Break Ke Baad review
Starring: Imran Khan, Deepika Padukone, Shahana Goswami, Sharmila Tagore, Yudhishtir
Kunal Kohli produced Break Ke Baad is a surprisingly personal, yet perfectly plausible story of a young girl who cannot make up her mind about love. Taking a cue from Imtiaz Ali's Love Aaj Kal, which brought out the cluelessness of today's youngsters about matters of the heart, Break Ke Baad deals with similar mental vicissitudes, and rather refreshingly looks at the subject from the girl's point of view. Like Deepika Padukone says in the film, 'I am the star of every scene in my life', so the focus is on her throughout, while Imran's is a muted presence.
Abhay (Imran Khan) and Aliya (Deepika) are in a relationship. While Abhay is steadfast and boringly predictable - he spouts romantic lines straight out of cheesy Bollywood romances - Aliya is flighty, self-absorbed and commitment phobic. After some awkward scenes at the beginning, dominated by Deepika's luscious, super-toned waist, the film quickly comes to the point. Aliya wants to explore new things, as she's gotten too used to Abhay's unconditional love. She finds reasons to not like him and ultimately flies off to Australia saying she wants a break from the relationship. Abhay, the ever enduring boyfriend is heartbroken, and soon lands up at Alia's place, a beach side home, where she's staying with two whacked out friends (Yudhishtir, Shahana Goswami.) None of the action that follows is very memorable, though nothing that should particularly irk you either. The screenplay moves fluidly, with some decent punch-lines and light moments, until the film hurriedly arrives at its climax. Fortunately, even if Alia is routinely called 'weird' and 'selfish' in the film, her failings are rightly viewed as a personality type and not an immoral character that needs curing. The climax gets this correctly where she momentarily reverts back to her original skepticism and doubt, once she pleads and gets what she wants.
The theme is a sensitive one, and though debutant director Danish Islam doesn't insult your intelligence at any point, and manages to hit several right notes, the film still doesn't quite pack an emotional punch. For a theme as intimate as this, the characters and setting should have had a far more lived-in feel to them. The use of a foreign location isn't as forced here as in some other films, but it still makes Break Ke Baad seem quite outlandish and distant with a Salaam Namaste hangover. The other issue is Imran's character, which is far too placid and goody-goody - the kind who will carefully pack lingerie into the bag of a girl who has just dumped him. Such men no doubt exist in real life, but unending devotion and mushiness don't necessarily impress a woman. The film gives him no interesting shades at all and merely waits for Deepika to change her mind.
The performances are appropriately in place, though neither Imran or Deepika are the most natural of actors. Imran's dew-fresh good looks and sincere performance see him through, but the actor's lack of expressions and emotional range don't make this role very different from what he did in Jaane Tu..Ya Jaane Naa.
Deepika Padukone is convincing in her part, and delivers what is required of her. Yet, neither actors in the film have the charisma and charm to rise above the limitations of the script at any point. Shahana Goswami is expectedly solid, while Yodhishtir is fun to watch.
Danish Aslam makes an assured debut, with a film that singularly caters to the Facebook generation. What can be said in its favour is that it's not a shallow film, even if it does not end up being an emotionally satisfying story in the end.