I Love NY review: Everyone give Kangana a hug for having survived Sunny Deol

Deepanjana Pal

Jul 11, 2015 09:00:01 IST

Within a few minutes of I Love NY, you realise why Kangana Ranaut didn't want this film to see the light of day. Starring Sunny Deol and Ranaut, the film is partially set in a Chicago where apparently the subway has signage in Thai. The rest of the film takes place in what is supposed to be a New York City apartment. I Love NY — NY stands for 'New Year', by the way — is a love story, about a man who gets drunk and lands up in another city and an unknown woman's apartment. Deol is the drunkard and Ranaut is the woman who finds Deol passed out on her couch.

Also in the cast are Tannishtha Chatterjee and Prem Chopra. Unlike Ranaut, they get to exit the film quite early, though Chatterjee does have to dig deep into her acting reserve to pretend she's in love with Deol.

As if it wasn't bad enough that Deol attempts to play a sensitive gent in I Love NY and has a couple of dance moves, there's one scene in which he takes off his jeans to reveal Power Ranger chaddis. What's the soundtrack for the moment when Deol loses his pants? A bhangra beat and the lyrics, "Punjabi! Balle balle!" Naturally.

 I Love NY review: Everyone give Kangana a hug for having survived Sunny Deol

A still from I Love NY. Image from Facebook.

Ranaut spends most of the film weeping and cursing her fate, which probably required no acting considering the quality of this film. She is still the best thing in I Love NY, though given her co-actors and script, that's not really saying much.

The crux of I Love NY's story is that a few hours of drinking whisky leaves Deol behaving like a deranged drug addict who's popped too many sleeping pills, and that too for about 18 hours. You'd think at least Deol could have corrected that notion even if the directors (there are two of them for this one film) and writer didn't know any better. No such luck. Deol lurches around, clutching a duvet for a large part of the film, looking like he's boxed his own ears with his dhai-kilo ka haath.

In a word, I Love NY is ghastly. It's shoddily shot, terribly dubbed and saddled with an absolutely rubbish screenplay. Ranaut's rise to stardom has made many want to cash in on her fame. Tanu Weds Manu Returns is a prime example. However, TWMR, for all its flaws, respected Ranaut as an actress and gave her ample opportunity to show off her talent. I Love NY, in contrast, exploits Ranaut's fame and is ultimately damaging. It's so bad that you forget Ranaut can act.

Instead you start noticing how her hair style and colour change from shot to shot in the same scene. You realise how gaunt Ranaut looks today in comparison to her slim figure at the time of I Love NY's shooting. Ranaut has always been slender, but in different shots of I Love NY, you see her weight fluctuating noticeably and can't help but notice how alarmingly thin she's become in the past couple of years (I Love NY appears to have been shot around 2012). As the mindless drivel of I Love NY continued to splatter on screen, this reviewer found her inner Auntyji surge forth as she worried about Ranaut's drastic weight loss and contemplated if she could send some good, wholesome, ghee-enriched food to the actress.

Perhaps more tragic than Ranaut's state of affairs in I Love NY are those of Navin Chowdhry, who plays Ranaut's boyfriend in the film. Chowdhry made his acting debut in the wonderful Madame Sousatzka, opposite Shirley Maclaine. Back then, he was a bright-eyed teenager who showed promise. Now, after 20-odd years, we see Chowdhry hamming his way through a script whose climax has Chowdhry, in a winter coat, step into a bathtub, turn on the shower and yell, "I'm having a steam bath." Time is not a healer for everyone, evidently.

Updated Date: Jul 11, 2015 09:07:03 IST