Laila Majnu: An appreciate-worthy attempt of a classic love story

Written by Imtiaz Ali and Sajid Ali, Laila Majnu stars Avinash Tiwari and Tripti Dimri in the lead roles.

  • Laila Majnu: An appreciate-worthy attempt of a classic love story
  • Laila Majnu: An appreciate-worthy attempt of a classic love story
  • Laila Majnu: An appreciate-worthy attempt of a classic love story

Cast: Tripti Dimri, Avinash Tiwari, Parmeet Sethi, Abrar Qazi, Sumit Kaul, and others.

Rating: 3/5

Think about it - Over the last decade or so, we have been watching many rom-coms and different presentations of love stories. Some have been liked while others have been trashed, for several reasons. Amid this, is retelling a classic love story, a risk? Well, it may be, but there lays the confidence of established filmmaker Imitiaz Ali, who has delivered some of the most popular and sensible love stories in Indian cinema. Adding one more to his kitty, in collaboration with his brother Sajid Ali, is Laila Majnu starring debutants Tripti Dimri and Avinash Tiwari in the titular roles.

It’s a love story we all know. The only difference here is the scenario. Set against the backdrop of Jammu and Kashmir and in today’s time, revolving around socio-economic, Laila (Tripti) and Qais aka Majnu (Avinash) fall in love with each other. Situations and circumstances first bring them close and then take them apart. The story which then revolves around the two lovers, about their love for each other, and its impact on their latter lives, is Laila Majnu.

The two halves of the film are well divided for two characters – first for Laila and second for her Majnu (Qais). Initially, it does not open on a likeable note. Everything there’s a mishmash. The beginning is quite slow, and once the two meet, their romance develops in a naïve, fast-forward mode. However, soon after, as their love gets stronger and various emotions are introduced, everything falls into place and becomes fine, and the first half ends on a predictable, yet a strong point. The second half of the film focusing on Majnu is interesting. Avinash Tiwari takes his performance to the next level. His portrayal of a disturbed, depressed lover yearning for his beloved deserves an applause. He adds power to the story which could have gone wrong. While the first half focuses on the beautiful side of a romance, the second takes one through those tragic moments where they are not destined to be together. This is beautifully layered by Imtiaz Ali’s writing, which makes it the strongest aspect of the film.

Avinash and Tripti brings freshness to the screen as a lead pair. Although they aren’t able to impress well in the first half, their heart-wrenching depiction of true lovers, shines on the screen later, as the two strive to strengthen their act. With their performances, it is clear that both Tripti and Avinash have tried to deliver their best. Tripti is likeable throughout, but merely with his performance as Majnu in the second half, Avinash makes this film his own. He nails it. There is an intensity in his character and the performance translates the die-hard emotion.

Ali brothers’ choice of shooting in Kashmir has paid-off, as the locations have been captured very well by cinematographer Sayak Bhattacharya. The music on the other hand is mediocre. Although the songs are incorporated seamlessly, they don’t leave an impact.

There are references drawn from the 80s romantic film, Maine Pyar Kiya, and it does reflect at times in this new take on the classic love story. In today’s time, one tends to think a couple of times to believe in such a rendition. Keeping the same in mind, the thought of retelling of a heartfelt classic love story would have been difficult, but the Ali brothers manage to deliver something appreciate-worthy.

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