There is much to be said about our emotional state of affairs as a society, when love stories in films are less about two people falling in love with other other and more about two other people growing apart from each other (so that the former two get together of course - sheesh, what kind of romantic are you?).
And we wouldn't have judged Dia Mirza's maiden production for its sentimental leanings, if it didn't have some very obvious weaknesses. Love Breakups Zindagi is a sad excuse for a breezy romance, and without its rich Subroto Roy-backed production values, it has little to boast of.
In Love Breakups Zindagi, characters have stylish names, they dress in style, wed in style and mourn death in style. To be fair to the movie, this all-too-familiar picture of filmi opulence has evolved from being a setting for endless song-and-dance glorifying romantic love. Careers are an important part of people's lives, and options aren't limited to "ad agency", "films" or "music". Relationships are talked about without bitterness or self-pity, and people (namely, the spurned partners) are awesomely understanding (then again, haven't they always been so?) when it comes to "letting go" .
Of course, all this is a smokescreen for the easiest way in history to make up a love story: make the hero hit on a hot girl who's already engaged/committed (to a guy who's usually better than the hero).
Naina (Dia Mirza) and Jai (Zayed Khan) meet at a friend's wedding, and things kind of click between them. While this would have given Jai a great opportunity to call it quits in his current relationship with a control freak, Naina is quite in love with her investment banker boyfriend (Vaibhav Talwar). After one heck of a chic wedding, with a snazzy sangeet and all, everyone parts ways. And you just know everyone is going to get together again.
Contrary to what the film would like us to believe, this is hardly about the "perfect romance" between Jai and Naina, who bond over a few fun outings and decide they are perfect for each other. Most of the film is about how Naina's boyfriend doesn't have time for her, and how Jai is incompatible with his girlfriend.
What LBZ did get right were the characters. Everything else is sadly written. Given that this is intended to be a slice-of-life film for the urbane - the kinds who live in lavish, flashy spaces in Mumbai - the dialogue is too stilted and stagey to believe, and the banter too forced. The result is a vacuous sequence of events where even casual conversation puts you off.
Amidst this limp and painful drama that is playing out, you'd think Cyrus Sahukar would help you break into a grin once in a while. He plays Govind, a 2-time divorcee smitten by the independent, single-at-38 Sheela (Tisca Chopra). However, Govind is spectacularly bad and embarrassing at courtship, and one of Sahukar's worst roles he's had to pull off on the big screen. The PJs don't work at all - give us Semi Girebaal, any day.
Zayed Khan stands out like a sore thumb in terms of how much he is making all this so contrived and artificial - everyone else is quite impressive compared to him, really. Dia Mirza's good, and comes across as gentle and warm.
Cameos by a few top stars light up the screen now and then. The best part of LBZ, however, is spelled S-R-K. Good for the superstar - the Ra-One publicity onslaught everywhere else hasn't gotten annoying yet.
Deliciously shot, LBZ is a feast for the eyes. The wedding sequences are the most fun in terms of colour and gaiety. The songs are template fare, typical of every "youthful romantic" thing Bollywood has churned out since the beginning of this decade. Rab Raakha has caught on, and is deserving of the attention.
LBZ is perhaps an okay option for a date or an impromptu movie outing. The rest can wait for it to hit TV.