Starring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. In Hindi with English subtitles. Rated PG. Now playing at the Granville 7 and Strawberry Hill cinemas
Like a fizzy cola, this bubbly tale amuses despite its saccharine aftertaste. Rajkumar Santoshi has directed a whimsical romantic comedy carried off with convincing youthfulness and simplicity by both lead actors.
Watch the trailer for Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani.
Prem (Ranbir Kapoor) is an unemployed high-school dropout who prides himself on being president of “Happy Club”—a position that he and his friends take very seriously. The club is dedicated to keeping its members in a perpetual state of Peter Pan escapism while helping doomed lovers unite—and on one such errand, Prem meets Jenny (Katrina Kaif). They find they have much in common, not the least of which is their persistent sunny disposition.
After an initial series of misunderstandings, he falls for her. Before he can tell her this, she asks him to help her evade an arranged marriage and to unite with her boyfriend, who has just returned from Canada. Prem selflessly agrees to do this, and the rest of the film plays out as a madcap comedy where confusion mounts and silliness ensues.
Kapoor and Kaif have strong chemistry, and for once the actors look like the young people they are meant to portray. The story is aided by the occasional comic-book special effect and good supporting roles by Darshan Jariwala and Smita Jaykar, who play Prem’s parents. The movie is replete with pop songs that match the tone of the film. “Tu Jaane Na” and “Tera Hone Laga Hoon”, both sung by Atif Aslam, stand out from the rest of the forgettable soundtrack.
Although the story plods somewhat in the middle, it has a sincerity that wins you over. There is the sporadic out-and-out laugh, but mostly this film will leave you smiling at its old-school goofiness.