After few weeks with single releases, this weekend not only one but two Bollywood films hit cinemas, the much awaited Bobby Jasoos starring Vidya Balan, and Lekar Hum Deewana Dil, the directional debut of Arif Ali, Imtiaz Ali’s brother.
The film is also the debut of another member of the renowned Kapoor family, Armaan Jain, the grandson of late Raj Kapoor (the resemblance is astonishing), as well as the first Hindi film in Deeksha Seth’s career, who has mostly been working in Telugu cinema.
Despite the list of newcomers, LHDD’s also includes several distinguished names. The soundtrack has been composed by A.R. Rahman, with lyrics penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya.
Before we move on to the review, here are few lines about the story. LHDD follows the lives of Dino (Armaan) and Karishma (Deeksha), two carefree students that love to go out and have fun with their friends. When Karishma is pressured by her family to accept an arranged marriage, she turns to her best friend for help, and realising that they are made for each other, the couple decide to elope together and live their lives according to their own terms. However, complications will soon arise and will call the strength of their love into question.
Although the film lacked big names to contribute to the promotion of the film, LHDD managed to create a high degree of expectation. Not for nothing the trailer crossed 2 million views in 3 days after its release. So the question is: has the film come up to the expectations? Here’s a hint: the answer is no.
LHDD is boring and feels too long, despite its running time of 140 minutes. Several are the elements that do not work, the first being the story, written by the director himself.
Plainly and simply, LHDD’s story lacks interest. The first part of the film is more or less appealing, as it follows the couple across India – including their bizarre visit to the territory controlled by the Naxalite insurgency and an item song –, but in the second part the film becomes a succession of repetitive scenes that lead to a disappointing climax. After so many difficulties, including Karishma’s family’s obsession for an arranged marriage, the happy ending seems to arrive far too easily, so the whole story results in an unnecessary waste of time.
Considering the lack of excellence in the script, not even the best actors would be able to deliver a great performance. But this is not the case. The weight of the story falls on Armaan and Deeksha, and both of them fail to impress, although maybe her work is slightly more convincing. Raj Kapoor’s grandson manages to incarnate the rebel youngster, although his character is annoying at times. But when the story does a serious twist and Dino has to face difficulties, the actor is not credible so his character lacks complexity, essential in a coming-of-age type of film.
Although Deeksha’s performance is better, she looks a bit unnatural at some of the critical moments of the film. In any case, the lack of chemistry between both actors is clear, and burdens the full development of the love story.
Even a master such as A.R. Rahman fails to impress in LHDD. Despite some tracks such as Khalifa, which will probably hit dance floors during the summer, LHDD’s soundtrack is not one of his finest works, so the music does not do much to improve the overall experience.
Despite being the director and actors’ debut film, LHDD will soon be forgotten. All of them will probably feature in other films in the near future. It will be the time for us to assess if their skills go beyond what they have shown so far or, on the contrary, this is all they have to offer.