Starring: Tripti Dimri, Mir Sarwar, Avinash Tiwary Director: Sajid Ali India release date: Sep 07, 2018 Genre: Drama, romance Certification: Language: Hindi Duration: 2 hrs 20 mins
“What is truly troubling is the fact that the Alis have resorted to the woman-as-a-tease and the male-suitor-as-a-stalker clichés that were once a fixture in Bollywood but that many contemporary filmmakers now abjure. Not only does this triteness reveal a dangerous inclination for gender stereotyping, it is also, frankly, boring. I mean, seriously, how much longer must we contend with writers whose idea of romantic sparks is a girl pretending not to like a boy although she does, or a boy being obnoxious to win her affections?”
“Contains the most exasperating thirty minutes as well as the most enthralling thirty minutes of the year… The more optimistic among us might imagine deceit to be hardwired into this film’s DNA. What if the first half is deliberately formulaic so that the second half punches us right in the gut after our expectations hit rock bottom?… The more pragmatic among us might believe that perhaps first-time director Sajid Ali handed over the reigns to his brother Imtiaz post-interval.”
“Avinash’s Qais (or Majnu) is treated as a clamorous embodiment of poetic ‘madness’: a low-rung cross between Shahid Kapoor from Haider and Ranveer Singh from Padmaavat who rages blind in the rolling hills of Kashmir.”
“Little sense, some good taste and enough feeling to flood a valley. On the face of it, it’s a standard ‘girl meets boy, their families disapprove, boy loses the plot’ story. But director Sajid Ali lulls viewers with Kashmiri meadows and lakes and a heady soundtrack and then throws the emotional kitchen sink at them.”
“Layla and Majnun — the “virgin love”, where the two neither marry nor consummate their affair — can best, if not only, be told through melodrama. I’m not confident about realism doing justice to the innate exaggeration and passion of this tale, but the problem with the first half is that it neither commits to melodrama nor realism. It is stuck in an awkward limbo. But the second half of the film, with right dollops of exaggeration, soulful melodies and acting skills, elicits the right amount of melodrama.”
“Here is a romantic drama that has the capacity to surprise. This is no small feat considering we have known of the age-old Persian legend about the star-crossed lovers for longer than we can remember, and it has been interpreted by artists as far removed as Rishi Kapoor, Orhan Pamuk and Eric Clapton… Here are highly flawed and even doomed characters, yet they partake of something special, enviable and real. Who among us dares judge a true romantic? Love is love.”
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