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'I Hate Luv Storys' - Movie Review "New wine in old bottle"

Love them or hate them, Love stories make the world go round. Although new-age cinema is experimenting with genres from politics to terrorism to religion, Bollywood will always be associated with sugar-coated romantic flicks. As much as we hate to admit, at the end of the day, a true blue Bollywood aficionado still counts DDLJ, Lamhe, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai amongst the ultimate Bollywood films.
And taking it some steps further, Punit Malhotra in his directorial venture attempts a story-telling using a collage of yester-year classics adorned with ‘been-there-done-that’ formulas of snow-capped mountains, chiffon saris (neatly flying in the wind), clean scrubbed dudes, Karwachauth and the likes. Not that it’s a problem really, if done correctly.
So we are introduced to a ‘I love, eat, sleep, live Mills & Boon fairy tales’ film production designer Simran (Sonam Kapoor) and ‘Girls = Dates = one night stand ONLY” assistant director (Imran Khan) who in true tradition of Bolly-rom-coms are at polar extremes on the concept of Love and all the good things that go with it. They bicker, snicker, and make their displeasure at each others view very evident. Opposites are bound to attract, and as in most cases, since it is a one-side thing, we wait till the end of the movie for the second side (read: Jay) to connect to it. No jigsaw puzzle this one! The boy-girl have to make up their mind if indeed Mr Wrong is Mr Right or Mr Right is Mr Wrong, while hot shot investment banker boyfriend Raj (Sammir Dattani) keeps himself busy sending a flower daily, booking the fanciest restaurant, planning the perfect proposal, all the while waiting patiently, looking dull, confused and bored.
Yet again, by the end of it all, Imran finds himself in the last-ditch airport scene, and has to inform of his riveting revelation to the heroine. Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, anyone? Hope Imran does not make this a habit that spills onto his real life as well!
The movie comes from a director/writer who openly professes his revulsion for all things ‘love’, which is quite the irony since the movie ends up being just that - an out-&-out love story. Punit Malhotra having spent considerable amount of time under the conscientious guidance of Karan Johar, knows grandeur, massive sets at the back of his hand and uses that factor to his best advantage. This coupled with sequences of wine-n-dine, lying in bed and staring at the ceiling, getting wet in the rain, now like-now hate, ‘lets be good friends’ confused conversations (which I have a feeling Mr. Malhotra has personally experienced-`n’-endured) make for an innocent and relative watch and you can actually hear ooh’s-aah’s-awww amidst the “hey, I have also been through this s***’ confessions in the audience.
‘I Hate Luv Storys’ is outrightly predictable, with dollops of mush and overflowing emotions. But it’s the simple yet fresh presentation that makes it hatke, and not make you cringe in your seat. Now having a movie-within-a-movie is no mean feat, but Punit manages it decently keeping the whole fare above the average mark. The glitch here is that it has way too much of Karan Johar scribbled all over it, thus stealing Punit’s individuality.
Direction, well-learnt at the ‘Johar institution’ is eloquent, to the point and helps both characters reach a level of sensibility. Dialogues, a mish-mash of cute quips & charming one-liners are random, today and quite in sync. The comic scenes stay true to the rom-com genre. On the other hand, the writing could definitely use some heavy improvement. I wouldn’t mind if the movie had extended an extra half hour, but as a whole the movie should have been a little more spaced out and shuffled especially some clich├ęd re-enacted scenes and songs wherein they kind of all toppled over one another. Good effort for the first time though!
The movie is well festooned by Vishal-Shekhar’s musical chartbusters, which have already been well received.  Ditto for Salim-Suleiman’s background score which keeps you up and cheerful for most of the time. Scenic beauty is well-captured and cinematographer Ayananka Bose, who recently proved his mettle in ‘Kites’ will find him in the top league hereon.
Imran and Sonam make a fine pair, not sizzling, just fine. No over-the-top chemistry, bonding to an extent of killing the passion, too many stolen glances, leaves much to the audience desire. Samir Soni as a certain-high profile director justifies the casting director’s choice; Aamir Ali is well placed and performs with ease. But the hiccup is Sammir Dattani, who unfortunately despite being as talented as he is, is not given the platform he deserves. By the time the story moves ahead, he is lost, displaced and sadly nobody really cares. A very special mention to Kavin Dave, (who in the smooth extension of his role from Rishta.com to IHLS), carries his act as Imran’s friend with earnest performance and some steal worthy scenes.
The thing about the movie that appeals the most is the ‘real’ feel to it. As an audience, you could be in any corner of the world and you will be truly able to identify and relate to Jay & Simran. Anyone who has been even remotely close to a film-set culture, would smile inwardly while watching the movie for the sheer comfort to the familial setting and characters (except for the glamour part, for which Manish Malhotra is highly laudable, but trust me no film crew would be able to look so fashionable in reality).
The silver lining is that the film makes for a decent everyday flick, because just like love it's neither perfect nor imperfect which is completely enjoyable. You'll begin to wonder if there was any sense to the film at all only once the screening is over because while the movie is on you will be over-occupied indulging in it!
I Hate Luv Storys definitely will not feature in my list of “favourite love err ‘luv’ movies” but it does make for an entertaining watch because of its soulful music, refreshing duo of Imran-Sonam and the overall Dharma King of Romance Karan Johar’s proverbial ‘Midas’ touch.
Go for it if you are a hopeless romantic or simply a huge fan of any name associated with the movie. If you’re dragging your better half to make them ’fall in’ or ‘fall out’ of love, haha, Tough Luck! This film is not going to help! If you’re expecting it to impart ‘gyaan’ or have a moral-of-the-story ending, you’re looking at the wrong film. Neither can you expect twists and turns to give you an adrenaline rush. Grab a tub of the popcorn, tag along a couple of friends, sit back and relax.
Final Verdict: Fulltooo Timepass! Dil ‘Bahara Bahara’ ho gaya!!


  1. Excellent. U have touched most points nicely. good review.

  2. Hey the review is gr8 ...I feel this movie can at least entertain the crowd after a long gap .

  3. i ma going to see this expecting a gud movie!!

  4. this movie is like wonder............
    songs are nices...........

  5. it's kinda like i thought about the movie....thanks Pooja..well done!!!!

  6. AnonymousJuly 03, 2010

    IHLS zabardast hai yaar

  7. Am i a defective piece?? Everyone is giving a 4 star rating to IHLS! Although i found it quite boring! :(

  8. Thanks guys :))

    shiva - pasand apni apni, not a lot of my friends enjoyed it! I went with an open mind, hardly any expectations, maybe thats y!



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