MP3 is no QSQT or MPK. Remember those? Young, fresh, passionate, hot-blooded, beautiful movies. MP3 steers clear of the concluding Armageddon with the foes-of-true-love that was the hallmark of those movies, and yet plays around with the same elements - dreamy sequences that pamper the romantic in you with a five-star attention to detail.
Everything happens like clockwork in MP3. Like an amusement park ride, the movie distorts all real-life constraints so your mushiest fantasies come alive. There are beautiful people, proposals made in front of Eiffel Tower, friends who help you raise money by selling I-Pods, parents who lavish you with money just so you can woo your lady-love. This is the quintessential, if-it-can-happen-it-will movie. Emotional porn.
So how does one go about creating such a fairy tale? Take Rohan (Ruslaan), a candy boy, for hero, and Ayesha (Hazel), a doe-like, shy and receding flower-girl for heroine. Together, they indulge in a sweet, silvery love, which, however, is as untouched by passion as the sisterhood of nuns in an abbey.
Ruslaan is a fine actor, pulling off the part of a rowdy-teen looking to sell his innocent-boy act to parents and teachers so he can escape unpunished for his latest prank. St. Lawrence is his school where he studies in the 12th standard – your typical Delhi school with affluent teenagers (that’s more accurate than calling them children of affluent parents) who toast their wet dreams together in an environment abundant with voluptuous beauties, young and old, skirt- and sari-clad.
Ayesha steps into the scene, a wispy girl who has come from Paris with her taller and no less sensuous mother, to study at St. Lawrence. All parents are taller than kids in this movie, as a rule. How else can you distinguish a sexy mom from a sexy daughter or son?
Against the background of some eminently hummable songs (Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar plays only during the ending credits), Ayesha and Rohan fall in love, courting each other with a limpid innocence that is very pre-teen. All moments, without exception, are tender, and the remaining characters serve to push the couple together - whether indulgent parents or self-sacrificing bosom buddies who sponsor their outings together and stay out of the way.
The extremely picturesque affair, laden with Kodak moments as the couple play, dance, smile, drink coffee, shop for school-books and eat out together, is soon carried to Paris where Rohan accomplishes the impossible feat of proposing to Ayesha in front of the Eiffel Tower with some ingenious derring-do.
MP3 is pleasant and dreamy, but there is nothing remotely adult about it. If a director of a children’s movie will not venture into the grown up territory of sex and violence, MP3 as a teenager’s movie also draws the line very sharply. So no passionate kisses or talk of different bases here. Ayesha and Rohan never proceed beyond the delicate exchange of demure looks, forget holding hands or getting wet in the rain. There is a super-long kiss at the end, but the cameraman is noticeably playing tricks to make you think they are locking lips while they are really brushing jowls rather Britishly.
The humor too is non-obtrusive, like a chocolate sprinkling on your cappuccino – subtle and very civilized. Tony Jee (Manoj Pahwa) and Pammi Jee (Neelu Kohli) as Ayesha’s family friends in Paris are a class-act, and you have quite a few chuckles coming your way if you choose to catch this movie.
MP3 is not a bad mood-enhancer this weekend, what with its mix of all-things-good in careful doses. The pretty faces will soothe your nerves, the floaty music will uplift your spirits, and the sweet, teenage romance will make you pleasantly nostalgic in the unlikely event that your own teenage was anything like that. That is really the deciding factor. Can you relate to such extravagant dreaming? Take your call.