There comes a phase in the career of filmmakers when they test their relevance in the mindscape of young hearts. It seems director Anurag Kashyap is passing through that phase. Years after he broke conventions of love stories with Dev D, his latest attempt at reinvention is a timely and well-meaning but scattered and almost laboured take on the perils of modern love across cultures.
Through two parallel narratives, where the same actors play the parts of almost lovers, the film addresses intolerance to relationships across faith and class, pernicious patriarchy, and the naivety of the internet generation. The entry of a caring but bigoted and homophobic elderly couple provides an unsettling sense of the generational gap. Add to it a layer of predatory homosexual behaviour and we have a series of strands that are disconcerting. The way Anurag attacks the idea of izzat is laudable and the dispensability of a Muslim in our society sends a chill down the spine.
Having said that, Anurag could not turn genuine concerns into a compelling screenplay. He remains more of an observer than a participant and hence one could not emotionally integrate with the plight of the characters. In Love, Sex aur Dhoka, Dibakar Banerjee got out of this dilemma by using the concept of found footage. Here, it works out like a dramatic representation of a news story, playing out in sync with more than half a dozen Amit Trivedi numbers which seem to be genetic aberrations of compositions that we have appreciated in Dev D and Manmarziyaan. Only Mohabbat Se Hi Kranti Ayegi lasts in the head for it captures the core emotion of the film; it is only love that can keep hate at bay.
the setting is interesting and the premise is promising. In Dalhousie, Amrita (Alaya F) finds a buddy in the neighbourhood when she befriends Yakub (Karan Mehta). The inter-faith bond gets tested when the two leave their homes to watch a show by DJ Mohabbat (Vicky Kaushal). Amrita’s family which is already concerned about her talking to a Muslim treats the sudden disappearance of their daughter as a case of kidnapping and Love Jihad. In a parallel tale, Ayesha (Alaya F), the daughter of a shady Pakistani businessman falls head-over-heels for a reticent musician Harmeet (Karan Mehta). As Ayesha is only on the cusp of adulthood, the relationship is not legal and results in Harmeet getting humiliated in prison.