Yahoo! India Movies: Aashiqui 2

Movie Reviews

Cast: Aditya Roy Kapur, Shraddha Kapoor, Shaad Randhawa

Direction: Mohit Suri

Rating: ***1/2

Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘Aashiqui’ was a musical sensation, Nadeem-Shravan and Kumar Sanu became household names overnight after the film’s release. Despite the film’s phenomenal success, there was little you could say about the story or the performances. ‘Aashiqui 2’ not only boasts of an intense love story but also solid performance by the lead cast.

Rahul Jaykar aka RJ (Aditya Roy Kapur) is a talented singer who is headed down the path of self-destruction. The moment you hear ‘singer’ and ‘self-destruction’, comparison with Ranbir Kapoor who played Janardhan Jakhar aka Jordan with such élan in Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Rockstar’ is inevitable. Can Aditya pull off this role (his previous roles have been pretty simple and uninspired)? Will he ham it up trying to be “inspired” by Ranbir Kapoor?

Aditya plays his part distinctly different from Ranbir. The reasons for his inner turmoil are very different; fame and stardom fell into his lap and despite immense talent, he squanders it all away. He is an alcoholic, frequently misses recordings, his international concerts have now moved base to local shows, like the one in Goa. On one such evening when he lands up in a Goan bar, he discovers an undiscovered talent Arohi Shirke (Shraddha Kapoor).

The moment Rahul approaches Arohi, she decides to wrap up her Goan sojourn and head to Mumbai and re-embark on a daunting journey, aspiring to become a famous singer. RJ realizes she has immense potential and decides to mentor her. Needless to say they fall in love but though RJ encourages his protégée at every step, he has given up on himself long back. Despite a few vain attempts, he never really tries to give up drinking.

The plot is not flawless; it’s surprising how no one thinks of seeking professional help for our conflicted protagonist, the emotional outbursts are some of the weakest scenes in the film and the love story too reeks of a kind of naiveté and optimism that is almost impossible to find these days.

Imtiaz Ali made us passengers on the protagonist's journey, he made us a witness to our rockstar’s downfall, the devolution became personal, we watched hapless as a young and carefree JJ (Ranbir) plunged on an incessant downward spiral. Mohit Suri never really helps us understand RJ’s (Aditya) angst, what really caused the emotional breakdown, his collapse remains external.

Aditya Roy Kapur’s performance however is almost perfectly pitched, despite the loopholes in the script. Shraddha gets a little squeaky in the emotional bits but there is an inherent innocence about her character that makes her vulnerable and likable. I wasn’t at all impressed with Shaad Randhawa’s performance.

Much like the first one, the music of ‘Aashiqui 2’ is its USP and Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor make the film immensely watchable.

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