We can understand why Harman Baweja pinned all his hopes on Love Story 2050, and we also get what Harry Baweja (credited with story and direction) wanted to achieve with this one. But why Priyanka Chopra chose to sign the dotted line after reading this script, is beyond us.
Love Story 2050, starring Priyanka and Harman in the lead, turns 12 on July 4, 2020. And given how trying this self-isolation has been, we masochistically went for a re-watch of this nearly three-hour-long film. And our feelings about the film hasn’t changed in these 12 years.
The film was widely advertised and there were a few bullets points to them. First, Harman was being introduced, who was touted to be a Hrithik Roshan lookalike. Hrithik broke onto the scene in 2000 with Kaho Naa Pyar Hain, which turned into a phenomenon. Harry Baweja clearly wanted to give Harman what Rakesh Roshan gave Hrithik. Except, margarine is not butter, and latest studies have proven it isn’t even good for your health.
Then there was the massive scale on which the film was to be made. In 2008, Love Story 2050’s graphics work was impressive. Made on a budget of Rs 60 crore, the film did make us hopeful for the future. No, not the future they showed in the film – that was atrocious – the future of Indian cinema, the technological advancement that lay ahead of us, and the sheer amount of monies that would be poured into films.
And then there was the angle of Priyanka dating Harman. Honestly, that sold more tickets than the Coca-Cola can robot with a faulty pelvic.
The film basically wanted to cater to everyone – kids, grown-ups, sci-fi movie lovers, humans, and humanoids. But it managed to impress no one. A talking teddy bear was strategically placed as Priyanka’s friend, obviously to touch a chord with the kids, but do kids fancy grown-ups talking to stuffed animals? Perhaps the scriptwriters did not take that into consideration.
The character of Priyanka was infantilised. Again, we believe it was done to appeal to the PG-13 audience. Here, PeeCee spoke like a replica of Hannah Montana, which, honestly, wasn’t needed to further the story – if you find a story, that is.
And then Harman, in his mad desire to be like Hrithik, ended up boxing himself. Not that he showed any potential whatsoever; we still wonder if he had been different if not better if he wasn’t trying so hard to be Hrithik Roshan.
As for the story, the punarjanam angle isn’t new to Hindi cinema. But the time machine was. When man decided to go from Australia 2008 to Mumbai 2050 in a time machine to find his beloved reincarnated, it did pique our interest. We are even willing to ignore the stereotype of the Einstein-looking mad scientist, played by Boman Irani, because, of course, you need a mad scientist to build a time machine. Hollywood movies have taught us well. But whatever little story they had, to begin with, either drowned under Anu Malik’s music – and there are some really long, really boring songs in the film – or hid behind Harman’s incessant need to be Hrithik at all time.
It is not for nothing that Love Story 2050 proudly claims a position in IMDb’s list of Worst Bollywood Films ever. In terms of the box office collection, it was a disaster too. It barely made Rs 18 crore, despite having invested Rs 60 crore.
But, two good things emerged, perhaps credit to the circumstances under which we re-watched it, and not the movie itself. One, the fact that PeeCee did red hair way before Katrina Kaif did in Fitoor. And she did it well, even though it perhaps didn’t cost her Rs 55 lakh, as it did Katrina in 2016. And second, a very sly but interesting comparison between life itself and a hot dog. Harman says, “Your life is like a hot dog without a sausage.” Yeah, we are still laughing at that one!
If you feel like torturing yourself, Love Story 2050 is available on YouTube for free.
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