A few days ago, I made my niece listen a beautiful & melodious track from 90s. The song was "Aur ahista kijiye baatein" from Pankaj Udhas.
This is a track that is liked by almost every music lover of our generation. But to my surprise, my niece found the song "funny". It was quite an awkward moment as I recommended the song considering her otherwise good taste of music. I realised that this is how the demands & preferences of music, films & maybe everything else changes over a generation.
Now if the choice of music & cinema changes so drastically with every new generation, making a quasi-sequel Aashiqui-2, 23 years after the first installment, looks like a double edged sword. I had my share of doubts with this film. The 1990 musical blockbuster has a whole generations's fan following. Will the sequel be able to do justice to their sky high expectations that come just with the brand name "Aashiqui" and at the same time also cater to the demands of the present day audience. Honestly, at first I found the title of the film quite suicidal. I wondered , why did they name it as Aashiqui-2? Why even relate it with a film that was released 23 years ago when it is neither a remake nor a continuation of the story?
Well, after watching the movie, I can say for sure that there could not be a more apt title for this film. Why so?
Because Aashiqui-2 is only about two things. First, its soulful music that is already topping the charts. So a sequel to a musical blockbuster makes sense. And second, The Aashiqui.
Yes! If music is the soul, love is the backbone of Aashiqui2. When you watch the film, the music grows on you and you feel the strong bond of love that is depicted in the film. That is how it succeeds in maintaing the aforementioned balance. Music of Aashiqui2 is an instant hit with the present day cine-goers and the strong, selfless love story appeals to one and all. Seldom do we get to see such love stories on celluloid these days.
Being a very big and loyal fan of Yash Chopra's love stories, I want to confess that even the latest offering from YR Films "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" failed to make an impact that is synonymous with Yash Chopraromances. But Aashiqui-2 strikes a chord with its simple story that is told so beautifully without any exotic foreign locales or the flowing chiffon sarees. Mohit Suri definitely deserves a big applaud for this one.
It is an out-and-out musical. There is hardly any moment in the film without any music in the background. It is very common these days when you feel that an otherwise beautiful track is wasted in a not-so-good film. The best example I can think of right now is "Tu Jane Na" from Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani. Aashiqui 2, however, is a winner when it comes to music hands down. The narrative many a times is completed with the soulful numbers which help taking the story forward. Lyrics go with the flow of the movie and don't sound like a misfit. Tum hi Ho has already become the newest love anthem of the country. Sun Raha Hai Na Tu plays for almost 30 minutes continuously and is more than likable in both versions. The best part is that there are no unnecessary item numbers or irritating remixes.
Aditya Roy Kapoor & Shradhha Kapoor both look good in their characters. But I liked Sharadhha Kapoor more. There are scenes where you feel they could do better. At the same time there are some scenes where they excel as performers. One such scene is when Rahul (Aditya Roy Kapoor) is searching for liquor in his home. The exasperation & helplessness is so evident on his face. The lead pair is such that you feel for them throughout the film. You feel happy and smile with them, feel sad and cry with them. Sharadha Kapoor as Aaruhi is very convincing. She looks naive & innocent and acts well at most of the places. Her Marathi sometimes looked forced though. Shaad Randhawa as Vivek, Rahul's best friend (exactly like Deepak Tijori in Aashiqi -1990) is brilliant.
The narrative is fast paced in the first half. How I wished that the film should have ended just 5 minutes before the intermission. It was like a fairy tale success story & romance till that point. But as in real life, in films too, life is not hunky dory. Then come the problems and the audience witness the actual love between the two protagonists. There are many such moments amidst the ongoing tension where you feel, there would be an outburst, they will have an argument and the beautiful relationship would fallout. But the beauty of characters is such that this does not happen even once. This is what I liked the most in the film. They are shown so much in love that nothing else matters to them. No insecurities, no jealousies. A pure love story in its truest sense which is a delight to watch in current Bollywood era. Having said that, the second half appears a bit dragged & repetitive at times. There are some other glitches also but I would like to give them a miss as an incentive for depicting a strong love tale in cinema after so long.
The climax again is very powerful. It does make a gripping impact and I for one was smiling with tears in my eyes. One of the best written lines in the song Tum Hi Ho -- "Main Jo Mit Bhi Gaya To Wajood Mera Sada Tujh Mein Rahe Zinda" comes alive when Aaruhi (Sharadhha Kapoor) signs as Aaruhi Rahul Jaykar!
On a final note, Aashiqui 2 is a simple love story high on emotional quotient and has a sweet yesteryear charm to it. Watch it for the sheer power of love & music :)