Note to the person who recommend this to me: I'm really sorry, but I didn't like this at all. But I'm glad you did, and I'm even more glad you kept watching Bollywood. My own first film, Mujhse Dosti Karoge!, seems not to be terribly popular either, so I write this to you with empathy.
Not to start out with a snarky note or anything, but this to me was the most noteworthy thing about this movie. Not only is the shirt really bad, it also has a vest over it, the wearer's sunglasses match it, and it's worn while swinging on a rope over the cheering crowd. Not a good set-up, but look:
You can guess what sank it. It's the arms. I have never seen even Hrithik or Salman in something so ridiculously muscle-flaunting. I mean, I guess I'm glad for equal opportunity, since cut-out clothing with tiny strings holding bits of fabric together is usually swathed on women. But this is so tacky. I know, I know, many of you may argue that there are gaudier, meshier, more poorly color-coordinated shirts out there, and I would not disagree. But this is just so tasteless that I am giving it top prize. For now - I'm sure I will find worse later. And just to prove my point, take another look:
Okay. I didn't like this movie. At all. But I will happily admit that maybe I didn't watch it on its own terms - I know how to go into a Hollywood teen comedy, for example, and maybe that's what I should have done here. From the "Generation Next" flashed on the screen at the beginning - odd in a movie clearly in cahoots with Coke, since the Spice Girls had a whole song called that, tied with a Pepsi campaign almost ten years ago - to a disappointingly sign-free college dance competition, this whole thing struck me as incredibly immature. Not in a silly, romping way, but in a poorly thought-out and often self-contradictory way. Which maybe is how teenagers are - although I work with college students almost every day and, even at the hopelessly uncool age of 31, I can happily report that none of them behave anything like these people. And of course they don't generally behave like college students in an Hollywood movie, either, so I know that holding a movie up to real life isn't really a useful thing to do. But I kept thinking this was set in a high school. A boy sneaking peeks at a skin magazine in the bathroom and at a blue film when he thinks his dad is asleep, popular boys teasing the geeky girl for not having a boyfriend, covering for an absent friend in attendance roll-call (do they really take attendance like that in college classes in India?) - none of these seem like 20-year-olds' behavior. The only explanation I can come up with for the plot is that it started out as a teen sex romp and then had to be reigned way in but no one ever bothered to go fix some of the major plot elements, such as the driving event of an overnight beach trip.
The dominant problem for me was that I didn't like any of these people; the characters were charmless, shallow, and uninteresting, and I don't think any of the actors made anything out of the little they were given. You can tell this was the first movie for Shahid Kapoor, who tried far too hard, I think to be Shahrukhy but I'm not sure, and for me he failed to be anything other than grating. His character did nothing to demonstrate that he knows how to care for another person. Amrita's character should never have gone back to him, scrapbook or no. I was also completely confused by "the gang," whom at first seemed to be the bane of Rajiv and Mambo's existence, but then they spend the whole movie hanging out together.
The movie seems to have a problem with commitment - it needed to come up with some characters and some ideas for a story and stick to them. Be a sexcapade but fill it with compelling characters. Be a college film in which young people learn a bit more about who they are and what they value (as in MHN, for example). Be a romance with some bumps along the road that show us the leads have figured out how to love each other. Within any of these structures, there can be plenty of room for nuance and layers; while this movie never claimed to be nuanced or layered, it just giggled and shimmied around and wound up doing nothing.
Except one of its songs rhymed "alert" with "flirt," which I liked very much.