Direction: Punit Malhotra
I have always maintained that Karan Johar teaches his protégés well; they almost always get the entertainment quotient and the slick productions qualities right but alas that can’t be said about ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’.
The production is so slick that even when Dia Sharma (Kareena Kapoor Khan) and Sriram Venkat (Imran Khan) choose to stay in a dusty Gujarati village, they are always impeccably dressed. Imran’s white linen shirts don’t even have a speck of dust on them, Kareena’s kohl-lined eyes are always perfectly done and she exhibits the most extensive cotton kurta collection possible in a poor village. I guess she dresses immaculately to express solidarity with the impoverished village folk.
And this in effect is what exposes the inherent superfluousness of the plot. Sriram actually makes a very valid point when he erupts and blames Dia of being a hypocrite. The fundamental problem with ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’ is that there isn’t an iota of conviction in the narrative - whether it’s the heroine’s activism, the hero’s love for the heroine or the entire living-in-the-village, among-the-poor, understand-their-plight charade that they carry on throughout the second half.
What really doesn’t help their cause is the complete absence of chemistry between the film’s lead stars, Imran and Kareena. I understand that we have established at the onset that our social activist is older than our chocolate boy but that doesn’t mean that their relationship has to be asexual. There is not a single passionate embrace or kiss or even a look that can allude to some latent attraction underlying their relationship.
In fact, the only thing that rings true is how mechanically Sriram goes through the motions of an arranged marriage, even after the girl has told him that she is in love with someone else. So self-absorbed is our hero that he refuses to be the fall guy and insists that if she is so hopelessly in love, she should gather the courage to tell her parents. The director doesn’t romanticize the arranged marriage set-up nor is there any dramatic meltdown. And what really makes the situation funny is how deftly the prospective bride Vasudha (Shraddha Kapoor) manages to systematically brainwash our vulnerable hero into believing that he is still in love with his former girlfriend, and thus ensuring her escape. That I thought was really well played.
The film tends to gloss over a lot of real issues. Why take them up when you can’t do justice? Stick to dil, dosti and friendship and you’ll have a winner all the way. Real issues just expose a pretentious approach and superficial concern for social causes like education, poverty, illegal land acquisition and sanitation.
‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’ is an insipid love story dragged down by a flimsy plot that limps on at a tedious pace.
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