What are you doing Bhatt Saheb? Why have you wasted a good idea and two good-looking actors so callously? You don’t know if you should laugh or cry after watching this frivolous film. You cry for its lead actors. They are a great pair, and Shraddha Kapoor is refreshingly beautiful. Both have been let down by a bad script, terrible dialogues, and sloppy and pedestrian direction. The audience was ready for a film like AASHIQUI that would celebrate old world romance. This one is a sad funeral of the idea.
Here is the story. Rahul Jaykar aka RJ (Aditya Roy Kapur) is an alcoholic, an impulsive pop-artist, and a tragic figure. He gets easily provoked when mischievously poked. This is not helping his career. He seems to have lost interest in his career or life and is hell-bent upon wasting himself for no apparent reason. People still love him and his loving father keeps calling him and talking to him reassuringly in Mahesh Bhatt’s voice. RJ accidentally meets Mumbai girl Arohi Shirke (Shraddha Kapoor) in Goa, who is walking alone carrying sabzi-bhaji worth Rs.86/- in the dead of the night, attired in an ethnic designer dress and is almost run over by RJ’s SUV. Soon we see Arohi singing RJ’s song in a cheap Goan bar and RJ arriving there in search of booze. Her singing enamors him. RJ wants to promote her. She is a good singer and can be the next ‘nightingale of India’, since Lata Ji has grown old. RJ forces her to return to Mumbai, leaving her bar job. She follows as she has developed deep faith and trust in him. But her family in Mumbai needs money. Her mother even has to pawn her mangal-sutra to feed the family ‘do waqt ki roti’. In Mumbai, after some delay and initial hiccups and mishaps, RJ turns Arohi into a successful singer, sacrificing his career. Arohi and RJ love each other but people talk all kinds of things behind their backs. RJ listens to what they say, reacts violently, and takes to drinking straight from the bottle. It happens repetitively. Arohi always stands by him and is ever willing to sacrifice her fledgling career to save him from himself. This distresses the ‘has been rock star’ even more. And one day he decides to leave her for the sake of his love for her…
One does not have any issue with the film if it comes across as a story heard and seen a million times. It’s a genre film and even otherwise we don’t expect ingenuity from Vishesh Films. They avowedly don’t believe in it and this has been announced and broadcast openly in no uncertain terms by none other than Bhatt Saheb himself.
So, what do we expect from his films? At least a good song, and a few good scenes, and a few good dialogues. AASHIQUI 2 falls short of these humble expectations. I don’t see anyone humming any of its songs like the previous version. And the film’s dialogues are so unsalvageable that the best of actors and actresses will look ridiculous and laughable uttering them.
This is what I don’t like about the film. It’s the first film as lead actor of Aditya Roy Kapur and third film of Shraddha Kapoor. The film’s director and the script and dialogue writer have dealt them a bad hand. Wasting money is no big deal; it comes and goes. Wasting ideas can also be tolerated to some extent. You cannot waste talent in this manner. That is an extremely insensitive and heinous crime against humanity. Someone should appeal to the NHRC and ask it to take Vishesh Films to task for this misdemeanor.
We give three stars to the film - two for Shraddha Kapoor since her good looks are the saving grace of the film and she manages to stay afloat in spite of numerous handicaps she is burdened with; and one for Aditya Roy Kapur for his looks and histrionics potential the film miserably fails to explore and exploit.
Rating - 3/5
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)