Love Aaj Kal Versus Teen Maar


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Teen Maar is the Telugu remake of the Hindi film Love Aaj Kal, starring Pawan Kalyan and Trisha. The original cast included Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Rishi Kapoor. Rishi Kapoor’s role was played by Paresh Rawal in Teen Maar, which was a pleasant surprise.

If you have not seen the Hindi version, Teen Maar is about a modern Indian couple in the UK that break up because the girl is moving to India. They both move on and meet new people but they’re not able to get over one another entirely. Michael (Pawan) is a modern chef who doesn’t believe in love ever after and dislikes committment. After Meera (Trisha) goes to India, he befriends a restaurant owner who tells Michael about the story of his friend Arjun (Pawan). He tells Michael about how Arjun fell in love and never gave up on his love until it became a success.

Slowly, Michael comes to the realization that he is in love with Meera, but by this time it’s too late. Meera is getting married. Right after the wedding is over, Meera realizes that she is still in love with Michael and calls him. But she finds out that he has gotten a job in the US and will be going there. She never tells him anything. The rest of the film is about whether Michael decides to go after his love and whether the two are able to come together.

Teen Maar is not an exact copy of Love Aaj Kal. Most of the scenes are directly copied, even the dialogues in those scenes are the same. But new elements were added to the story for this remake. The characters that Pawan Kalyan is playing are different in this film. There are also added fight scenes, some fancy hero-wala dialogues and the scene where Saif was beaten up toward the end of LAK was removed altogether. God forbid, what will Telugu cinemagoers do if they see Pawan Kalyan beaten up on screen?! Telugu heroes don’t get beaten, they do all the beating.

I got acquainted with Pawan Kalyan films fairly late and I can’t deny that I was very impressed with him in Attharintiki Daaredi. But the more of his films I see, the more I feel that he delivers his dialogues the same way in every film. But I guess that’s true for everyone. Everyone has a style that they maintain and the audience expects and waits for that. I think Pawan did a good job as Arjun in this film but I was not impressed with the way he portrayed Michael.

Saif Ali Khan has an interesting, fancy accent in English. He’s not very educated but, well, he’s a prince, like, really. And he shines in these handsome, charismatic, player roles. So he was excellent in LAK and suited that role perfectly. Pawan did not suit the Michael role. He tried very hard to speak English like a Londoner but unfortunately, that came across and his fake accent became annoying after a while. Moreover, he did not dub over his voice for this film, so his voice always sounded different (lower) than the other characters’ voices.

Trisha is another huge disappointment in Teen Maar. Trisha is one of my favorite South actresses but this has to be one of her worst performances. Deepika was still a newcomer when she did LAK and her dialogue delivery was poor in that film. But she still outdid Trisha. If you watch Trisha’s scenes in this film, you will get the feeling that before each shot, she sat down and watched Deepika’s performance in LAK and tried her best to copy it. She even copied Deepika’s dialogue delivery exactly in some scenes. With dozens of films behind her, why in the world did Trisha feel the need to copy a less experienced actress’ performance? And because of this, her performance did not feel genuine in this film. Her perfomance seemed fake because it was.

Love Aaj Kal is one of my favorite Imtiaz Ali films. I think the casting for that film was perfect. No one else could have been better for those roles. And the story was one that I could really connect with because despite living in a modern era, I have always held very traditional views about love. So I felt that LAK portrayed the clash between modern ideas about love and traditional ideals sucessfully. My favorite scene in LAK is the very last scene when Deepika comes down and starts hitting Saif. She is crying and hitting him and hugging him and hitting him again. This was the moment when Deepika really impressed me because she got across her emotions very well.

I also love the dialogues and the music in LAK. “Main senti hogayi” became a common phrase after this film. And “mango people” was hilarious. I love the dialogue delivered by Saif during Meera’s wedding. I love his confusion and honesty in that scene.

The music of LAK was also great, the songs have been on my music player since the release of the film (Aahun Aahun is my favorite). The music of Teen Maar is good too, but not as impressive as the LAK album. The song Chor Bazari was actually redone for Teen Maar, they copied the music and choreography but somehow, they still couldn’t make it as good as the original song. The great choreography in LAK is also worthy of mention.

So when it comes to LAK versus Teen Maar, Teen Maar really doesn’t compare to LAK. The original is the way to go in this case. You should see Teen Maar only if you are a super duper fan of Pawan, if you don’t watch Hindi films, if you want to compare the two films for yourself.

One of the reasons I saw the film actually was to see what Pawan’s wife looks like. He met his wife, an Australian model, on Teen Maar sets. I first thought that she was the one playing Michelle, the second girlfriend in the film, but it turns out that’s Danah Marks. So his wife played an extra somewhere in the film but who knows where.

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