|Gori Tere Pyar Mein could have been a much better film|
One thing is certain – the combination of Imran Khan and director Punit Malhotra is like a lead balloon. Their attempts at rom-coms are enough to make anyone “hate luv stories”. A Bollywood romantic comedy is deceptively simple. Songs, dances and a few laughs frame a basic formula – boy meets girl, kahani mein twist, love conquers all. Gori Tere Pyar Mein is a classic example of how to get it wrong.
The basic idea behind Gori Tere Pyar Mein isn’t particularly original. A rich spoilt brat falls for an earnest do-gooder “NGO-type” and has to overcome his basic shallowness to win her. Whilst the story is something of a cliché, done right this could have been a great romantic comedy. What it needed was some great songs, sizzling chemistry between its stars and a sparkling script. Unfortunately GTPM has none of these and as a result falls more than a little flat.
Imran Khan as the lead Sriram was his usual wooden self. He really struggled in the first half and was particularly unconvincing as the black sheep of a Tamil-Brahm family. The problem wasn’t just the fact that he looks all wrong as a Tamil – the “family joke” that he was swapped at birth can’t mask the fact that he was unable to bring any South Indian character to his role. More than that, he wasn’t believable as a playboy type – his puppy dog eyes and chocolate box cuteness worked better in the second half of the film.
|Kareena seems more like Imran Khan’s big sister than the love of his life|
There is little or no chemistry between Kareena Kapoor and Imran Khan. She seemed more like his big sister than the love of his life. She made the most of her role as Dia but the lack of spark between her and Imran Khan left you wondering why Dia falls Sriram.
Without any great musical numbers and precious few laugh out loud moments, the film struggles to engage the audience. There’s only one solid gold scene in the movie – which is when Dia’s father asks Sriram why he should let his daughter marry Sriram.
|Kareena Kapoor makes the most of her role as Dia|
The film is split into two halves, both of which feel a little too long. In the first Sriram is on the verge of an arranged marriage to Vasuda, a Tamil Brahm girl who’s in love with a Sikh environmentalist. The picture of two people who had other dreams, unwillingly marrying to please their families had a poignancy that could have made GTPM a much better film. Imran’s speech about the difficulties lovers from different communities face in making a life together was ingenious. Shraddha Kapoor makes the most of her role as Vasudda and it’s clear that the Ashiqqui 2 girl has the potential to be a real star.
|Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor as Sriram and Dia|
The majority of the first half is a series of flashbacks showing how Dia and Sriram became a couple and then split up. Unfortunately it’s a little jarring that there seems to be more chemistry between Shradda and Imran than there is between Imran and Kareena. Their love story is missing that essential filmy magic. Even so, the weak script leaves no doubt that Sri Ram will eventually ditch the wedding and go after Dia.
|The dance numbers are lacklustre by Karan Johar’s usual standards|
The second half of the movie is measurably better. When Sriram follows Dia to a deprived village, Imran is more comfortable with his character and the film improves as a result. Sriram vows to help the villagers build a much-needed bridge to win Dia back. The villagers may be one dimensional, the talented Vineet Kumar Singh may have been utterly wasted as a village strong man, but Dia and Sriram become more believable as a couple. Anupam Kher is excellent as a village collector, even though his role was limited and clichéd. Sriram’s development into a man that Dia can respect is predictable but well done.
|Even the costumes disappointed|
All in all, GTPM doesn’t have the entertainment factor than a Karan Johar romance should have. The song and dance numbers are mediocre and the story isn’t witty or engaging. The idea had potential but it was miscast, badly written and poorly edited. Imran Khan has frequently shown that he doesn’t have the acting skills for top billing but with names like Kareena Kapoor and Karan Johar involved expectations were high. GTPM has its feel-good moments but don’t expect to leave the theatre on a high.
Verdict: Lacklustre – no more than “timepass”
Rating: 2.5 stars
Cast: Imran Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anupam Kher, Shraddha Kapoor, Nizhalgal Ravi, Sujata Kumar, Manoj Bakshi, Neelu Kohli
Director: Punit Malhotra
Published in the regular Karachista column in the Express Tribune on 24th November 2013