Loveless yatra

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Oct 2018 12:19:11




By Aasawari Shenolikar,

The fate of each and every film is decided by its script alone. Rest everything - the cast, the music, the sets, et al are ancillary. The content is the king - unfortunately Loveyatri does not boast of a story that will help it go into the annals of history as a ‘milestone’ in the romance genre.
Loveyatri - the journey of love, spins a tried and tested formula, and sans any twists and turns or any ups and downs is an absolutely linear ride. When you don’t feel anything at all for the couple in love, when you don’t inwardly whoop with joy when the couple meets or shed silent tears when circumstances tear them apart, you know something is not right - with the plot, as well as with the acting.

Set in Baroda, Loveyatri is about Sushrut aka Susu (Aayush Sharma), a guy whose dream is of opening a Garba school and how he falls in love with Michelle aka Manisha (Warina Hussain), an NRI settled in London. Michelle with her father Sameer (Ronit Roy) has come to Baroda to celebrate Navratri. During these nine days, Susu and Michelle befriend each other, but before their story can go any further, the father proves to be the villain, who warns Susu of dire consequences if he doesn’t back down. Sameer’s conjecture is again the age old premise - poor boy cannot afford the rich girl. The cultural differences are too wide and a happy ‘milan’ is next to impossible. A minor misunderstanding creates differences between the duo and she flies off to London without bidding adieu.

A year passes by, the much in love boy has forgotten to smile and one fine day his Mama (Ram Kapoor) brings back the smile on his face by asking him to accompany his garba troupe to London. Giving examples of how Yash Chopra, Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan scripted the love of thousands and taught Indians how to love (seriously?!!) Mama tries to drive home a point. “Go, get the girl - last Navratri you fell in love, this Navratri go get her,” says the Mama and off goes the boy to pursue the girl. The father makes a brief appearance again, a briefer talk with the boy ensues, a clash of conflict lasting a couple of minutes is the only action that takes place, and a ‘you have never understood me’ monologue by the girl to her father opens his eyes and the duo walk off happily into the sunset.

Like I said earlier, there is nary a moment in this love story that makes your heart beat a bit faster. When Garba becomes the backdrop in this love story, vignettes of Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan in Dholi Taro in Hum Dil De Duke Sanam or Deepika and Ranveer in Nagada sang dhol baaje in Ram Leela flash before your eyes and you realise how tepid and lackluster is the performance of these debutantes. Aayush and Warina fail to light up the screen with their presence. Their thanda chemistry doesn’t help the cause of a ‘love story’. When the characters are clueless about their feelings for each other, how can the audience feel any involvement in their frigid chemistry? With one expression on their faces - the boy with a goofish grin and the girl all wide eyed and a smile- it is really hard to decipher whether it’s a joyous moment or a sad occasion. Both have miles to go before they can even be considered ‘actor’ material.

We all know that the film is backed by Salman Khan Productions - that is why you see that no expenses have been spared to make it extravagant. After all it’s his jija who is stepping into the world of Bollywood with Loveyatri. Wish Salman bhai had invested a bit more in a watertight script rather than a wishy washy done to death plot.

When Aayush and Warina had visited The Hitavada office and a question was put to him about ‘why choose a tried and tested formula’ - Aayush stated ‘I want to show a softer side of me and I did not want a script where I am dancing, fighting, loving, doing everything that an actor does - I don’t want to show my repertoire of acting talent in one film - so a romantic film. People will feel connected.’ Don’t see any of that happening.

The relief in the entire saga was Pratik Gandhi, Aayush’s pal. Called Negative, he and Ram Kapoor shared the best one-liners and brought on the smiles. Arbaaz and Sohail as Jignesh and Bhavesh (British police officers) were an eyesore. Ronit Roy was a huge disappointment.

Garba should have played a key role - after all nine days featuring the Raas Garba consecutively for two years are the focus of the film. Sadly, the dance form - that the boy showcases to the Visa officer (laughable) is not utilised to its fullest. In the film, a few repetitive steps fail to complement the energetic Rangtaari or Dholida or Chogada, that will prove to be a hit during this Navratri. Sadly, the movie doesn’t fall into this category.

‘Sab kuchh is wrong ..’ a character says at one point of time in the film. We couldn’t agree more. This journey sans any emotion does not celebrate love.

The Hitavada Rating: O O