Written and directed by Anurag Kashyap, Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat is a terribly dull and depressing film that doesn’t live up to the promise of its trailer.
Read Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat Full Movie Review –
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Starring: Alaya F, Karan Mehta, Vicky Kaushal
Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat features Vicky Kaushal in a special appearance as the titular DJ Mohabbat/ love podcaster. The film is split into two parallel stories, both headlined by Alaya F and Karan Mehta.
In Dalhousie, Alaya plays Amrita – a small-town schoolgirl who’s obsessed with DJ Mohabbat’s music and dreams of meeting him in real life. Smitten with Amrita, Yakub (Karan) promises to help whisk her off to DJ Mohabbat’s concert, right under the nose of her conservative family.
Things take a drastic turn when their innocently-intentioned, adolescent rebellion to attend the concert is tinged by allegations of Love Jihad.
Meanwhile, in London, Aisha (Alaya) is a millionaire, party-going brat who is relentless in her pursuit of Harmeet (Karan). He steadfastly ignores her advances, choosing to focus on making his career as a DJ. When he meets DJ Mohabbat, the latter tells Harmeet his music lacks ‘his own essence’.
Aisha eventually wears him down but when her father comes to know about their relationship, Harmeet’s life is catastrophically ruined.
What Do We Think:
Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat touches upon a lot of stuff from – Love Jihad, homophobia, infatuation to rape and more. It appears interesting on paper, and the trailer made it seem like we would see something dreamy, intense and fresh.
But the issue is in the pacing. The 1st half of the film is terribly slow and yawn-inducing; it plays out bland and flat throughout. You don’t get invested in the characters until the latter part of the 2nd half when the conflict finally comes in. The vague, open-ending climax might hit the right note for some audiences… but overall the film feels like a downer. DJ Mohabbat’s (Vicky) takes on love – which are sprinkled sporadically throughout the film, don’t leave the desired impact.
Almost Pyaar marks the debut of young Karan Mehta and there’s an interesting dichotomy in his performance. Sporting an atrocious Tere Naam-inspired hairstyle and a creepy shuddering laugh, Karan appears manic while playing Yakub (instead of charmingly goofy as was probably intended).
However, Karan has really shown his acting chops in the 2nd half – there’s one particular angsty confrontation scene between him and Alaya, which he’s managed to make believable and intense. He has a solid screen presence when he plays the reclusive and earnest Harmeet. In the last 15 mins of the film, Karan sells it.
Alaya F is let down by the script here but she is a competent performer. She has effectively balanced the duality of her roles as the party brat Aisha and the small-town girl with ease. No complaints acting-wise. Alaya-Karan have good onscreen chemistry too.
After the masterful album of Qala, Amit Trivedi’s work in Almost Pyaar is bit of a hit-and-miss. Mohabbat Se Kranti and Duniya are wonderful love songs and Tabah Tabah adds that intense, angry touch. These 3 songs have repeat value, but the rest of the tracks stuffed with millennial lingo are forgettable and generic AF.
Coming to Vicky Kaushal – his role is basically ‘gyaan jhaadna’ that will frankly make you roll your eyes. Kaushal appears to be having fun but his impassioned monologues about love come across as unbelievably pretentious, and cringy instead of being heartfelt.
Hit Or Miss:
Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat is a dreary snoozefest for the most part, with only the last 20-30 mins holding your interest. This one’s a miss at the theatres and will inevitably get swallowed up by the Pathaan craze. Karan Mehta does have a lot of potential though and has acted well in his debut.