An alluring depiction of three of the most famous cities of the world. A span of eight years. Two youngsters. A kaleidoscope of emotions.
London, Paris and New York, the cities which form the backdrop of the eponymous film, are a delight to watch in this delectable offering from director Anu Menon. A bildungsroman of sorts, ‘London, Paris, New York’ traces the journey of the love of two diametrically separate people, Lalitha (played by Aditi Rao Hydari), a middle-class South Indian girl who hails from a low-brow suburb in Mumbai is pitted against Nikhil (played by Ali Zafar), a rich, upper-class Punjabi guy from one of the most posh locations of Mumbai.
The story is more of a psychological journey than a physical one. Spanning across eight years, the film delves into the psyche of its lead protagonists, and succeeds in tracing a trajectory that emerges as the story of every relationship. A reflection of the mentalscape of Lalitha and Nikhil, ‘London, Paris, New York’, as a movie, is pulled off brilliantly by the filmmaker.
Ali Zafar, the rib-tickling groom-to-be of ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’, is seen in an absolutely different role altogether. His stellar performance would manage to win over even the toughest of his critics. Ali Zafar’s responsibilities in the film transcend the realm of just playing the role of Nikhil. The actor is the brain behind the lyrics of the songs, and the voice behind most of them. The singer, whose acting is well-lauded now, proves that he is a consummate artist when it comes to the territory of music. Zafar’s rendition of the songs make people connect with them instantly and his superb baritone is one that deserves a standing ovation.
Cut to Aditi. The petite damsel, who was seen as Rama Bua in ‘Delhi 6’, and the journalist in ‘Rockstar’, has delivered a spectacular performance in ‘London, Paris, New York’. At times, it is a bit difficult to imagine that the one who plays the character of Lalitha is the same belle whose performance in her earlier movies wasn’t able to make much of an impression on her viewers. She shines remarkably in the film, and pulls off a feat that perhaps only a few would have been able to. Aditi does justice to the role of Lalitha, and paired across Ali, stuns her viewers completely.
The film, though, has its tepid moments. The beginning appears lacklustre, and the script languishes for a bit before breaking out of its repressive cocoon. The pace of the movie appears to stumble in places, and the hiccups in the first part are a bit deterring. The verbosity of the script at times threatens to turn the movie into a dull one, but never actually succeeds in doing so. The mesmerising performances and the dazzling backdrop emerge victorious in this tussle for supremacy, and the film is able to enthral viewers absolutely.
To sum up, this coming of age love story is one that shines steadily despite the few glitches, and is successful in claiming a cosy niche for itself in the good contemporary films of the day. The angst, pain and tribulations of relationships are subjects that every human being would be able to orient themselves with. And added to it, is the glowing performance of the actors. Also, the breathtaking views of the cities of London, Paris, and New York, catapult the film to an amazing zenith.
Tour three of the best cities of the world with Lalitha and Nikhil this weekend!
Ratings: Three cheers for this one!