Laila Majnu, a retelling of the classic love story, comes backed by Imtiaz Ali's powerful screenplay in the form of his brother, Sajid Ali's directorial debut. Coming straight from the Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Films, it does have the masala of her regular movies. However, I stepped into the movie expecting nothing more than a period drama but I was pleasantly surprised. If you haven't had a chance to watch the trailer yet, watch it here.
The film is set in modern Kashmir and follows two young lovers, Laila and Kais, played by debutants Tripti Dimri and Avinash Tiwari. The love story by itself, in the first half, is raw and innocent, showing you two reckless college students who find love, despite the hatred their families share. While I wasn't particularly impressed in the first 40 minutes of the movie, the next two hours made up for it. Avinash Tiwari steers the movie with confidence, experience, and impeccable acting skills.
Sajid Ali incorporated his brother's filmmaking style, creating an impact on the audience. You see hints of Tamasha, especially in the dream sequences of the film which have references to Laila Majnu. But that's just one of the things that crossed my mind, here are all the thoughts I had while watching Laila Majnu.
P.S. A couple of spoilers ahead!
1. Why does Laila enjoy being harassed? She considers this flattering.
2. These girls really want to fall in love...
3. Her nightmares are starting to scare me.
4. You know it’s an Ekta Kapoor movie when the actress sleeps with her makeup on.
5. Kais just peed on Laila's sister! Disgusting.
6. Not the best way to introduce your lead actor...
7. Kashmiri sweets look so yummy.
8. Kashmir is so pretty. And all the actors have such spot-on accents.
9. So they both have a terrible reputation in the town. And that’s what’s got them interested in each other?
10. He’s trying to buy her affection and annoy her with the title track. Although I really like the song, it's quite catchy.
11. Wait. Is she not mad? Just impressed.
12. Ahhh. Pigeons and love letters. So romantic.
13. I love how sassy he is. She totally deserves it.
14. I’m very confused. Does she want him? Why does she get upset seeing him? Or pretends to...
15. They’re such reckless kids. Don’t do it, guys. Don’t fall in love. It’s going to end badly.
16. As the movie progresses, I’m starting to find him very attractive.
17. I want her house. And his smile.
18. He jumped straight to shaadi discussion. What?
19. Let him talk! He is your long lost childhood lover. Oops. Spoiler.
20. Remember Tamasha’s dream sequences? Sajid and Imtiaz Ali turned that into an entire movie.
21. Yeh bass chai aur pakode khilata rehta hai. It’s raining outside and he’s making my cravings worse.
22. The downward spiral has begun. Now the parents are about to find out.
23. Imtiaz Ali really believes in the concept of love, faith, and destiny. It is a recurring theme in all his movies.
24. How is Kais so calm? And funny? She’s dying. God these two are poles apart.
25. I know how this ends. And I’m not looking forward to it.
26. Now she’s being forced to marry her cousin? No.
27. How is everyone in the house okay with this? She’s pleading. There is no consent. And her father is threatening to kill himself.
28. Kais, where are you?
29. He’s here. And he’s so respectful. He’s making my eyes water.
30. Oooo. Now he’s losing his shit. Bring it on!
31. Ja ab nahi aata. Ab tu hi dhoond mujhe. Burn.
32. The real movie begins post interval... Four years later.
33. What happened to him? He transformed from Kaiz to Majnu.
34. Now it’s starting to feel like an Imtiaz Ali movie and I’m so happy.
35. He understands heartbreak better than anybody else.
36. Majnu can’t come back home because Laila is everywhere.
37. I want to hug him and fix him. This guy is a brilliant actor.
38. Laila’s husband aka cousin is an alcoholic and her dad hates him now. Life has come a complete circle.
39. Laila. What did you do?
40. I’m loving this new side of Laila. Don’t push a woman to an extent when she has nothing to lose or fear anymore.
41. I hope Imtiaz Ali decided to change the ending of the original story. I really don’t want them to die.
42. I can’t believe her dad is blackmailing her. Again.
43. Who broke Majnu? Answer me. Who broke Majnu?
44. The famous Imtiaz Ali style road trip through Pahalgam. Sajid Ali lives up to it. Beautiful.
45. This is making me want to visit a hill station ASAP.
46. Everything is going right. But why does it feel so wrong?
47. I honestly have never resented a character as much as I hate Laila right now.
48. Harr jagah log aa jate hain. Jaye toh jaye kahan. I feel you, Majnu.
49. The second half of this movie might be this director's finest work.
50. This actor is going places. I can't emphasise on this enough.
51. I think I have goosebumps.
52. I’m not crying. You are.
Overall, the movie's first half is what makes it weak. But the second half is definitely worth watching. I would give it a 3.5/5.
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