Movie review: 'Aashiqui 2'
Cast: Aditya Roy Kapur, Shraddha Kapoor, Shaad Randhawa
Director: Mohit Suri
Indian Express Rating: ** More than 20 years ago, the Bhatts crafted a blockbuster out of a string of songs sung by fresh voices. And a pair of new faces, artfully hidden under a jacket, for the purposes of a poster. The songs came first, the movie came after. Aashiqui's soundtrack became all the rage. So did that instantly-recognisable image of young-lovers-under-jacket.
Now comes the sequel. Aashiqui number 2 has similarities with the first: the Bhatts are co-producers along with Bhushan Kumar (son of the slain T series magnate Gulshan, who was responsible for the phenomenal success of the original's music, still bouncing about in playlists). Music leads from the front again. But this time around, it is not as distinctive, and that's because the Bhatts may have become victims of their own created template of sufi-soft-pop-cum-rock. No single song of the new Aashiqui leaps out at you. And this, along with a story that starts with some lift and then dips makes the new film a messy meander.
Rahul Jaykar (Aditya Roy Kapur) is a singer fighting his demons, with the help of good pal (Shaad Randhawa). Aarohi Shirke (Shraddha Kapoor) is a girl who worships Lata Mangeshkar and wants to be a singer. For reasons that are never explained, Rahul's constant companion is alcohol. Lots of it. But he is not so soused that he can't spot talent: he hears Aarohi sing in a shady Goa bar, and knows she is the next best thing. And then comes the Abhimaan-like arc, as the two deal with obscurity, fame and heartbreak, and it all becomes mothballed.
Mohit Suri knows how to get lovers to start off the blocks. And the best part of this film is these two trying out each other for size, despite an embarrassing meet-cute. Roy Kapoor shows he has mettle: I was wondering about that after his turns in Action Replayy and Guzaarish, bad films both, but his potential is clear in this one. Kapoor also does a tad better than her earlier outings, but is patchy. The lead couple has a moment or two, but doesn't spark overall.