Arif Ali makes his big screen debut with a contemporary love story Lekar Hum Deewana Dil ( LHDD). Like his brother Imtiaz Ali, Arif too offers a realistic take on relationships, peppering the film with witty, charming and delightful moments . Although Arif does make an intense attempt to narrate a story that’s distinct from films of its type, you can’t help but notice the influence of Imtiaz’s works in his directorial debut but there are times when you feel that the film is scattered . Nonetheless, what you cannot repudiate is that LHDD has got its heart in the right place. Set in South Mumbai, Dino (Armaan Jain) and Karishma (Deeksha Seth) are young and restless who wish to live life on their own terms. When Karishma’s family mounts pressure on her to get married, she and her rebellious best friend Dino realize that they are made for each other. Being the rulers of their destiny, they elope to forge a lifetime of love, fun and freedom. But they are yet to learn that life isn’t that simple. And sometimes who you love the most can become the biggest problem. Dino and Karishma go through friendship, disillusionment, conflict and heartbreak, until they realize true love. There’s a boy and there’s a girl and the Romance blossoms. They face roadblocks. There’s heartbreak. They drift apart. Ultimately, all’s well that ends well. Arif uses the time-tested template to narrate a story.
Arif keeps his characters recognizable and their dialogue real. It’s like sitting in a café or eatery and overhearing the conversation of the lovers and presenting the lovey-dovey talks/bickering in the most compelling manner. The episodes that lead to the lovers drifting apart are, perhaps, the best part of the enterprise, for the screenwriting does pull out several aces at this point. LHDD loses sheen when it’s time to iron out the disagreements and end the squabble. You know how the story is going to terminate, but the road to culmination has pointless curves that seem annoying and superfluous. Like, for instance, the sequences with the marriage counsellor played Gautami Kapoor . Furthermore, the constant bickering between the love birds could’ve been persuasive. As a matter of fact, there are times when you feel the emotions are more surface-level than heartfelt.
The soundtrack by the maestro [A.R. Rahman] takes time to grow, but is extremely likeable when you watch the songs on the screen never mind the spate of songs in the first hour! ‘Khalifa’ is, without doubt, a chartbuster, while ‘Alaahda’ is simply soulful, ‘Mawwali Qawwali’ is surely a foot-tapping track and ‘Tu Shining’ is really cool. The DoP captures the beautiful locales with skill. LHDD depends completely on its lead actors. Also, Arif chains the sparkle and adrenaline rush of impulsive links with serious take on relationships, giving plenty opportunity to the first-timers to make an impact.
Armaan has the charm that should help him establish a substantial fan-following, but more importantly, he is definitive and confident for someone who’s facing the camera for the first time. Deeksha who has featured in a couple of South Indian films prior to this film, has a pleasant screen presence and also handles her part self-assuredly. She underplays the dramatic rations pleasantly. Kumud Mishra as Armaan’s father is, as always, effective. Rahul Shetty as Deeksha’s father does a fair job. Anita Kulkarni as Armaan’s mom rocks and Rinku Karmakar as Deeksha’s mom are faultless. LHDD has several brilliant moments and genuine inspirations that stay with you. The film should appeal to the youth & young at heart! It’s a 7/10 from us at The Bollywood Tempest.