It’s never a good sign when a film is more considerate towards its heroine than the audience is. The target audience here is women. With any luck Kuchh Luv Jaisaa will end up as a tipping point, signaling the moment that Indian women finally stopped paying to see themselves look stupid on the big screen.
Kuchh Luv Jaisaa is rife with horrors, thanks to a sloppy script and a central character (Shefali Shah) who is impossible to care about. The film also boasts some of the most forced and unrealistic dialogue I have ever seen - Sumit Raghavan, while talking to his friend about his wife blurts out ‘Nail polish is like a friend, aur ek friend hi to chahiye sabko’.
So here we have a bored housewife (Shefali) upset over her hubby’s (Sumit Raghavan) lack of interest in her. After he forgets her birthday, she decides to indulge in some retail therapy and ultra glam makeover. Along comes her wet dream, a rugged, manly dude wearing cooling glasses (Rahul Bose), a wanted terrorist who fools her into believing that he is a detective. The fundamental flaw of this film is that it expects us to find Shefali’s character endearing, but instead she comes across as a relentlessly stupid fool who deserves to suffer. This urban, sophisticated, well-read woman actually moves into a hotel room with a stranger who claims to be a detective. And when she does find out about his villainy, she returns to the hotel room to talk to him, in order to flee. You’re supposed to feel for a woman with an uncaring husband, instead you want her to be collared and humiliated for being such an unintelligent cow.
To make matters perfectly clear, I don’t hold Kuchh Luv Jaisaa against Shefali Shah. She desperately tries to play it all cute and ditsy, deploying her smile and puppy dog eyes at every opportunity. It’s not her fault the film is a shallow, worthless trip to the land of idiocy and pointlessness. Although there’s no denying Rahul Bose’s complete lack of compassion for paying audiences. He has the timing of a Rolex watch that is made in Ulhasnagar – and he speaks in a Mumbai don accent with the dexterity of a little girl with her shoelaces tied together. What’s more, there is zero chemistry between any of the characters, there is hardly any discernible difference between the film’s leads drunk or sober.
Then there are a few scenes that are downright cringe-inducing. Shefali’s character casually asks her preteen daughter if she has had sex, and when the kid asks her if ‘sex’ is ‘love’, the mother suddenly goes into flashback mode and visualizes Rahul Bose standing close to her in an elevator to the backdrop of pseudo rock music. In another scene some mannequins at a departmental store come alive when Shefali walks by with a new haircut. I did not know that mannequins in store windows could actually get aroused. And even their performance is less wooden that Bose’s.
Kuch Luv Jaisaa is assembled from every possible spare part required to make a laughably bad film. Its offenses come by the dozen, but the worst is its portrayal of Indian women as gullible, easily misled, irrational dodos. Even the recent Govinda film ‘Naughty at 40’ is more resplendent with intellect.
First published in DNA