'Do Lafzon Ki Kahani' review: Randeep Hooda impresses in this cliché-heavy story
Randeep Hooda, the fight choreography, filming and editing of Do Lafzon Ki Kahani are the highlights of this otherwise cliché-heavy love story
Did you see that pre-interval twist coming?, asked a friend and colleague during the interval? From a mile away, I replied. If you have seen enough formulaic romantic dramas you can play soothsayer rather easily. As the second half of director Deepak Tijori’s film resumed, it became a game of prediction for some: what twist was coming next?
It was not hard to guess, after all this is a film with primarily two characters: Suraj (Randeep Hooda), a damaged former mixed martial arts fighter lopes around Kuala Lumpur with the weight of the world (and some bad history) on his ample, muscular shoulders. He works multiple menial jobs, including as a night attendant at a parking garage where he meets Jenny (Kajal Aggarwal) a pretty, blind girl obsessed with a television soap opera.
For some peculiar reason — and one of the many unanswered questions in Girish Dhamija’s script — is why does she walk such a long way form her home every evening to sit in a random parking garage’s security booth to watch TV?
Jenny is an over-smart, talkative independent woman. She manages to run a home and hold down a job in spite of her disability. Her spirit is infectious and Suraj finds his misery ebbing in her company. The couple fall in love and move in together. Motivated to build a comfortable life for Jenny, Suraj returns to his old gym and trainer (Mamik), resurrecting his fighting avatar called Storm, training hard and taking up well-paying fights. The training scenes, the fight choreography, its filming and editing are the highlights of this otherwise cliché-heavy love story.
Months pass before Suraj finds out what happened to Jenny’s parents and the truth behind her disability life. On his part, Suraj is harbouring a dark past, which he cannot share with Jenny. Much drama, melodrama and some tense moments follow. He shreds his identity, fights an illegal bout, and engages in nefarious activities. It’s not just about the money now, but his redemption.
Kajal Aggarwal is a bit too chirpy and chattering and her visual impairment is not entirely convincing. But it’s Randeep Hooda who impresses, Like in Sarbjit, one marvels at his physical transformation — this time as the beefed up fighter. He’s controlled and delivers with conviction.
The second film this week based on a Korean original (Te3n is adapted from Montage), Do Lafzon Ki Kahani borrows heavily from the 2011 film Always which was first remade in Kannada as Boxer (2015).
Tijori, whose filmography includes Oops! and Tom, Dick and Harry, shows a improvement in his storytelling but it’s still a far cry from being enough. The story is full of holes and the narrative leans too often on ballads and ‘sad songs’ to establish mood. While not short on words or emotional manipulation, this film is short on allure and artfulness.
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