Friday, June 10, 2016


Release date:
June 10, 2016
Deepak Tijori

Randeep Hooda, Kajal Aggarwal, Dhiraj Shetty, Mamik, Anil George, Yuri Suri

And once again, Hottie Hooda shines in a film that proves he deserves better.

Do Lafzon Ki Kahani (A Story In Two Words, a title derived from the old Hindi film song) can be summarised in one lafz: dated.

This Randeep Hooda-Kajal Aggarwal-starrer strings together many trite situations from many romantic dramas of the past. Even the two leads are clichés. He the strong, silent type. She whose chirpiness is designed to charm him, because wide-eyed, bholi-bhaali women who chatter endlessly are cho chweet and cute, na? Except that humans who chirrup and tweet sound like twits, and it is really not that cute when a seemingly intelligent adult derives life lessons from a formulaic saas-bahu Hindi soap that the film seems to be mocking in the first place.

After an ominous-looking, intriguing opening scene involving a shootout and a disfigured Hooda in a Kuala Lumpur dockyard (later repeated with a shocking revelation), the film descends into syrupy, saccharine territory, giving us a hero with a dark secret and a bubbly blind woman who he falls for at first sight, enough to sacrifice his life, limbs and future to restore her vision.

Suraj (no surname) was once a boxer, but now earns his living doing multiple odd jobs. Jenny Mathias appears to be a full-time art teacher and part-time physiotherapist – I am not entirely sure how that is possible, but the poorly-thought-out physio angle is thrown in for a reason.

They meet when he takes the job of a parking attendant and she lands up to watch a soppy soap on the TV in his booth. Considering the generous size of her home, it is clear she can afford a TV. Since she was in the habit of watching that show with Suraj’s elderly predecessor, one assumes the old man was her friend, except that her supposed buddy did not bother to inform her when he retired. Why then? Perhaps because the writer could not think of a convincing way to introduce his reclusive hero to his bright, sociable – yet inexplicably friendless – heroine while simultaneously introducing us to her love for intellectually challenged teleserials?


There is a bit of a twist in the tale involving how their paths first crossed, but the potential of that plot point is frittered away when it too is used to further raise the film’s schmaltzy quotient.

(Spoiler alert for this paragraph) If you are a boxer and a sad-looking stranger asks you to throw a fight because your opponent, who is her husband, desperately needs the winnings for their daughter’s cancer treatment, here’s a suggestion: don’t throw the fight, offer to pay the kid’s hospital bills instead. There’s too much of this stuff and nonsense in the film. Seriously! Are we not past the era of silly, easily solvable confusions, misunderstandings and qurbani?

Little time and zero imagination appear to have been expended on the film’s writing (the kahani of Do Lafzon Ki Kahani is credited to Girish Dhamija though it is inspired by the 2011 South Korean film Always). However, money has clearly been spent on the technical departments, especially the design, choreography and shooting of the impressively done, bone-crunching boxing scenes. But even this element and the catchy song Mujhe jeena sikha diya are not striking enough to make DLKK a film worth recommending.

In this ocean of unimaginativeness swim Randeep Hooda and Kajal Aggarwal, playing the lead couple. Aggarwal has worked across Indian film industries for several years. Her calling card in Hindi cinema (if at all it can be considered one) is a project that treated its heroine as the hero’s mandatory arm candy: Singham in 2011. Given a meatier role here, formulaic – and potentially irritating – though it is, she shows us that she is capable of much more than that. It does not hurt, of course, that she looks really pretty in minimal makeup and simple, attractive frocks. A hat tip here to Ashley Rebello and Terrence Lobo who are credited with the costume design & styling.

As for Hooda, 2016 has been a good showcase for his underrated talent, with Laal Rang, Sarbjit and Do Lafzon Ki Kahani releasing in quick succession. There is a moment in this film when a sightless girl asks Suraj what he looks like and he, the shyness and quiet pride flitting across his face, tells her that people consider him “rough and tough”. Contrast this turn as the reticent Suraj with his performance as a feisty villager who is reduced to a skeletal mess in a Pakistani prison in Sarbjit or the plucky, sexy criminal he plays in Laal Rang and you might weep with despair at mainstream Bollywood’s failure to give him substantial roles more often in better films. PS: Hooda takes off his shirt to train in Do Lafzon and, err, let’s just say that makes me very happy.

Interesting actors pop up in supporting roles in this film: Mamik, who played Aamir Khan’s brother in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992), plays Suraj’s coach Omi; and theatre actor Anil George, earlier seen in Miss Lovely, plays the owner of the club that Suraj once represented.

But even talented actors cannot save this treacle-drenched, outmoded, unoriginal affair. The lafz “love never heals” flash on screen right in the end. It takes a really well-made film to pull off that kind of mush. Do Lafzon Ki Kahani ain’t that film.

Rating (out of five): *

CBFC Rating (India):
Running time:
127 minutes 49 seconds

No comments:

Post a Comment