Jai Vardhan Singh(Saif Ali Khan) meets Meera(Deepika Padukone) while partying at a club in London. Jai hits on her, dances with her and sparks fly between them. They start dating and soon become involved in a relationship. Jai dreams of working for Golden Gate Bridge authorities and eventually building bridges. Meera plans to return to India and pursue her career in fresco painting and restoring Indian heritages. Before Meera returns to India, Jai and Meera decides to breakup as they do not believe in the long-distance relationship. They even host a breakup party for their close friends.
After the party, Jai is restless and stops at his regular restaurant for a drink. Even though the restaurant is closing for the day, the restaurateur, Veer Singh(Rishi Kapoor) agrees to serve Jai and his friends. Veer is inquisitive about Jai and Meera as he has overheard their conversations before. Veer persuades Jai to meet Meera at the airport and even volunteers to drive Jai to the airport.
Meera is surprised to see Jai at the airport. At the same time, she admits about waiting for him to show up. At the airport, Veer looks at the couple with pride and happiness. Later on Jai’s insistence, Veer tells him a part of his story. Years back in Delhi, a young Veer Singh(Saif Ali Khan) sees Harleen Kaur(Giselli Monteiro) and immediately takes a liking for her. Veer follows her around and Harleen requests him not to make trouble for her. On contemplation, Veer decides to be discreet. But he is still determined to marry her and makes a pledge to marry her.
Jai laughs at Veer for making a pledge on marrying Harleen. As he is laughing at Veer, Meera calls him on the phone. They end giving advice to each other on how to court opposite sex, what looks good on each other and what their negative points are. They continue to talk to each other through phone, emails and chat.
Soon Meera meets a colleague, Vikram(Rahul Khanna), who is interested in her. Jai encourages her to go out for dinner with him. Feeling a bit lost, Jai goes out partying and meets a Swiss girl. Soon, their lives start moving in different directions. Yet, both still misses each other. Veer watches all this with astonishment as he is able to understand today’s youth. When Harleen moved to Calcutta, Veer borrowed money from friends and took a train to Calcutta. There, he realizes Harleen is also in love with him.
The rest of the movie tells us personal struggles of two couples – Jai & Meera and Veer & Harleen. Love triumphs and they unite. But, how do they unite forms the rest of the story.
Imtiaz Ali directs this movie after the hugely successful Jab We Met. He is aided by a good story and simple effective dialogues. He succeeds in the differentiating Aaj and Kal with effective color tones. Kal has a sepia tone. But the use of two Saif Ali Khans (one for Jai and the other for younger Veer) leads to confusion in an ordinary viewer. Also, the visuals when titles are rolling is also confusing as the audience is confused if it is present, flash back or a flash forward. The film runs in two parallel tracks just like Rang De Basanti. Unlike Rang De Basanti, the screenplay is not strong enough for seamless transition between the two tracks.
Saif Ali Khan excels in spite of looking older for the role at times. He has right expressions and the right body language. But he fails in the right accent for young Veer. Saif’s Jai is slow to realize his love for Meera. He is excellent in the nervous scenes where he blabbers and speaks his inner feelings.
Giselli Monteiro steals our hearts as young Harleen. Watch out for her eyes when she moves across to sit on the opposite train seat in order to watch Veer on the platform and when Veer gets beaten up her relatives.
Deepika Padukone is okay. But she gets overshadowed by Saif, Giselli and Rishi. Neetu Kapoor, real life wife of Rishi Kapoor, puts in a one-minute appearance in the movie.
On the whole, this is recommended even with the flaws.
Picture Courtesy: Bollywood Hungama