Yeh kya hua, kaise hua, kab hua, kyon hua? If you know the answers to these profound questions asked in Amar Prem years ago, we pray, tell us too, please! Almost four decades later, Amar Prem’s maker Shakti Samanta’s grandson Aditya Samanta arrives in a movie called Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai in the hope of recreating the magic of Shaktida. However, this germ of an idea remains that, a germ. Never really sprouting into an idea, sirji. What is obvious is the complete lack of it. Making this an almost unbearable watch. Even ‘Pushpa’s (made legendary by Rajesh Khanna) tears would have frozen on seeing this non-amar prem kahani. Karan Choudhury (Aditya Samanta) and Karishma Rathore (Nazia Hussain) are meant to be together (guess what … they were born on the same day. So original na?) until their warring families do them part. In the city of Udaipur, the age-old battle (of blood and business) between the Choudhury and Rathore families; is as popular as the purani hawelis and panoramic palaces.
Karan and Karishma meet at Krakow University (Poland), and after (predictably) bumping into each at jogging tracks (she skates into his arms. Ooof!) and ice-cream trucks, they fall in love (obviously making complete use of Poland’s topography in song sequences). Oh yes, there’s more. Some more forgettable songs, (sweet) nothings, (laughable) lover’s tiffs, and finally the twist-in-the-tale. OMG! The venue switches to Udaipur. Enter Tai-sa, Bhai-sa, Maa-sa et al, with saris and jewellery heavier than their roles. Of course, the romance continues – this time against the backdrop of forts and fortresses, with the help of foreign-returned friends, plus embarrassing tributes to classic love stories (read: DDLJ). The hatred between the khandaans intensifies, the lovers are in despair, bullets are fired, monotone-ous flashbacks appear and torturous (for us) tears wash away caked-up faces. But by then, we are asking yeh kya hua again!
Aditya Samanta looks too underprepared and awkward to face the big screen. His blah-blah expressions (no thanks to some hackneyed dialogues) add nothing to this uninteresting story. Tight tees, jackets, foreign locales and well-shot frames sadly don’t promise a grand debut, right?
Nazia Hussain is pretty and confident, but fairly over-dramatic and squeaky during emotional scenes. And of course, in desperate need of a style make-over and a crash course in propah make-up.
Rati Agnihotri delivers a jerky performance as a typical mother. Farida Jalal walks straight out of her ‘Balika Vadhu‘ cameo (she’s called Tai-sa in both). While Mohnish Bahl plays the unforgiving head-of-the-family (ho hum!), but even he can’t guess head or tail of what the plot is all about.
So who does, really? Not the director (Shree Narayan Singh) even. With the Mother of all cliches (acting directing, costumes, dialogues), a mash of several love stories, and a fatigued formula, the director loses the plot; if there was one to begin with. The only relief for our by-now strained, pained eyes (awaiting a glimpse of hope) were the picturesque locations and fairly good production values.
Two young people meet abroad, fall in love, sing songs and come up against warring families in a stereotypical story from the past.