Cast: Randeep Hooda, Kajal Aggarwal, Mamik Singh
Director: Deepak Tijori
Tearjerkers have always worked for a certain kind of cinema buffs: shedding copious tears is an act of purgation. For some, at least! Borrowing from the 2011 Korean film, Always, Deepak Tijori-directed film Do Lafzon Ki Kahani centers around a love story between former boxer Suraj (Randeep Hooda) and a sightless nurse Jenny (Kajal Aggarwal) who strike up an odd friendship. Jenny is passionate about life. Though handicapped, she is determined to use every moment, living life undeterred. With so much zest in her otherwise hapless world, she sets out to perk up every situation she seems to be in.
Jabbering away endlessly, she is hell bent upon exploring the world around. Suraj on the other hand seems like a tough nut to crack, he seems to have no passion for life, is an orphan who seldom smiles, is great at boxing and goes about doing his job rather mechanically. Of course, he has a heart of gold too. And thus, destiny has other pleasant surprises in store for him. While doing one of the three odd jobs in Kuala Lumpur, he befriends Jenny, who has been coming all the way to his place of work where he works as a parking lot attendant. She is keen to “watch” a soap opera on a small TV set, asking him questions about the heroine’s clothing and shoes.
A few more nights of such viewings draw the reclusive man out of his shell. Their romance blossoms almost immediately and finds expression in syrupy dialogues as the couple frolic in bed. Sadly, that also allows Tijori’s “too long love making scenes” get the “sanskari” and “dictatorial” censors’ axe as the lead pair is shown falling in love, and within no time, deciding to get married. Concurrently, a somewhat implausible event concerns their past that they would like to erase, catches up with them and it keeps reappearing to haunt them.
Just when everything seems to be hunky-dory, it is time for some hot and heavy melodrama. And since the film is a schmaltzy, many clichés of sentimentality cannot be avoided. Hence, there’s nothing like a serious illness (if not a terminal one) for firing up a sappy romantic drama. The do-gooder Suraj — now the husband — has to oblige his wife with his side of duties, as the visually challenged Jenny needs an immediate eye operation that would cost a whopping Rs 3 lakhs. No prizes for guessing who the funder will be? Suraj, who else? True to the maudlin romanticism that the storyline demands, while the planning for the operation is on, she shares with him who all she would want to “see” when she gets to “see” again.
There is a major hurdle though: The only way he can raise the dough is through mortal combat in an illegal Bangkok fight club. What follows is a welcome digression from the syrupy narrative right into gory scenes of criminal thugs, an old adversary, a fight to death followed by a brutal mugging that rush the story to a pre-climax. The film is too long in its 128 minutes of runtime, and could have been over in flat 60 minutes. The slow pace of the film makes many among the audience steal 40 winks even as Tijori makes sure all the dramatic coincidences add some bit of curiosity and attentiveness for us.
What also make the dull proceedings even drearier are Aggarwal’s poor acting skills. She may look pretty, but has little variation in terms of her dialogue delivery. She is a busy star in the South, and has returned after her a few Hindi films, including the 2011 hit Singham with Ajay Devgn and the 2013 Special 26 with Akshay Kumar. Thereafter, she didn’t make any waves in Bollywood. She should have known that a dud like this would further stall her Hindi film career.
Hooda looks perfectly cast what with his toned muscles and lean ready-fight-in-a-ring-physique. But to develop the mental toughness he needs to get through a strenuous fight, and so, he is made to either frown or fret. He tries hard to deliver an assured low-key, natural performance, but what remains with his fans are his pectorals, athleticism and stagey skills.
For an actor who stands out in any film with his honest performances, this must have been challenging for him to plod along a character that refuses to grow. A bit of a warning: For a film that has an overdose of over-romanticised, weepie plot, forgetting to bring tissues is the definition of schoolgirl error.
The writer is a film critic and has been reviewing films for over 15 years. He also writes on music, art and culture, and other human interest stories....