Once-famous singer Rahul (Aditya Roy Kapur) is suffering a slump in his career and falling deeper into his alcoholism by the day. After a fight at one of his concerts, he finds himself at a bar, where he hears Aarohi (Shraddha Kapoor) singing one of his songs. The rest, as they say, is history – in Aarohi, he finds a spark of his former self, and turning her into a star becomes his reason to live again. But letting go of his alcohol dependency proves to be difficult, and the couple will have to face many hurdles along the way, as Aarohi shoots to superstardom and Rahul continues to sink into his addiction.
The original Aashiqui was a big success back in the day, but can Aashiqui 2 live up to its name? Read on to find out.
On the surface, it may seem like a clichéd plot (similar to Abhimaan), but I actually really liked the story of Aashiqui 2. Refreshingly, the problem in this situation wasn’t so much about a male ego being hurt, although there are shades of that too, which is good, since it’s realistic. The problem in this case is a little bigger than both of them: an all-consuming addiction that threatens to take over despite the fact that these are two very much in-love people. It’s also interesting that the writers have shown Rahul’s struggle here and have not just played the “love trumps all” card – sure, he loves this girl, but that doesn’t magically make his problem disappear; despite it all, she may still be only the second love in his life, after alcohol.
The actors do a fine job of portraying these characters. In his first full-fledged role, Aditya has an intense character to deal with, one that can go from happy-in-love one moment to thrashing his house the next. He does it well: there’s something almost romantic about his suffering, just like there can be beauty in pain. Shraddha looks absolutely lovely in frame, and she retains the innocence – naïvety, even -that everything is worth throwing away just for the sake of love. In some ways, they could be an almost odd couple – Aditya is a veritable hunk while Shraddha looks almost teenagerish – but, in my opinion, this works for their characters and I can see the chemistry there.
Good story, good characters, good performances, good chemistry… it sounds like it should be a winner, but unfortunately, Aashiqui 2 was still a let down for me. It had the set up to be an epic romance, but if there’s one thing I hate in a story, it’s gratuitous angst/tragedy/suffering. After a point, you just can’t take it anymore: every hurdle thrown the couple’s way just becomes repetitive, and by the time the end rolls around, the film appears almost gimmicky in its attempt to make you feel things. This ruined the movie for me, because if the makers knew where to cut off the melodrama, we would’ve had a heartfelt love story instead of one that ends up becoming overwrought. Nothing is more disappointing than realizing a movie shot its own self in the foot, when it had the potential to be something more.
Worth a watch for die-hard romantics, but those who hate melodrama may find it a better decision to stay away. (2.5/5 stars.)