London Paris New York (LPNY) started off as a typical run-of-the mill Bollywood style movies. Girl (Aditi Rao-Hyderi), Lalita, very desi, a Madrassi feminist who goes to pursue education in New York, bumps into boy, Nikhil (Ali Zafar), son of a rich film-maker daddy, spoilt, gets everything served to him on a silver platter; we had to applaud the originality. The “accidental bump” happens at Heathrow Airport in London.
What are they doing there?
Lalita is very rudely informed during her transit flight to London that due to delays on the current flight, she has missed her flight to New York and shall be given a hotel room to compensate for the loss. Nikhil, happens to be travelling to London to enroll himself in acting school, but will be staying with his uncle for the first few days.
The two “bump” into each other when Lalita drops her book, which Nikhil picks up to give back to her and from there begins the “unexpected” magical love story of Nikhil and Lalita.
After indulging in cordialities at the airport, the two end up spending a day in London together. How that happens is again the beauty of Bollywood! Bouts of jealousy, spurts of anger and the tension surrounding sexual attraction give away the concept behind the movie. This was one of those flicks that you can predict scene to scene. But a guilty pleasure nonetheless. The one thing, however, which was a tad confusing and weirdly refreshing was the fact that the movie literally concentrated on the two lead actors with barely any supporting cast. It worked because Zafar and Rao-Hyderi were able to carry the film through on their own — no one else was required.
Zafar in particular was brilliant. Certain scenes, in my opinion, were shot “too in the face”, but he played it off well and his acting was heart wrenching at one point.
Rao-Hyderi, who played the role of an inquisitive journalist in Rockstar, did a decent job. A very pretty face, did not overact, but didn’t make a lasting impression as such. Her role, however, changed throughout the movie and the different looks that she was going for, she adapted to just perfectly. Her skills in the French language were impressive and used brilliantly in LPNY.
All in all, the movie was a great one-timer! A fun experience, which allowed for loud laughter; this typical but not-so-typical Bollywood movie was anything but a bore.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2012.
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