TopYaps Rating: ★★★☆☆
People, I am back, of course, with my review for the new Friday release Laila Majnu. I know well what our mind conjures up when we hear these two magical words ‘Laila’ and ‘Majnu’. They flicker in front of our eyes! And, it’s certainly the imaginary images of two doomed lovers who could not live happily ever after. But does the modern retelling of the legendary love story live up to the expectations? Let’s find out.
Let’s know about the story. Of course, without spoilers!
Presented by Ekta Kapoor and Imtiaz Ali, Laila Majnu is set in picturesque Kashmir. Papa (Parmeet Sethi) ki ladli Laila (Tripti Dimri) is an outgoing, bindas girl who does not mind if young boys follow her to college. She sort of enjoys the male attention, irrespective of the fact that many so-called custodians of morality have started calling her a ‘cheap’ ladki.
One day, she meets Qais Bhatt (Avinash Tiwari) who, too, has a slightly disreputable image in the valley. The spoiled brat attracts Laila and soon the duo falls in love. But the path to their union is not a rosy one. Laila and Qais’ fathers are arch-rivals. They can’t put their egos aside and let the lovers live a peaceful life.
So, what happens next? Will Laila and Qais elope? Or their parents have some evil plans to nip the romance in the bud?
Why will you love this story?
The tale of Laila and Majnu is always associated with love, resistance, social barriers, and separation. Filmmaker Sajid Ali’s offering is also woven around the same emotions. Just like every film, be it in any genre, Laila Majnu too has its pluses and minuses. Let’s first talk about what makes the movie a good watch this weekend.
The film has been written by maverick screenwriter and filmmaker Imtiaz Ali with screenplay co-penned by director Sajid Ali. Imtiaz has his own grammar of writing a story, something all dedicated Bollywood cinephiles know quite well by now. Here, he shows the power of his qalam once again and delivers a film that gets its strength more from its powerful writing than anything else. From dialogues to the screenplay, Laila Majnu scores well in writing department.
Laila Majnu is toplined by new actors Avinash Tiwari and Tripti Dimri, but they deliver performances so convincing that no one can catch them if they falsely claim to have done multiple films before starring in this Sajid Ali directorial. Their chemistry is perfect and both nail their characters brilliantly. Tripti Dimri surprises with her maiden performance. Watching her as Laila is a sheer delight. The lead actors are ably supported by an equally powerful supporting cast.
Music & Lyrics
Soulful music and poetically meaningful lyrics are an important staple of a good love story. If a film scores well there, half the battle is won. Laila Majnu has music by Niladri Kumar, Joi Barua and Atif with lyrics provided by Irshad Kamil, Mehmood Gaami and Mohammad Muneem. Barring a few, most of the songs featured in the album are good. The music of Laila Majnu may not impress you instantly as it takes some time to grow on you. The background score is also amazing.
The disappointing tit-bits
No film is perfect. Just like any other movie, Laila Majnu has its own flaws. It could have been a better cinematic piece if it had a steady approach in its presentation. At times, the film looks both mainstream and offbeat.
Filmmaker Sajid Ali has made a fairly likable movie. As a new filmmaker, his command over his craft is good. Having said that, there are moments where you feel that he loses control over the narrative and things become a little directionless. The movie starts off on a slow note and the pace keeps fluctuating. It gathers pace towards the interval, but as it nears its climax, the narrative slows down once again. If we keep these minor issues aside, Laila Majnu does offer enough entertainment for Hindi movie buffs.
Length and Editing
Another issue with the film is that with a running time of almost two and a half hour it seems a little lengthy. It could have easily been summed up within 2 hours. Editor needed sharper scissors to trim the movie.
Though Laila Majnu uses the familiar movie tropes to evoke emotions, Imtiaz Ali’s crisp writing, hypnotic lyrics by Irshad Kamil and honest performance by the lead pair make it a pleasant watch. If you believe in Pyaar, Ishq aur Mohabbat, Laila Majnu is calling you in theater.
Watch the trailer, which you book the tickets:
Banner: Balaji Motion Pictures, PI Pictures
Director: Sajid Ali
Cast: Avinash Tiwari, Tripti Dimri
Music Director: Niladri Kumar, Joi Barua, Atif