When Mahesh Bhatt made Aashiqui in 1990, starring newcomers, Rahul Roy and Anu Aggarwal, the film did strike a chord. So much so that Roy's pathetic acting was tolerable, more so with some really nice, hummable songs and Anu's most striking presence. It was the chord of honesty and innocence, apparently drawn from Bhatt's own life . Besides entertaining generally with a decent love story, the film made a mild feminist statement, as was Bhatt's forte.
Aashiqui 2 has a similar theme of boy mentoring the girl leading her to fame and success but gets stuck somewhere between Bhatt's 'Daddy' and 'Sur'. There are some stray glimpses of Rockstar too. The writing (Shagufta Rafique), a strange mix of some new thinking and some old fashioned, clichéd,repetitive scenes, ends up simply lazy.
The film opens with the most deafening soundtrack. RJ aka Rahul Jaikar (Aditya Roy Kapur)is performing on stage amidst loud, hysterical cheers. Every now and then, he swigs a drink. Someone splashes water on his face. He stops singing and jumps off stage in a fit of rage. Soon, he leaves the show and drives off, drunk. His swanky car almost hits a pretty girl, Aarohi (Shraddha Kapoor) carrying a bag of vegetables. The girl moans over lost tomatoes and 80 odd Rupees. He goes on his knees to retrieve the squashed tomatoes. The pretty girl tilts her head, impressed.
So, it does not matter that no one walks around late at night, carrying vegetables. Neither do any explanations matter as to why RJ drinks throughout, why he has given up on his career and why the culprit appears only twice in the story to provoke RJ.RJ is filthy rich, fairly successful and has a concerned dad who regularly calls him from New York. He has everything going for him, yet he drinks compulsively, hangs around depressed or angry.
To add to the cliché of car collisions and drunken brawls, the girl sings at a bar but has a golden voice. The rich and famous alcoholic hears the poor girl's golden, 'nightingale' voice and makes it his mission to give her a break. So begins the story of a mentor or 'Sur' and moves from one clichéd scene to another. There is no subtext and no imagination.
What could have been an interesting take on alcoholism as a challenge to relationships, dwindles into a meaningless and uninnovative music video. The good part is that the film does not get into old "Abhimaan" jealousy routine and instead sticks to RJ's alcoholic ways independent of his love story.
The performances lift the film ever so slightly. There is some amount of earnestness in Aditya Roy Kapur but he is most unconvincing in his drinking. Shraddha Kapoor is extremely pretty(with glimpses of her aunt, Padmini Kolhapure) but does not extend herself enough to energize any single moment. Mahesh Thakur as the 'uncle' who runs a music company, is a welcome change from the regular faces on screen.
The music, usually a stronghold in Bhatt or Bhushan Kumar films (co-producers), disappoints big time. There is nothing that matches the old hit.. 'saanson ki zaroorat hai jaise...aashiqui ke liye..'
It's difficult to fall in love with Aashiqui 2.But the stunning Shraddha Kapoor might win some hearts. As did Anu Aggarwal, once upon a love story time.