Ranging from the hugely successful Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na to the anything but substance Ugly Aur Pagli, Bollywood has recently seen the rise of the Romantic Comedy genre, or Romcom as the genre is popularly referred to. Very often, however, the comedy gets lost somewhere in the background and the end product is your standard Bollywood love story – hero meets heroine and together they fight the villain whilst dancing away to a beautiful number, set in some romantic foreign location. Only a very few Hindi romcoms have actually managed to deliver what they promise i.e. a romantic comedy! There is Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, which continues to be screened in cinemas, 15 years on from its release. And then there is a long forgotten Kismet Konnection, which despite starring big names Shahid Kapoor and Vidya Balan, failed to make any impact.
The key to a successful movie and particularly for a romantic comedy is its script and underlying concept. We hear the currently under production flick ‘London, Paris, New York’ fits the bill. The movie produced by brother-sister duo Goldie Behl and Shrishti Arya stars Pakistani pop star Ali Zafar and debutant Aditi Rao in the lead roles. For Zafar, LPNY follows on from critically and commercially acclaimed Tere Bin Laden and the soon to be released Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. ‘When everyone goes to sleep, I go to the music studio’ commented Zafar, who has also composed the music and penned the lyrics for the film. Aditi Rao, previously seen in Delhi 6 and Rockstar is an interesting choice against Ali Zafar and one to look out for especially given her acclaimed performance in Delhi 6.
This coming of age story is directed by Anu Menon and comes with the message of enjoying every moment of life and feeling every emotion completely. Aimed at the youth and the emotional changes they go through as they pass their twenties, LPNY promises to put the wit back into Bollywood’s romantic comedies. In line with its name, LPNY has been completely shot internationally, which means that a number of us NRIs will be able to identify with various facets in the script.
In an age when on the one hand love stories are being churned out every Friday and we have path breaking comedies such as Delhi Belly on the other, we quizzed the makers on what makes London, Paris, New York unique. ‘LPNY brings with it freshness of thought, script and energy’, commented Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios India. The film follows the journey of Nikhil and Lalitha, two very different individuals who meet each other in three different countries, and mirrors three states of love.
While the narrative does promise to be a commercially successful venture, it remains to be seen how well it fares with the critics. Ali Zafar, cashing on from the success of Tere Bin Laden has gambled a lot with his multi tasking hat well and truly in place. London, Paris, New York does look like one to watch out for.
The music launch is later this year while the flick is set for an early 2012 release.