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LAILA MAJNU (Movie Review) - A confused, bland and over-ambitious venture that is neither an innocent love story nor a matured one, wasting a fine soundtrack including a brilliant 'Haafiz Haafiz'. - By Bobby Sing

07 Sep, 2018 | Movie Reviews / 2018 Releases

A love story never works due to its storyline, which more or less moves around the same structure. It actually works due to its fresh innocence featuring two young lovable faces or due to a couple playing bold, mature characters very well knowing the world around or simply because the viewer falls in love with the love-buds (either the boy or the girl) and wishes to see him or her again in repeated viewings, enjoying the love story in an adorable state of awe.
Sadly this new age adaptation of LAILA MAJNU doesn’t turn out to be a film that can be loved or praised due to any of the reasons above and it simply fails to connect as a simple, deep or any kind of relatable love story.
The innocence element gets lost in the first scenes itself when both the boy and the girl get introduced as two over-confident flirts in some awkward sequences and then the maturity is never witnessed in their expressions, actions or dialogues till the very end. Besides, one doesn’t fall in love or gets impressed with any of the lead faces due to the same reasons and a less engaging, predictable progression which never pulls you in as a fresh love saga.
Based on a script by the well-known writer-director Imtiaz Ali (he also presents the film), LAILA MAJNU has been directed by his brother Sajid Ali, but frankly it’s the confused, bland writing that happens to be the main culprit here instead of the debutant’s direction. Sajid decently puts up his work with a fine use of a pleasing cinematography and a worth-noticing musical score along with appreciable performances from his cast. But the over-ambitious writing never allows that to work except a couple of sequences, ruining the collective effort made.
Both Avinash Tiwary and Tripti Dimri (as Majnu and Laila) try their level best to make it appear as an unforgettable love story based on a legendary tale. But again many of their unjustified and unintelligent decisions in the story-progression fail to establish an emotional connect with the viewers, especially in the second half. Honestly, I found Avinash far better and much more natural in his effortless portrayal in the meaningful TU HAI MERA SUNDAY released early this year. On the other hand, Sumit Kaul does a very fine job as a hateful character of the husband (with an interesting Kashmiri accent) and both Parmeet Sethi and Benjamin Gilani perfectly perform their given roles of the fathers. 
Further on a positive note, where LAILA MAJNU doesn’t work as an emotional love story it certainly delivers something to cherish in its two long hours in terms of ‘virgin Kashmir locations’ captured by the DOP, the background score and the soundtrack with a few well written, composed and arranged tracks much ahead of the forgettable, routine stuff. However I strongly feel one would certainly enjoy the songs as individual musical creations much more than a weak film’s original soundtrack. Having said that, Sajid still makes the best use of the track “Haafiz Haafiz” on screen, doing complete justice to it, deserving appreciation.
In the end, frankly once again after JAB HARRY MET SEJAL, I couldn’t understand what Imtiaz Ali found exciting or innovative in his writing, re-telling an already known plot lacking novelty. Yes, at times presentation on screen can really make a lot of difference to even a routine storyline in the hands of an exceptionally creative director. But there too, the writing plays a major decisive role without any slightest of doubt. Unfortunately here in case of LAILA MAJNU, neither the writing nor the presentation/execution works in the favour of the film.
So you can watch it, only if you are deliberately willing to find something deep, hidden and unsaid in a film written by Imtiaz Ali or in case the NAMES are more important for you than the content.
Rating : 2 / 5 (including an additional one just for the soundtrack, particularly 'Haafiz Haafiz')

Tags : LAILA MAJNU Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Imtiaz Ali Films, Adaptation of Laila Majnu
07 Sep 2018 / Comment ( 0 )
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