
What goes quite well though in the film is the manner in which Kartik goes about enacting his borderline persona for screen that could have gone either ways with just a solitary fickle moment. Agreed that it takes time to actually grasp this character, something that takes almost 20-30 minutes after the start of the film. However, once you get a hang of what he feels and the manner he behaves, you start warming up to him. It was a difficult character to play and Kartik makes sure that he leaves his several superhits behind to arrive new and fresh.
In the recent past, Kartik has already done well enough to deliver back to back successes in the form of Pati Patni aur Woh, Luka Chuppi, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2. While one waits to see how Love Aaj Kal is grabbed by its target audience (urban youth), rest assured he would be bringing in different shades to his performance all over again in his upcoming releases Dostana 2 and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. If the manner in which he nailed his complex parts in Love Aaj Kal is any indication, he should rock the show all over again.