Review: 'Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat' presents on-the-button Gen Z love tales with an Anurag Kashyap twist
Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat serves you with yet another 'Anurag Kashyap' style of flawed love story which deals with various kinds of prejudices and paints a grey picture.
Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat review
Anurag Kashyap treats each of his love stories distinctively, much like he does with all of his other works. He picks on the untapped areas and explores romanticism, which is incredibly uncommon in mainstream romantic-genre movies, whether it be in Dev D, Manmarziyaan, or the next Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat. But in contrast to his world of dark happenings, his love stories usually have a gray tone. So having had the chance to watch his latest romantic drama, this is what I feel about it.
Two parallel stories are recounted in Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabat by employing the same actors. A Hindu girl Amrita (Alaya F), and a Muslim boy Yakub (Karan Mehta) run away together to watch a concert, where Yakub starts feeling for Amrita in the first story. Although the premise is as cliché as they come, Anurag's attempt to depict reality while fusing parts of Gen Z set in the yesteryear in a small town establishes a contrast and keeps it unusual.
A Pakistani girl Ayesha again played by Alalya F and an Indian boy Harmeet (Karan) who resides in London are the focus of the second story. It demonstrates how obsession tramples true love and where it leads a couple in the end.
Both the stories are attached to a common string 'DJ Mohabbat' and his podcast and well it's a treat for all the Vicky Kaushal fans out there.
The Parallel Love Saga
The switching between the parallel moving narratives might be complex and confusing to understand for someone unfamiliar with Kashyap's world especially when the same actors are playing distinctive characters. There may even be times when you believe that they are the same people's stories from different periods. However, with DJ Mohabbat's narration, the distinction becomes increasingly apparent with time, and the intercutting between the two stories is good to go.
The film addresses all kinds of hate and social themes, be it homophobia, religious prejudice, love jihaad, generational gap, and others. But the main idea behind the movie was that patriarchy and how its conditioning still exists today, whether, in a small town in India or a city like London. This attempt to add too many layers making it a bit stuffed up.
The stories didn't center on romantic relationships per se but rather on how people from diverse backgrounds and upbringings find themselves while looking for someone else.
Alaya F as Aarti is the ideal choice for the part of a Gen Z schoolgirl who is absorbed in the "tik tok" and social media world. She does a fine job of slipping into the role and, more importantly, does justice to the nuances in the writing that are intended for her character. Although her performance as Ayesha occasionally irks the viewer, she has fairly fulfilled the writing's expectations.
With this Anurag Kashyap tale, Karan Mehta makes his film debut. Although it appears that the actor still has ways to go, he does a decent job in this case. Karan is layered and innocent as Yakub. He has a peculiar laugh that, after a while, makes you shudder. Particularly for Gen Z, who are either the target of obsession or the ones who become infatuated, Karan as Harmeet seems more relatable.
Vicky Kaushal's prominent cameo as "DJ Mohabbat" is a visual and auditory delight. While portraying a DJ with a podcast channel, he often finds himself mouthing shayraris by Gulzar Sahab as well as some exquisitely crafted poetry. The dialogue in the movie is undoubtedly intense, and listening to the lines recounted by "DJ Mohabbat" is bound to induce you to feel something.
The music of the film is a winner. Amit Trivedi's score strikes a chord with a well-balanced blend of quirky tracks and melancholic ones. The film's final song, "Mohabbat se Kranti," concludes the movie and leaves you pondering about the aftermath, intensifies the atmosphere, and leaves you feeling emotionally invested in the plot.
Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat serves you with yet another 'Anurag Kashyap' kind of flawed love story which deals with various kinds of prejudices and paints a grey picture.
Rating: *** stars (3/5)