After Punit Malhotra’s I Hate Love Stories (2010), a movie that shared some uncanny personal coincidences, he brings forth his next—Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, another of those personally “relatable” movies. With profound self-realization as the major theme of his last two movies, I must really ask Punit, why do you seem fascinated by the liberty of a second chance?
Similar to I Hate Love Stories, Gore Tere Pyaar Mein features Imraan Khan in the new attire of Shreeram but with a similar satire of a lover boy who recognizes affection after having had a muddled experience the first time around—with the same girl. In the case of Love Story, it was Jai realizing love after rejecting his ladylove (Simran played by Sonam Kapoor) the first time around. In Gori, it’s this lad, Sridevi, realizing of his repressed love for numero uno social worker—the ravishing Kareena Kapoor Khan as Dia only after having met his soon-to-be-new-wife Vasudha—where she spends ample time listening to Shreeram’s love epic and serving as his therapist—portrayed by the beautiful Shraddha Kapoor.
Two stories, in basic ways, sharing the same motivation are distinguished by Punit’s treatment, who has attempted to present a standard romantic comedy in a somewhat diverse manner. Gori Tere Pyaar Mein has a good premise. The story of a flush, free spirited man falling in love with a rigid, social worker—with high levels of integrity and commitment—presents a solid recipe for a wonderful 2 hours. As the movie pans out, it turns to be a semi-enjoyable show, although predictable throughout—possessing one vibrant act by Kareena Kapoor Khan. There are positives and negatives, both, and amidst some nostalgic love sequences, for yours truly, there are many moments of silliness, worn out jokes, and detailing just for crude comicality—reaching the extent of preposterousness.
The character of Dia tends to be of an idealist, with high principles and charitable tendencies. She is a social activist who spends more time on the streets parading for human rights and environmental protection, fasting peacefully to force out corruption; filming documentaries in red light areas, and supporting people suffering from HIV and Aids. For such a dedicated and committed social worker, Dia certainly has too much time to focus on her style, clothing, and beauty! Kareena as Dia looks too glamorous for the role. With her face glowing like a Victoria’s Secrets supermodel in exhibition, even in scorching heat, the role she portrays isn’t convincing for the clothes she wears and the dazzling charms she conveys. That doesn’t mean Kareena has to look ugly; it would help if she looked more like a NGO worker, and no—just clothing Kareena in designer suits doesn’t make her appear one.
The movie isn’t meant to be a social drama, by any means, yet some form of consistency and realness would have taken the movie some steps further, despite being a glamorous rom-com. Another factor that raises ones eyebrows, the director and the writers seem to have written this movie from the moral perspective of a social worker. The movie gives weight to Dia’s point-of-view over Shreeram’s point-of-view. In the sense that Shreeram willingly transforms himself to fit into Dia’s mold, whilst Dia remains the same—the character arc—with Shreeram converting from a state of capitalism to a desire of charity driven by the love of Dia.
All of this would have been acceptable had the director set it up appropriately with proper plot and character development. The viewer is left to assume that what Dia does is right, whilst what Shreeram feels is not quite the right path to tread on, without giving us a valid justification, or simply assuming that social work is the greatest form of service and it is above all personal relationships. Then, having Shreeram transform, while Dia remains the same, the director creates a self-centered environment—almost advocating, as one would presume.
Fortunately or perhaps unluckily, the movie isn’t meant for critical analysis, in any shape. It’s a Hindi rom-com, which could serve as an entertainer or a date movie. Perhaps a treacherous date movie, as the underlying psychological marker reveals an all-helping and charitable woman posing a hypothetical question of the extents a boy is willing to go—to get the woman that he loves. It’s one-sided and biased in that manner. It wouldn’t be a problem in most cases, but when you’re asking your viewer to involve their affection in the world of the movie, a little bit of fair-headedness and proper character mapping would serve as a wonderful catalyst in garnering that affection.
Gori is a decent movie. Personally, I liked the movie—especially the flashbacks and the connections to my own life story. Even though it is methodic, flawed, repetitive, and holds passé anecdotes, the central theme of a lover wooing his lover usually makes for a decent watch. Despite the predictability and annoying sequences at times, Gori has its moments and if any man has or had a nostalgic relationship with somebody older, and any woman who has or had a good relationship with somebody younger, book the tickets for some bunkum pleasure. For the rest, it’s a time pass movie—guilty pleasure and all…