Movie Review: LONDON PARIS NEW YORK (2012)
Romantic Love Stories are staples of the Bollywood Industry. I mean, it’s like what Steven Seagal is to action. So it gets hard to continuously reinvent the same melodramatic and shitty genre over and over. However, every once in a while there will be a movie that’s somewhat decent. LONDON PARIS NEW YORK falls under this category.
Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Stars
One of those, random meet up stories, spanning a few years, where the characters grow and learn to live each other, kind of thing is what this is, but a cool one. Ali Zafar, musician, singer and pop artist from Pakistan makes his debut as a lead actor in his own movie with LONDON PARIS NEW YORK. Seen recently in the craptastic MERE BROTHER KI DULHAN, Ali Zafar seriously flexes his acting chops in this.
The girl is another new up and comer, seen in smaller roles here and there. Aditi Rao Hydari also does a very nice portrayal of a girl who evolves over the years.
Basically the story is about how this guy and girl meet randomly in the airport. Get to talking, have to end up spending the day together due to clichéd unforeseen circumstances, and end up falling in love…. Eventually. I know, it sounds gay.
However, the entire fascination of LONDON PARIS NEW YORK lies in its dialogue and performers. The whole movie is more talking and the characters’ chemistry than anything else. The entire story relies on these two characters’ chemistry…. And it works pretty well.
The story has equal moments of sweet-ness, comedy, sexual tension and not to mention just pure awkwardness. Which is refreshing to see, that a movie doesn’t have the polished ‘filmy’ness of typical Love Stories.
LONDON PARIS NEW YORK isn’t for everyone. It’ll be a little cheesy, however it’s incredibly witty, sometimes satirical and just plain cool to see a Bollywood story where the interaction between guy and girl is so brutally realistic. Even down to the insecurities of pre-marital relationships in South Asian culture… without being stupid and retarded.
The show stealer here has to Ali Zafar. I don’t mean to gush, but his Kishore Kumar-like voice, along with his pretty boy good looks and hip urban youth attitude, probably makes him the most natural actor in this kind of role that I’ve seen. A lot of actors have portrayed ‘cool guys’, but it always seems a little forced and having to try to be so. However, Ali Zafar here seemed to be oozing this comfortable and natural ease in his performance. This is further punctuated by the amazing monologue in the third act where he goes off on the girl, in a reversed ‘guy using the girl’ scenario, and makes a statement regarding how some Desi girls’ actions directly cause the guy to feel like there’s more in their interactions then there might be. Again, very real.
This isn’t an exciting film by any means. Things don’t necessarily, ‘happen’, they just are. The characters meet up years apart, and react to the changes in each other during their time apart. Some uncomfortable silences, awesome dramatic monologues that aren’t cheesy AT ALL, make for some easy viewing.
LONDON PARIS NEW YORK doesn’t change the status quo of Bollywood films by any means. It’s a small film, relying on both the young and inexperienced actors’ performances to move the story forward in a very nice and easygoing way. It’s a very real and fresh Bollywood love story with minimal cringing.