It’s difficult not to have a few expectations from a movie made under the Rajshri banner. With blockbusters such as Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hai Koun and, more recently, Vivaah to its name, the latest venture no doubt has a lot to live up to. With the typical Rajshri attributes to keep to and a new story to wow the audiences, Love You… Mr Kalakaar!, it seems needs to speak volumes for the production house. What with their last couple of films, Ek Vivaah… Aisa Bhi and Isi Life Mein, either not doing well or fairing averagely, Love You… Mr Kalakaar! is yet another attempt to show off their traditional yet contemporary stamp and show that their tried and tested formula does indeed still work.
Love You… Mr Kalakaar! is, essentially, a love story of the kind Rajshri are famous for. Ritu (Amrita Rao) meets Sahil (Tusshar Kapoor) when he goes for an interview in her father’s (Ram Kapoor) company. It seems things take an obvious turn for the better for her from the moment she meets him. The two begin to fall for each other and spend much time together. The twist comes when the two decide that they want to marry but face opposition from Ritu’s father who believes, like many fathers have done so before in Indian cinema, that Sahil is not right for his daughter. He feels Sahil will not be able to keep Ritu happy with his creative career. What follows are a father’s test on his prospective son-in-law and Sahil’s endeavours to prove to him that he is good enough for Ritu’s love.
There are clear differences between this movie and others that have been given the Rajshri treatment. One of the most significant of the bunch is that although a family-oriented film, there wasn’t a backdrop of a big family and this perhaps took it away from the colourful characters that come into play in previous movies. Love You… Mr Kalakaar! relies instead on a set few characters. It should be seen as a plus-point as the plot doesn’t get confused with the attention to detail that would otherwise need to be given to the various intermingling of the roles.
Another variance in the movie is that the movie doesn’t include any larger-than-life dance numbers. In fact, the music of the film could very easily go unnoticed. There are no love-dovey songs which get you feeling all tingly inside and neither are there any annoyingly catchy tunes to make you want to pull your hair out. Instead, there is a mix of music which does almost nothing to compliment the emotions of the characters in the movie. Even the sad song isn’t quite sad enough what with Ritu (Rao) acting all loved-up in the depiction rather than yearning for her love.
One more factor which didn’t quite fit in with the overall package of the film was the animations. Although the character of Sahil is a cartoonist, it seemed a little immature to have various cartoon caricatures on the screen in a very unassuming “Hum Tum” type style. This idea perhaps should have been scrapped very early on. What makes it all the more frustrating is that this animated “theme” doesn’t continue throughout the film but only takes place at various intervals. No marks for consistency.
It would be wrong to write about a movie and not touch on the new jodi that it has given birth to. Tusshar Kapoor and Amrita Rao. Amrita Rao and Tusshar Kapoor. As much as the two might, at first glance, seem suited to each other physically, the chemistry (which they might well share off-screen) just wasn’t there. The story was such that there needed to be a very concise expression of a special bond but this just wasn’t achieved by the duo. Perhaps this pairing should be left at this, the experimenting stage, never to be attempted again.
The performances in the film, it is fair to say, were a tad unreal. Tusshar Kapoor simply wasn’t quite right for the character of Sahil. As a member of the audience, it was difficult to identify with his love, his passion for creativity or his want to impress. Amrita Rao, on the other hand, gave a worthy performance as Ritu who comes to the aid of her love to get on the right side of her father. She has the correct look of the character and her colourful and innocent features were exactly what were needed. Ram Kapoor played the role of Ritu’s father with much conviction but his performance was arguably a little over passionate in some places. A very refreshed Madhoo comes back on our screens playing Ritu’s aunt and she does so quite convincingly in the capacity of her role.
Overall, the movie can be deemed as watchable but it’s a pity that this film somewhat cements that Rajshri’s stamp has become out-of-date, quite frankly. The scenes, characters, situations and sets are all a little too perfect. This perfectionist approach becomes tedious and it seems the banner is aimlessly trying to keep hold of it but slowly losing its grasp. The family fanfare isn’t always needed and it’s great that this has been accepted but there needs to be an identification that the audiences are looking for so much more in these times. To drag out a different treatment of what is essentially the same plot with the same character qualities doesn’t seem to be working for Rajshri.
If you’re looking for a sugar-coated, sweet and idealistic love story then this would be one to watch. On the other hand, if what you’re after is a film which makes you fall in love, dance in the isles and cry happy tears then you will sadly be better off going elsewhere because you most definitely will not find that here!