In Bollywood’s book of clichés, elopement is considered a safe bet to launch kids from film families. This week, it is the turn of Armaan Jain who carries Raj Kapoor’s genes to take the escape route. Debutant director Arif Ali has done an upgrade on brother Imtiaz Ali’s Jab We Met to tackle the fickleness of modern-day love and the confusion that emanates from it. The ambience is filled with the latest version of automobiles and gadgets as Arif builds the hedonistic world of the rich urban kids.

The guitar wielding carefree Dino (Armaan) is friends with Karishma (Deeksha Seth) but they don’t know that they love each other. It is their friends who make them realise when Karishma’s conservative Shetty family decides to marry her off to a jerk. If Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Naa or Rockstar is crossing your mind, you have to realise that the old wine needs a new bottle after every couple of years. The couple rushes off to Goa only to realise that it is too obvious a place to elope. So they pick up a map to find an unusual place and after a couple of stopovers end up in Dantewada!

Now Dino obviously doesn’t know what a Maoist is and Arif needs a reality check on the region and the sensitivity of the issue, but before the film could take a more preposterous turn we realise that the director is having a laugh at the expense of today’s generation’s idea of love. When Dino exclaims oh! God it is so unreal when he gets face to face with the first realistic hurdle in his life, it makes the film easier to ingest. While pun on the run is alright, the protagonists do not have the wherewithal to make us emotionally invest in their trivial squabbles for 140 minutes. And composer A.R. Rahman is unusually off colour here to help their cause.

By intermission they get separated only to be hooked all over again in a long drawn process that has ingredients of Love Aaj Kal and Cocktail. As a result, the film becomes a mocktail of borrowed ideas.

Deeksha has a pleasant screen presence and one will like to see her in a more rounded part before passing judgment but Armaan has to do a lot to take the attention away from those thick eyebrows and unusually pink lips. It seems somebody told him to give it all or show nervous energy before the shoot and he took it literally turning Dino into a caricature. A few years back, Saif Ali Khan would have pulled it off with ease but here as a producer he could do little to salvage this muddle.

LEKAR HUM DEEWANA DIL

Genre: Romantic comedy

Director: Arif Ali

Cast: Armaan Jain, Deeksha Seth, Kumud Mishra, Sudeep Sahir, Rohini Hattangadi

Bottomline- Strictly for the cool and the confused