London, Paris, New York 2012

Directed by: Anu Menon

There really isn’t much to say about London, Paris, New York. It is a tidy RomCom with all the basics packed into a to-the-point hour and a half runtime. Unfortunately compared to my recent viewings of Ek Main aur Ekk Tu and Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya; London, Paris, New York lacks the effervescence that brings the former films to life.

Nikhil (Ali Zafar) and Lalitha (Aditi Rao Hydari) spend a total of seventy-two hours together over a 10-year span. The first day, in London, is jovial and sweet as they get to know each other and develop a coy attraction to each other. Their second day, Paris, occurs after the pair has grown apart physically, mentally and emotionally. It is more a meeting of ulterior motives than love as they literally use each other in damaging ways. While the pseudo-revenge theme runs through their third day, New York, it develops into something more…(and I hesitate to say it, because it’s completely false)…healthy. ”Workable” might be more appropriate.

Aditi Rao Hydari illuminates the screen, between her perfectly lovely doll’s face and complete ease on screen she is a delight to watch. I preferred her the most as the wide-eyed innocent traveling abroad for the first time; but also enjoyed her turn as the Parisian Sex Kitten. She is a skilled chameleon, perfectly adapting to each extreme.  After seeing her work in  Rockstar I doubted if she could carry a film by herself, but she proves that she is more than equal to the task.

Ali Zafar, the Pakistani wunderkind pulls a triple threat in this film as actor, lyricist and singer.  I think Ali Zafar is awesome, personally. He’s a little rough around the edges but he has earnestness about him, he just wants to be the good guy and he wants to win the girl—but he gets in his own way in his efforts. Playing the spoiled brat, troubled artist and jilted lover with a charisma that suits his talents and abilities. Although he has the tendency to talk like a cheesy car salesman at times he really does possess a grow-inducing voice (singing and speaking) that makes my knees a little, just a little, weak.

The music for London, Paris, NewYork is solid, but not in any way risky or innovative. It has been a nice background to my hectic Monday at the office.

The greatest failing of LPNY is perhaps its ending. Rushed, overtly dramatic and kind of sloppy it brings a hasty ending to an otherwise well-paced film. This film may be the one time a viewer wishes for extra time in an Indian film but the storyline could have been vastly improved by an extra 30 minutes or so. I don’t begrudge an hour-and-a-half film but pacing and progression have to be tight and it feels vaguely like towards the end the vision and direction were lost.

My official opinion? Wait for it on Netflix Instant.

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