Take a handful of India's finest actors, one successful producer, a debutant director, a sometimes plagiaristic music director and an entourage of talented playback singers, and a choreographer who would rather spend his time judging reality shows. Now put them together in a movie that promises, to the audience, to be 'different'. Recipe for success? Not really.
Chances are that Kucch Luv Jaisaa was an attempt to break away from the usual fare of 'different' movies. The unconventional lead pair is reason enough for any movie aficionado to want to watch it.
The premise is simple enough. One bored housewife, Madhu (Shifaali Shah), feeling neglected and worthless, decides to indulge in some 'me-time' on her birthday. In another part of town, a few cops are waiting at Riya's (Neetu Chandra) house, to nab her criminal boyfriend Raghav (Rahul Bose). Madhu and Raghav meet under unlikely circumstances, and fate leads them into a day-trip that they will remember all their lives.
After this promising start, the script fails all the way to a dampener of a climax. The director, who is also the writer, does not seem to know what to do with her two leads, now that she has got them together. Fleeting from one flimsy situation to another, the duo seems to be at a loss for words and action.
All the actors are disappointing, to say the least. Shifaali Shah, best known for her stellar performances in movies such as Satya and Monsoon Wedding, had apparently lost a lot of weight for this movie. It shows, yes, but she hams and overacts throughout the film. Her biggest forte - the expressive eyes - becomes obnoxiously irritating at times. Rahul Bose is prominently ill at ease in this role, which requires him to incorporate some tapori elements into his character. He does not speak much, but when he does, the clipped South Mumbai accent comes through.
Sumit Raghavan as Madhu's husband hams his way through the plot. Considered one of Indian television's better actors, he looks most unconvincing as the career/job-oriented executive from Bandra (West, no less). Thanks to Vipul Shah's contacts in the industry, the director has managed to get Om Puri and Manish Chaudhary to play insignificant roles. Both these artistes are completely wasted. And God alone knows why Neetu Chandra is in the movie.
Pritam's music is predictable and average, and some of it is even hummable. The songs will definitely become a bigger hit than the movie. The production design is superficial, and the lack of detailing is significant. Given that Shifaali Shah has only about 5 costume changes, the choice of clothes could have been more flattering.
To give the new director her due, Kucch Luv Jaisa has its moments, few though they may be. The title credit montage deserves a special mention. However, the most bizarre scene is the one that has the intimate chat between Madhu and her teenage daughter. Not only is one flummoxed at the purpose of this scene, one also wonders if the censors put in the 'A' solely because of it.
Again, the intention of the makers is genuine, and the ingredients correct, but the end product is a disaster. Totally avoidable, unless you fancy a 2-hour snooze in an A/C theatre.